Ralph Shrader, chief executive officer for Booz Allen, said he was encouraged that the PGA Tour was committed to making significant changes at TPC at Avenel starting in 2006, but was still not prepared to say whether the company will remain the title sponsor for the Booz Allen Classic beyond its commitment through next year's event.
"In no way, shape or form are we threatening to pull out," Shrader said yesterday after playing in the tournament's pro-am event. "From the Booz Allen perspective, we and the tour appear to be on the same page . . . I believe we're closing in terms of coming to an agreement on what approach should be taken."
Shrader met with PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem for 45 minutes Tuesday night at Congressional. The tour has said it is prepared to embark on a $25 million renovation at Avenel, likely starting in the fall of 2006. The tour would like Booz Allen to make an eight-year commitment to remain as the title sponsor starting with the 2007 tournament. Shrader said the company is not prepared to make such a commitment until the tour can determine future dates for the Washington tournament.
-- Leonard Shapiro