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September 14, 2022

PGA pulls plug on Maine golf tourney; organizer tees up new event

Golfer taking a swing Photo / Renee Cordes The 2022 Live + Work in Maine Open, held in June, raised $135,000 for the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center.

After two years as a stop on the professional golf circuit, Falmouth will no longer host the Korn Ferry tournament for up-and-coming players, the Portland-based organizer announced Wednesday as it tees up a new Maine charity event.

The PGA Tour’s decision to cut Maine from the Korn Ferry circuit comes three months after the Live + Work in Maine Open at the Falmouth Country Club, which attracted more than 11,000 spectators and raised $135,000 for the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center.

"We have enjoyed collaborating with sponsors, volunteers and other key stakeholders to drive economic, community, charitable and workforce impact via the Korn Ferry Tour," said Brian Corcoran, CEO of Shamrock Sports & Entertainment, the Portland-based sports marketing firm behind the event.

In total over two years, the Falmouth event raised $250,000 for the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital and brought more than $10 million in an estimated economic impact to Maine, according to Shamrock.

Corcoran said that changes in the financial structure of professional golf led to the PGA's decision, noting that the Korn Ferry Tour will continue with minimum prize purses of $1 million per tournament and a maximum 25-event schedule, with multiple tournaments being dropped from the schedule.

Shamrock teamed up with Live + Work in Maine, a private-sector initiative led by Executive Director Nate Wildes, to host the tournament in Falmouth. This year's edition was presented by Bangor Savings Bank and MaineHealth, with founding partners Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and WEX Inc. as additional sponsors.

'Stay tuned and buckle up'

This isn't the first unexpected headwind for Shamrock, which was unable to host golf tournament in 2020 because of the pandemic.

In 2021 when the first Live + Work in Maine Open was held in Falmouth, the event was the state's first professional golf tournament in nearly three decades.

Brian Corcoran portrait
File photo / Jim Neuger
Brian Corcoran, CEO and founder of Shamrock Sports & Entertainment in Portland.

"While the days of the Korn Ferry tour are behind us, "Corcoran said, we have a lot to be proud of." Looking ahead, he said that Shamrock will open new doors and via a new event in the works, the Drive Fore Kids Celebrity Challenge.

Shamrock Sports said the event would include globally known celebrities and promised to share further details in late October.

"No knock on the Korn Ferry tour," Corcoran told Mainebiz, "but the Drive For Kids Celebrity Challenge has potential to be the largest single event in the state to drive huge impact. Stay tuned, and buckle up."

Corcoran was honored on the Mainebiz Next List in 2016. 

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