Golf tournament receives three-year sponsorship

LAS VEGAS -- A $4.25 million windfall from a new sponsor helped the Las Vegas Invitational PGA tournament become a leader in co-sponsored golf tournament play.

The 18th annual event, to be held Oct. 11 to 15, gained title sponsorship from London-based Invensys Plc, a global electronics, software and systems company.

The Fortune 200 company's products and services range from advanced control systems and networks for automating industrial plants and controlling building environments, to electronic controls and devices for residential and light commercial applications, plus power systems for telecommunications and information technology industries.

Eager to build up its brand name in this country, Invensys almost doubled the 1999 tournament purse.

"Invensys loved the demographics and wanted to be involved," said Judy Gonzales, pro-am coordinator for the Invensys Classic.

Invensys, which has agreed to a three-year sponsorship, will increase the purse to $4.5 million in 2001 and to $5 million in 2002, ensuring participation by the top names in golfing.

Renamed the Invensys Classic at Las Vegas, the tournament expects 432 participants, including 144 tour pros, to compete at the Desert Inn Country Club, the Tournament Players Club at Summerlin and an unannounced third course. The winner, who will compete against defending champion Jim Furyk, will receive $765,000.

The PGA Tour is a membership organization for professional golfers that promotes tournament play while raising significant funds for charity.

The tournament's previous backer, the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, remains a presenting sponsor this year.

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