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Restrictions pit LPGA vs. media

The AP made progress Thursday in talks with the LPGA about new restrictions on media credentials, but was unable to resolve the dispute in time to cover the start of the Fields Open in Hawaii.

Without an agreement, the AP did not have a reporter or photographer on the course when play began Thursday in Kapolei. The news agency planned to supply a list of scores at the end of the round.

Honolulu's dailies, both tournament sponsors, withdrew from coverage after their reporters and photographers refused to sign the LPGA's coverage agreement.

The AP said the proposed rules would limit its use of stories and photos after a tournament ended and give the LPGA broad rights to use the material for its purposes at no charge.

The presidents of the AP Managing Editors, AP Sports Editors and AP Photo Managers associations - representing the 1,800 newspapers who are members of the AP in the United States and the Canadian Press in Canada - sent a letter to the LPGA in support of the AP's decision.

AP assistant general counsel Dave Tomlin has said that the AP had no objections to limits on commercial use of its coverage, which all leagues forbid, but would not consent to editorial limits.

In a statement Thursday, the LPGA said it "intends for its credentials to provide media companies with the same rights to use news and information obtained at LPGA events that are available from other mainstream sports leagues and governing bodies, such as the NBA, PGA Tour, Major League Baseball and NCAA."