Titan Wheel to part ways with Pepsi Titan Little People's Golf Championship

Golfers line up for their awards at the Pepsi Titan Little People's Golf Championship 2012.

Titan Wheel is terminating its role as a title sponsor for the annual Pepsi Titan Little People's Golf Championships after next week's Tournament.

â??For 41 years, the Little Peopleâ??s Golf Tournament has benefited young golfers in Quincy as well as around the world. As an international company, Titan is blessed to support events such as Little Peopleâ??s in over 20 communities worldwide. We appreciate what this tournament has meant to our hometown Quincy as well as the general golf community," Paul Reitz, president of Titan International, said in a statement to the media. "Though we are unable to continue as title sponsor, Titan will continue our support of Little Peopleâ??s in other capacities. We are thankful for the hard work the Little Peopleâ??s board and volunteers have put into making this a great event for Quincy and wish them the best in the future.â??

The company's decision to end its 3-year association with the long-running junior event, as well as its timing in going public with the decision to do so, caught the event's founder off guard.

"We talked to Mr. Reitz on Monday, and were told then that Titan was no longer going to be a title sponsor, but we were absolutely shocked today to find out that he had released that to the media without any knowledge to us. We had hoped to sort of keep that quiet, have a low profile for this tournament and not have any negative karma around it," Nan Ryan said.

The 41st annual Pepsi Titan Little People's Golf Championships will take place June 16-18.