SBD/9/Leagues Governing Bodies

PGA AND LPGA SET TO TEE-OFF; LPGA'S RITTS BOOSTS "MORE"

          The PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour begin their respective
     seasons today with the PGA Tour's Mercedes Championship in
     Carlsbad, CA, and the LPGA's Chrysler-Plymouth Tournament of
     Champions in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  For the LPGA, Commissioner
     Jim Ritts has called the upcoming season the "'More Tour.'
     As in more tournaments.  More prize money.  More television
     exposure.  More fans.  And, he is hoping, more momentum for
     the future," according to Jeff Babineau of the ORLANDO
     SENTINEL.  Ritts: "There is a buzz about what is going on
     [with the LPGA].  When you talk to corporate sponsors, when
     you talk to people on the telephone, they have a better
     sense of what we're doing."  LPGA prize money has increased
     to $30.2M, "nearly double what it was as recently" as '90. 
     The LPGA has created its own World Wide Web site at
     http://www.lpga.com, markets its own merchandising line and
     created a traveling LPGA Fan Village.  Babineau notes, for
     '97, "priorities" include increasing TV exposure,
     establishing a developmental tour, and "continuing to export
     the LPGA around the world" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/9).  USA
     TODAY's Jeff Blackwell writes the LPGA has signed a multi-
     year, multimillion-dollar deal with Target retail stores to
     be the sponsor of the Fan Village (USA TODAY, 1/9). 

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