SBD/Issue 48/Leagues & Governing Bodies

LPGA Hopes Recent Events Are A Sign Of Brighter Days Ahead

Things Looking Up For LPGA Since Acting
Commissioner Marty Evans Took Reins Of Tour
The LPGA today unveiled the tour's official '10 schedule, which includes 24 events in 10 different countries. The biggest note is that Wegmans will be the presenting sponsor of the '10 LPGA Championship, which will take place in Pittsford, New York, the site of the old Wegmans LPGA (LPGA). USA TODAY's Steve DiMeglio reports things are "looking up for the tour" four months after LPGA Acting Commissioner Marty Evans was named to the position "following a players revolt that ousted Carolyn Bivens." The 24 tournaments next year is up from nine that were "under contract for the 2010 season" when Bivens was ousted in July. Also, "top draw" Michelle Wie on Sunday won her first pro tournament and ShopRite on Monday announced that the ShopRite LPGA Classic "would be back next year after a three-year absence." Evans: "I will say unequivocally we have regained momentum and we're going in the right direction. ... These are exciting times, especially when things looked so bleak earlier this year. We had targeted between 22 and 24 tournaments for the 2010 season, and that's what we will have." DiMeglio notes "all 120 players in this week's Tour Championship were told of the 2010 schedule in a players meeting Tuesday night with Whan, who met with the membership for the first time." Golfer Cristie Kerr said prior to the unveiling of the schedule, "If we get 23, 24 [tournaments], that would be a small victory for us. And you have to build from there." Golfer Angela Stanford added, "Everybody feels good about where we are going. The economy obviously hit everybody, but we are feeling better about our future and our new leadership. And I think sponsors and fans will see that" (USA TODAY, 11/18). Wie said, "I feel like the tour is headed in a really great direction. ... There are a lot of great personalities and this is a really great package, so I think we’re just going to do a lot better" ("Golf Central," Golf Channel, 11/17).

BUZZ FACTOR: GOLFCHANNEL.com's Randall Mell wrote Wie's "breakthrough victory" last week was "all the buzz" yesterday at the LPGA Championship in Houston. Wie: "It's been crazy. It's a lot of fun, but my focus is on this week. I want to play even better." Golfer Morgan Pressel said, "Michelle's created a buzz with her win. You knew it was going to happen. I'm glad for her, that she doesn't have that cloud hanging over her head anymore." Golfer Brittany Lincicome: "The better she does, the more exposure we all get. We are all rooting for her. We are obviously trying to promote our tour to be the best we can be. If that's her playing well, or Paula Creamer, we are rooting for them to do well" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 11/17). Meanwhile, author John Feinstein said of Wie, "Let’s also hope that the LPGA, with all its financial troubles, doesn't start pushing her to do too much too soon" ("Golf Central," Golf Channel, 11/17).

LIFE AFTER GOLF: Retired golfer Annika Sorenstam said of her retirement, "I'm lucky in that if I wanted to come back, I could. But I'm very content with where I am today and what I'm doing and all the businesses and family life. So today I have no plans whatsoever, but things change. ... With all this other fun stuff, there's more to life than golf. I'm glad that I've found other things in life and can enjoy a different chapter" (ESPN.com, 11/17).

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