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SBD/February 14, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
LPGA's Mike Whan Discusses The Tour Under His Leadership, Growing The Sport
Published February 14, 2013
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS: Sirak notes, "Missing when the LPGA released its 2013 schedule last month was the Sybase Match Play Championship, contested the last three years at Hamilton Farm GC in Bedminster, N.J." Reading "between the lines, the tour was probably not all that pleased that the sponsor waited until so late in the game to make decisions about this year's event." Whan said, "When Sybase was purchased by SAP, we believed they would pick up the sponsorship extension that was available to them. Unfortunately, we were informed in late 2012 that SAP would not title sponsor the event, at which point it was simply too late to find a new sponsor for the 2013 tournament." Tournament Dir Harry Hardy of Octagon said that his company "would also work to find a new sponsor for an event" in the N.Y/N.J. area. Whether the Match Play Championship "comes back is a more dubious call" (GOLF WORLD, 2/18 issue).
YOUTH MOVEMENT: GOLF WEEK's Beth Ann Baldry writes it would be "incredible to think that Whan could do anything other than green-light" a Lydia Ko petition to join the tour in '14. Baldry notes for the 17-year-old Ko to play on the LPGA Tour next year, she would "need to petition the tour to compete in LPGA Q-School at 16." If she were to "finish the equivalent of top 40 on the LPGA money list in official tournaments with cuts, Ko could" ask Whan to allow her "to skip Q-School." She also could "win another LPGA event and petition to join the tour, skipping Q-School, much like Lexi Thompson in 2011." Ko's schedule this year is "enviable to many pros." It is a "professional's schedule without the professional's paycheck" (GOLF WEEK, 2/15 issue).
IN ANY LANGUAGE: The LPGA yesterday announced a multiyear extension with Indianapolis-based Language Training Center as the official language provider of the Tour. LTC as part of the agreement will continue to host cross-cultural seminars, provide translation and interpretation services, and offer language training programs to LPGA players and staff. The LPGA first partnered with LTC in '10 (LTC).