SBD/June 4, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

LPGA's Mike Whan Says Tour Hopes A Return To Rochester Is In The Future

Whan said Rochester would be on the short list of markets that know how to run events
LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan on Monday during a visit to Rochester said that he "wants nothing more than to somehow find a way back" to the market once the Wegmans LPGA Championship concludes in August, according to Sal Maiorana of the ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE. How "exactly that might happen, or in what form the tour could return, Whan has no idea, but he certainly doesn't want this to be a goodbye." One way that it "could be possible revolves around the LPGA's new affiliation with the PGA of America, and in turn the PGA of America's clear-cut fondness for Oak Hill Country Club." The PGA of America has "routinely made it known that it cherishes its weeks at Oak Hill, and that the famed East Course is always in consideration for its biggest events." So it is "not hard to make the leap that Oak Hill could play a key role in bringing back major championship golf to Rochester." Whan said that he "has not had discussions with the PGA of America, KPMG or Oak Hill, but it's certainly an idea that is interesting." Whan: "Is it possible? Sure. Have we had that conversation? No. The bottom line is if we don't play a regular tour event here in Rochester, Rochester will be on a lot of radars." He added, "Rochester has proven itself as a major market. It's up to Oak Hill if that would be a good fit if the invitation ever came, but there's no doubt Rochester would be on the short list of markets that know how to do it right" (ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 6/3). GOLF WORLD's Bill Fields notes Whan "understands changing the name" of the LPGA Championship "was a jolt." But Whan "feels it is for the greater good." In aligning with PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua and KPMG, Whan has "spearheaded the biggest development under his watch" (GOLF WORLD, 6/9 issue).

AMERICAN INFLUENCE: In Baltimore, Don Markus noted Stacy Lewis' victory Sunday at the ShopRite LPGA Classic was the "fourth straight and sixth in seven events by an American player, the best streak for the United States on its home tour since Americans won five times in six events" in '07. LPGA Chief Communications Officer Kraig Kann said that TV ratings for events have increased by 20%, "including six straight events 'that were double digits better than they were a year ago.'" But Markus noted the "resurgence of Lewis and others -- including former teenage phenom Michelle Wie, now back in the Top 10 -- has helped create a buzz about women's golf that was missing the past few years." Kann said, "Does it help that the No. 1 player in the world is an American? There's no question that it's a positive for a tour that is based in the United States. Does it help that Americans have won four tournaments in a row? Absolutely, it helps." Still, because the LPGA is branding itself as a "global tour" with 33 events in 14 countries, Kann does not believe the LPGA is "reliant only upon the Americans playing well for us to have success" (Baltimore SUN, 6/3).
Return to top
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug