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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Good News for the LPGA

Ryan Ballengee over at Waggle Room posted news from Bill Jempty that the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic has renewed the tournament for at least another year. This news comes hot on the heels of Wegman’s announcement of a three-year deal to continue the Wegman’s LPGA.

Ever since “Commissionergate” a few weeks ago, people have been waiting for good news from the LPGA. It looks like it’s finally coming in. Interim Commissioner Marsha Evans, who is a retired Navy Rear Admiral, must feel pretty good right now.

For those of you who don’t know, the LPGA had lost several tournaments from its schedule, with the bulk of the blame being placed on then-Commisioner Carolyn Bivens. In July, faced with the breakdown of more negotiations, several of the top LPGA players got together and drafted a letter voicing their displeasure. Within days Bivens, to her credit, accepted this turn of events gracefully and retired, leaving Evans the tough job of trying to salvage possibly damaged relationships with tournament directors.

In Bivens’s defense, I don’t think she was a bad commissioner at all. She made some mistakes for sure, as anyone with a vision and the determination to carry that vision through is going to do. The real problem was that her aggressive policies needed a healthy economy in order to succeed; when the economy didn’t come through, she had difficulty adjusting her vision to reality. (Having once worked at a company that suffered the same problem―with the same results―I can understand her struggles.) In time I think she’ll be remembered as a pivotal leader who brought about some needed improvements to the LPGA.

For now, Rear Admiral Evans has the spotlight… and while she may only be a temp worker, I suspect she’s going to be remembered very warmly. Way to go, ma’am!

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