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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The LET and LPGA Make a Deal

It probably comes as no surprise that the LET players approved the LPGA's offer to team up and pool their resources to get the LET back on its feet.

LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan

I'm going to give you links to three of the articles that appeared Tuesday after the LET player meeting. Each article has some slightly different details to add and none of them is terribly long, so you might want to take a look at all three.
We'll be learning more in the coming weeks as more plans become public, but I wanted to bring some quotes from the various articles to your attention.

I'll start with Randall Mell's.

The first quote comes from LET Board Chair Marta Figueras-Dotti:
“At its foundation, this joint venture is about creating opportunities for our members to pursue their passion, and their careers as professional athletes. In just the 60 days since we began working on this joint venture, we have already seen a dramatic impact on our LET Tour schedule – an impact that will be a positive result for virtually all of our LET Members.”
Another comes from Mike Whan, and I suspect it's the one that may mean the most to LET fans:
Though it’s a “50-50 joint venture,” Whan said before leaving for Spain that the LPGA’s stake in the business would have limits.

“All proceeds stay in Europe, can't take any dollars out,” Whan said. “We can put money into the LET, but we can't take money back out, which I asked my board to support. I want to make sure the European Tour players know that this is not some American growth strategy.”
The USA Today article also adds this quote from Whan:
“As I said to our board, I don’t see a boundary or a fence around that statement,” Whan said. “Our founders would have done it if they would have had this ability, so why shouldn’t we?”
Mell also mentions that news of the deal has already brought five new events to the LET for 2020, as well as a new sponsor for their Order of Merit. (The Figueras-Dotti quote clearly refers to this.)

And the Levins article adds this tempting tidbit:
The LET has been struggling with purse size and number of events on its schedule for several years. The partnership with the LPGA will address those issues as well as provide a straighter line of access to the LPGA Tour for high performers. That plan is not yet in place, but LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said that the plan would be for top players from the LET to get spots in Q-Series, the final stage of LPGA Q-School.
This certainly sounds like the kind of partnership the LET needs to get back on its feet. And with Whan's new long term LPGA contract already inked, the future is looking up for women's golf in Europe.

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