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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Why I Like Michael Whan

In case you missed it, Michael Whan (the LPGA commissioner) was on Morning Drive Tuesday morning. GC posted a video of the interview -- it's around 7 minutes long, and I've included it at the end of this post -- but he was on the show much longer than this clip, maybe 40 minutes or so. I wanted to call attention to a few things he said, things that make it clear why I like him..

Michael Whan on Morning Drive

Not included in the interview clip is the Front 9 segment, where Whan and Phil Blackmar each answered 9 questions... and a few of them concerned Michelle Wie and Charlie Rymer. In case you missed it, somehow Michelle managed to challenge Charlie to a rib eating contest when she was there last week. Charlie agreed to it, and there was talk of involving charity somehow.

That eating competition is actually going to happen! GC announced the next day that it was working on it. The contest will be broadcast on Morning Drive, and Beth Daniel has volunteered to be the judge.

What does this have to do with Michael Whan? He was watching that day and he said that, as soon as the show was over, he was already calling around for sponsors! You gotta love that!

Here are a few other thoughts from his appearance:
  • On why so much of the later part of the year is played overseas: “Typically, when the NFL schedule starts it's better for us and TV ratings and for sponsors to move around the world."
  • On whether it was a 'no-brainer' to give Lydia Ko LPGA membership: "It was a no-brainer after she won the Canadian Women's Open a second time."
  • On why they created the Royal Crown rather than adding Asia to the Solheim Cup: "Korea doesn't want to play with Japan. They want to beat Japan, and vice versa."
  • On questions about playing the US Women's Open the week after the men's and the problems it presents (and this is a paraphrase): "We will get more coverage than ever. On Saturday and Sunday of the men's event, we'll have players talking about the women's event on TV... but I'm glad course setup is the USGA's problem."
It's this kind of out-of-the-box thinking -- and honest statements about that thinking -- that makes me like Michael Whan. And I think it's the same way with almost everyone else he meets.

And here's the video clip from GC:

Here's a link to the original clip at GC's website, in case it doesn't embed properly in this post.

The photo came from GC's site also.

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