Why Carolyn Bivens should not resign as LPGA Commissioner

mulligan, 08 July 2009, Comments Off on Why Carolyn Bivens should not resign as LPGA Commissioner
Categories: Uncategorized

So far, Suzann Petersen is the only LPGA who admitted asking for the resignation of LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens. The problem is that the LPGA is losing sponsors–7 tourneys shut down, and reportedly 6 without sponsors.

This is a terrible state of affairs, no doubt caused or exacerbated by the bad economy. But firing LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens is not the solution. The Commissioner is not a miracle worker. The LPGA is in a sad state of affairs in large part for one simple reason: Annika Sorenstam’s retirement has left the LPGA without a star player with crossover appeal, and none of the up-and-coming U.S. players has lived up to her potential. (The PGA tour has lost sponsors, but it has Tiger Woods to help bring in others.)

Just look at the list of this year’s winners on tour:

Catriona Matthew

Angela Stanford

Lorena Ochoa

Jiyai Shin

Pat Hurst

Karrie Webb

Brittany Lincicome

Lorena Ochoa

Cristie Kerr

Ji Young Oh

Yani Tseng

In-Kyung Kim

Anna Nordqvist

Jiyai Shin

Eunjung Yi

These are all respectable and talented golfers, but pick just 1 player who can be identified by the average member of the U.S. public as a household name like Annika Sorenstam or even Nancy Lopez. Sorry, there is none. And the best PR firm in the country could not make these players the next Annika. The big names that the LPGA needs to win — Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Natalie Gulbis, Michelle Wie — are not winning. That’s not Carolyn Bivens’s fault. But it is the LPGA’s real problem.

: Carolyn Bivens resigned yesterday (or is to resign this weekend). Can you say “fall guy”? No commissioner in the world can sell the LPGA to prospective sponsors with the above list of winners in 2009. Seriously, most people in the U.S. probably would recognize only 2 names on that list. In the irony of ironies, Golf Digest reports the following list of players who called for Bivens’ resignation, only 2 of whom have even won a tournament this year:

Paula Creamer
Morgan Pressel
Lorena Ochoa
Cristie Kerr
Se Ri Pak
Suzann Pettersen
Natalie Gulbis


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