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Howland leaves LET in good shape

The 2001 Biarritz Ladies Classic, the final qualifying tournament of the 2001 season, will bring to an end the three-year tenure of Tim Howland as Chief Executive of the Evian Ladies European Tour.

Mette Hageman, Player Director and Chairman of the Board said: "Over the past three years the Tour has enjoyed significant improvement and whilst the commitment of the World Sport Group, who operate the commercial arm of the Tour, remains in place, Tim has expressed a desire to work more closely with other projects that the company manage.

"We are all extremely grateful for his personal input in the development of the Tour since 1998 and we wish him well for the future."

The Tour will not be making a direct replacement for the joint CEO role, which will be divided between Ian Randell, existing Director of Tour Operations, and Robin Gibson, the new Commercial Director who arrived from TaylorMade-adidas two months ago.

Commenting on the move, Randell said:
"The last three years have seen the Tour take giant strides in playing standards and as a business. We have a very bright future ahead with an excellent mix of emerging talent challenging the established star names.

"We look forward to continuing our excellent partnership with the World Sport Group as we focus on building the tournament schedule for our members."

Gibson added:
"The USA is really showing the way ahead for women's sport with golf, soccer, basketball and tennis all enjoying huge success. Europe always tends to follow on from US trends and the next two to three years will see the Evian Ladies European Tour at the vanguard of this growth".

Howland and the World Sport Group came on board in 1998 when the World Sport Group made a major investment in the Tour, providing much needed funding for its future development.

The fruits of this partnership have been considerable including the addition of eight new events, a significant increase in the prizefund available to the players, the attraction of a major sponsor in mineral water giant, Evian, and realisation of a dream with Europe's amazing victory over the USA in the Solheim Cup 2000.

And this year, the Tour has witnessed the emergence of a new generation of exciting and gifted young players who look to have the golfing world at their feet. In short, the Evian Ladies European Tour is now a vibrant product that will flourish in the coming seasons.

Tim Howland said:
"When I started this role in 1998, The Tour was faced with enormous problems with one leading golf publication even declaring it dead. Today I leave The Tour in an extremely healthy shape, with a team in place that can continue the momentum that has been generated.

"Over the next three months my efforts will be focussed on the hand over to Ian and Robin. After this time, in my role with the World Sport Group, I shall concentrate my efforts on delivering sponsors that the Tour needs to thrive.

"In summary, the team at the Tour have performed brilliantly over the last three years and I know the Tour has an extremely bright future ahead. However despite my proximity to some of the world's best golfers, my golf
remains as poor as ever."

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