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Players call for LPGA boss to resign

Top LPGA players have lost confidence in the Tour’s leadership and have called for the resignation of commissioner Carolyn Bivens, according to a media report on Monday.

Mexican world number one Lorena Ochoa and American Paula Creamer were among a group of players who met last week to express concern over the health of the LPGA in the face of the global economic downturn, Golfweek magazine reported on Monday.

Following that meeting, which took place during the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, a letter was sent to the LPGA’s board of directors urging Bivens to step down and requesting that new leadership be installed.

According to Golfweek, up to 15 LPGA players attended the meeting in Toledo, Ohio but the magazine did not report how many of those signed the letter calling for Bivens to resign.

The LPGA refused to be drawn on the report.

“This week we are focused on the U.S. Women’s Open and it’s not an appropriate time to discuss internal LPGA matters,” LPGA Chief Communications Officer David Higdon said in an email to Reuters.

“We all care deeply about the Tour and are working hard for its long-term success.”

South Korean Jang Jeong echoed the concerns of many of her fellow professionals over a U.S. women’s circuit which has lost seven tournaments since 2007, including all three in Hawaii.

“In the beginning of the year, I was like: ‘Whatever’,” Jang told Golfweek. “Now, I’m really worried about it.”

Australian Katherine Hull told Golfweek that tensions among the players were “mounting more every week”.

“We’re getting to the point where we don’t know who to believe, which is hard,” she added.

“When tournaments that have been very loyal to us start withdrawing, that’s really a red flag to me.”

From next year, the LPGA is taking ownership of the LPGA Championship, the second major of the season which will have to find a new venue.

“I am concerned,” world number four Paula Creamer told reporters covering last month’s LPGA Championship.

“I’m 22 years old, this is my fifth year on tour and we don’t know where one of our majors is going to be. It’s a scary thought.”

Bivens, who replaced Ty Votaw as LPGA commissioner in September 2005, has two years left on her contract.


July 7, 2009

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