LYTHAM ST. ANNES, ENGLAND -- Scratch two names from the list of possible candidates to be the next LPGA commissioner. Acting commissioner Marsha "Marty" Evans, the retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral who took over for Carolyn Bivens on July 13, and Cindy Davis, a former LPGA executive who is currently president of Nike Golf, say they are not seeking the job.
"There was a lot of discussion about my title when I assumed this position," Evans told Golf World on Wednesday at the Ricoh Women's British at Royal Lytham St. Annes, "and it was decided I should be acting commissioner and not interim commissioner because a lot of action needs to be taken while we search for a new commissioner. But I was enjoying my retirement and I think it would be best for me and my family if I go back to being retired when the search is completed."
Davis, meanwhile, said in an e-mail to Golf World: "While I'm flattered that my name has been mentioned, I'm going to remain a strong supporter of women's golf from where I am now. I remain very excited about Nike Golf, our long-term opportunity and being part of this great company. That's where I want to focus my energy."
Another person whose name has been mentioned as a potential candidate, Donna Orender, president of the WNBA, was asked about her interest July 25 at the WNBA All-Star Game.
"I'm 100 percent, 1,000 percent focused on the WNBA right now," Orender said, "I have had no discussions with the LPGA and I am 100 percent focused on what I'm doing right now." There appears to be a lot that can be read between the lines of that response, which fell a few inches short of a complete rejection of the idea.
While the job of LPGA commissioner will come with some serious challenges the new commissioner will also be taking over a talent-rich product with a strong international marketing base. The LPGA should have no trouble attracting other candidates as strong as Evans, Davis and Orender.
-- Ron Sirak