News & ToursSeptember 1, 2009

LPGA: Cleaning up after Bivens

Suddenly the future looks somewhat better for the LPGA, which had been hemorrhaging tournaments before commissioner Carolyn Bivens resigned under pressure on July 13.

Last week, Wegmans announced that it would continue its long-running sponsorship of an event in Rochester, N.Y., breaking an impasse it had reached in negotiations during Bivens' tenure. The Wegmans will continue for at least another three years.

Then on Tuesday, Ron Green Jr. of the Charlotte Observer reported that Tega Cay, N.C., south of Charlotte is close to reaching agreement on bringing a tournament there probably starting in October of 2010.

And Sports Business Journal reported last week that officials from the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic have resumed negotiations with the LPGA in an effort to keep that tournament going.

Credit the group of LPGA players that sent a letter in mid-season asking for -- and ultimately leading to -- Biven's resignation, and in the process probably enabling the tour to avert a looming disaster.

-- John Strege

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