LPGA Says Goodbye To China
Good news for baseball fans on the LPGA tour: They pretty much have all of October to watch the playoffs and World Series. The tour announced Monday its stop in China, which made its debut last year, will not be held Oct. 23-25 as planned. "We are now focusing our efforts on ensuring the event's return to China in 2010 and 2011," the LPGA said in a release about the IMG-managed tournament.
Earlier this year, the tour announced that the Bell Micro LPGA Classic was being pushed back from October until next spring. And in July, the Kapalua LPGA Classic, which was also in its second year, folded. That means the tour has no events from the end of the Navistar LPGA Classic on Oct. 4 until the start of the Hana Bank KOLON Championship Oct. 30.
Right now, the LPGA is in a stretch of three consecutive weeks in which there are no tournaments. Following the Ricoh Women's British Open there are two off weeks and then the Solheim Cup -- which has only 24 players -- before the next full-field event, the Safeway Classic near Portland, Ore.
The LPGA, which stared this season with a 31 tournaments plus the Solheim Cup on its schedule, has 14 tournaments committed for next year -- two of which do not have sponsors -- and are in discussions with about 15 others. Acting commissioner Marsha Evans, who replaced Carolyn Bivens July 13, has made it clear she is not just filling the office until a new commissioner is found but is actively trying to save events for 2010. SpencerStuart, the headhunting firm conducting the search, said one task for the new commissioner is to "establish a world-class line-up of tournaments." That task just got one event more difficult.
-- Ron Sirak