Report: Whan to be new LPGA commish

  • Associated Press
  • Tuesday, October 27, 2009 11:34pm
  • SportsSports

NEW YORK — Two golf magazines have reported that Michael Whan has been selected new LPGA Tour commissioner and will be introduced Wednesday morning in New York.

Golfweek magazine obtained a memo from acting commissioner Marty Evans informing players that Whan has “extensive brand management and marketing experience, including two stints in the golf industry with TaylorMade and Wilson.”

Golf Digest also reported on its Web site that Whan, most recently president and CEO of Mission Itech Hockey, was offered the job on Friday and accepted it Monday.

He will replace Carolyn Bivens, who was ousted by the players this summer.

The LPGA Tour said only that an announcement would be at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. Golfweek reported that Evans, a retired rear admiral, would stay on the rest of the year and Whan would start in January.

Evans is in South Korea for an LPGA event. She has tried in the three months since Bivens was forced out to restore relationships with several LPGA sponsors. The tour has lost key tournaments in Corning, N.Y., and Kingsmill, Va.

It hopes to have about 25 tournaments next year, down from 33 events in 2008.

Whan, 44, was never publicly mentioned over the two months as the search committee conducted its interviews. The frontrunner was believed to be USGA chief business officer Pete Bevacqua, especially after WNBA commissioner Donna Orender withdrew her name.

Whan’s previous work included vice president and general manager of TaylorMade Golf from 1996 to 2000. According to Golf Digest, he joined BriteSmile Inc. He most recently was head of Mission Itech Hockey, which makes and markets hockey gear for players on ice skates and roller blades.

The company was acquired last year by Bauer Hockey.

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