LPGA boss: Men and women may soon compete together on Tour

Talks between men’s and women’s tours in US and Europe 

LPGA boss: Men and women may soon compete together on Tour
LPGA boss: Men and women may soon compete together on Tour


LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan has revealed how the prospect of leading men and women competing in the same event is edging closer.

The referenced media source is missing and needs to be re-embedded.

According to Whan, exchanges between PGA Tour, European Tour and LPGA Tour officials over the concept of a mixed event have been generating pace in recent months. 

Whan, who has been the LPGA Tour commissioner since 2010, has been in detailed discussions with Jay Monahan of the PGA Tour and the European Tour’s Keith Pelley as golf seeks to boost interest levels with mixed events. Options including full and smaller field events, plus mixed pairs competitions, are being assessed.

LPGA boss: Men and women may soon compete together on Tour

“Jay and I have talked about it, trying to figure out an event where the PGA and the LPGA play together, and I have had the same conversations with Keith,” said Whan.

“Not only is it just a good thing to do – unique and fun – but, if you ask our young superstars, they are excited about it. If you ask our fans, they want to see it.

“Whenever you talk to the media they say, ‘If that event happens, I’m going.’ So there is nothing wrong with a sport saying something that intrigues our fans, our athletes and our media is worth figuring out.

“We have a subcommittee alongside the PGA Tour that is working on different format ideas. The challenge for both of us is we have full schedules and there are logistical issues, but both sides are committed to something to give fans and players something exciting to lift attention.”


Whan has also told how he sees no reason why the ladies can't one day earn the same as the men, given the LPGA Tour's current success story.

Currently on the LPGA Tour, prize funds exceed $68m from 32 events, an increase of $5.8m in 2016, while the Tour's revenue has increased by 88% in the past six years.

Albeit the men are playing for a lucrative prize pot of $10 million in the FedEx Cup this week, Angela Stanford’s first major win at the Evian Championship on Sunday did bank her a cool $577,500 (£440,000). 

"I absolutely can see that," said Whan, on the ladies earning the same figures as the men one day. 

"I don’t know if I’ll see it in my time as commissioner but I think it will happen in a couple of phases. I think there will be a tournament that, economics aside, will say this is a statement it wants to make. Someone will want to be the first one to do that, then once one or two do it, you’ll see a few more follow."

LPGA boss: Men and women may soon compete together on Tour

Unfortunately the same can't be said on the Ladies European Tour right now, beset by bad publicity and a lack of sponsorship and events. Whan wanted a crack at the whip, but he was rebuffed. 

"It wasn’t because I wasn’t being selfish – I was," he sadi. "I want to make sure that great European Tour players not only have a place to play but also have a place to aspire to. Without a lot of Europeans on our tour the LPGA is not as strong.

"I think the idea of a) us running it, it becoming a LPGA Tour and b) their top players having a direct pass to the LPGA ... they didn’t really love either of those things. I don’t necessarily understand those concerns but I respect them."


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