13 July 2009

    LPGA: Bivens out, Evans in

    LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens' tenure is over - the controversial chief of the female game stepped down under tremendous pressure from the top stars of the sport. Marsha Evans is the somewhat unlikely replacement - a 61-year old retired Navy rear admiral - can she steady the ship? Sorry.

    Recently retired LPGA legend Annika Sorenstam also gets a new job as advisor to the tour's board of directors. She had this to say about the appointment:

    “Obviously, I will do everything possible to ensure that the LPGA remains the pre-eminent women’s sports association in the world,” Sorenstam said in a release from the tour. “I’m committed to getting up to speed quickly on the challenges facing the board right now, and will assist the LPGA in a number of ways both immediately and long-term.”

    Bivens was effectively forced to resign after a key meeting by the leading lights on LPGA who were in agreement that her short reign had to end if the game was to gain exposure and expand.

    The main reason for the pressure from players was the worrying loss of tournaments recently, with the cancellation of the 2009 Kapalua LPGA Classic. That wasn't the first tournament to be cancelled but it certainly was the tipping point. It's believed top stars, such as Natalie Gulbis and Paula Creamer, wanted to stop the rot they believe Bivens couldn't

    In a press release given by the LPGA, Bivens stated she was happy with her performance as commissioner.

    "My job was to be a change agent, to help move the LPGA into the strongest possible position to ensure its future. Those changes were only possible because the members are dynamic women who provide great value to our sponsors and tournaments," she said. "It is time to turn this organization over to someone who can build on the solid foundation we’ve established. I wish the LPGA and its members nothing but fairways and greens as it enters its 60th year.”

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