Mike Whan: LPGA Commissioner to step down in 2021

LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan will step down in 2021 after completing 11 years in the post.

Whan, who played a pivotal role in the Ladies European Tour merging with the LPGA in November 2019, announced the surprise decision on Wednesday.

The longest-serving commissioner in tour history said in a letter he reflected on his tenure with “enormous pride and satisfaction”.

“I simply wouldn’t leave the LPGA if I thought the future was uncertain or not trending straight up,” he wrote.

“In fact, even after the challenges we faced in 2020, the LPGA has NEVER been more financially secure, deeper in leadership talent, or more anchored by passionate, diverse sponsors from all around the world.

“The LPGA is poised for even greater heights, and as such, I’m excited to hand the baton to the next leader and become their biggest supporter.”

Whan has led the LPGA through a series of financial challenges, most recently the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The LPGA recently announced an ambitious schedule for this year, a 34-event slate that features new tournaments, new sponsors and a record $76.45m in prize money.

LPGA Board Chair Diane Gulyas described Whan as “a transformational leader of the LPGA”.

She added: “Mike’s leadership legacy will be felt for years: in the LPGA’s financial strength and value proposition; in its global reach; in the breadth of programs and services it now offers for women and girls in golf; and in the diversity and quality of companies wanting to partner with the LPGA.”

No firm date has been set for Whan’s departure, however, the LPGA said the announcement marks the start of a succession process.

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