The Ladies European Tour has ‘strongly rejected’ a report that said the tour was ‘on the brink of collapse' after a fifth event was cancelled this season.
The Ladies European Masters, scheduled to take place in Germany in September with a prize fund of €500,000, became the latest event to be cancelled following the Turkish Ladies Open, Czech Open, Buick Championship and another event due to be held in Italy.
Players were notified of the cancellation via an email from LET director and player president Helen Alfredsson, leading one unnamed player to reveal its content to The Times despite being urged to keep the news confidential.
It read: “Even though you will all feel sad, disappointed, upset, furious, angry, and I must say rightfully so, but I ask you PLEASE KEEP IT INSIDE THE ROPES!
“It is tough enough, but just all try to be a team at this point and look professional. We won’t gain anything by using social media to vent the frustration, I BEG YOU!”
In response to the article, where the player revealed her fears of the tour’s financial collapse and her struggles to make a living, the Ladies European Tour issued the following statement. “The LET strongly rejects the recent negative speculation in the press about its future.
The Tour has made significant investments over the last few years to raise its brand profile and television footprint which has already led to the introduction of a number of new tournament.
“As with any international organisation, the LET is always subject to political and commercial disruption around the world and it deeply regrets that a number of unrelated events have led to tournaments in the first half of this year’s schedule not coming to fruition as planned.
“We fully understand the frustrations that our members have with the tournament cancellations and are doing everything we can to improve the situation.
“Nonetheless, the remainder of this year’s schedule remains strong and we are looking forward to the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open - our first fully co-sanctioned event with the LPGA Tour - in July, not to mention what promises to be the biggest Solheim Cup in its history in Des Moines, Iowa, the following month.”
Only four non-major events have taken place on the LET so far in 2017, which compares to 15 non-majors on the LPGA Tour. Current European No.1 Klara Spilkova has earned €69,885 while So Yeon Ryu has pocketed $1.2m.