Mike Whan takes subtle pop at PGA Tour

2016 08 Mike Whan
• LPGA commissioner makes canny dig at PGA Tour
• Discusses scheduling of events during the Olympics
• "That didn't seem like it was going to play for us"


Mike Whan, the commissioner of the LPGA, has taken what appears to be a thinly-veined dig at the PGA Tour over scheduling of tournaments during the Olympics.

PGA Tour officials have come in for criticism for staging an event, the John Deere Classic, in the week opposite golf’s return to the Games. As top golf writer John Huggan noted, the notion of hosting a tournament in the same week looked to be at odds with the tour's 'support' of making golf an Olympic sport again.

It played out that way on TV, too, with viewership numbers for the John Deere down 67% on the previous year.


John Deere Classic - Round One

By contrast, the LPGA has no event taking place this week during the women's golf event. In fact, there has been no competitive LPGA action since the RICOH Women's British Open concluded on July 31.

That, according to Mike Whan, was a very deliberate move on the part of his organisation.
"I didn't want to compete with the Olympics; I wanted to put the light on the Olympics" - Mike Whan

"Other sports take a break and say, 'This is what we’re looking at'," he told the Golf Channel. "I didn’t want to compete with the Olympics; I wanted to put the light on the Olympics.”

Whan added that he had felt uneasy about potentially, in effect, penalising some of his players for competing in the Olympics.
"That didn't seem like it was going to play for us" - Mike Whan

“I didn’t feel comfortable having 40 players play in the Olympics and then find that they’re falling behind on the schedule,” he said. "I have a difficult time looking at somebody who is 25th on the money list and saying, ‘Great job at the Olympics but now you’re 29th on the money list. That didn’t seem like it was going to play for us."

The next LPGA tournament is scheduled for next week: the Canadian Women's Open.

Mike Whan's Olympic take: Your Thoughts

Do you agree with LPGA commissioner Mike Whan that the PGA Tour should not have staged a tournament opposite the Olympics? What are your feelings on the matter? Leave your thoughts in our 'Comments' section below.

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