x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Calls for top boss to step down

Leading members of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) have lost confidence in the Tour's leadership.

Leading members of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) have lost confidence in the Tour's leadership and have called for the resignation of commissioner Carolyn Bivens, it has been claimed. The Mexican world No 1 Lorena Ochoa and American Paula Creamer were among a group of players who met last week to express concern over the health of the LPGA in the face of the global economic downturn, acccording to Golfweek magazine.

Following that meeting, which took place during the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, a letter was sent to the LPGA's board of directors urging Bivens to step down and requesting that new leadership be installed. Reportedly up to 15 LPGA players attended the meeting in Toledo, Ohio. The South Korean Jeong Jang echoed the concerns of many of her fellow professionals over a women's circuit which has lost seven tournaments since 2007, including all three in Hawaii.

"In the beginning of the year, I was like: 'Whatever'," Jang said. "Now, I'm really worried" Katherine Hull said tensions among the players were "mounting more every week". "We're getting to the point where we don't know who to believe, which is hard," the Australian added. "When tournaments that have been very loyal to us start withdrawing, that's really a red flag to me." From next year, the LPGA is taking ownership of the LPGA Championship, the second major of the season which will have to find a new venue.

"I am concerned," the world No 4 Paula Creamer said last month. "I'm 22, this is my fifth year on tour and we don't know where one of our majors is going to be. It's a scary thought." Bivens, who replaced Ty Votaw as LPGA commissioner in September 2005, has two years left on her contract. * Reuters