Carolyn Bivens: We hardly Knew You
I have not read very much on this issue, but when a group of players stages a planned publicity event with a letter of no confidence at the core, I certainly have much interest in the resolution.
To put it into perspective, there has not been such an ouster in the history of the PGA Tour. Joseph Dey served as commissioner for five years and was replaced by former tour player Deanne Beman. Relations between Beman and the players were not always amicable, but a CEO does not necessarily answer to all constituents on all issues. Beman moved the tour in a certain direction and the players benefited. When Tim Finchem took over in 1994 (Beman had reigned for twenty years), into his lap was dropped the phenomenon that is Tiger Woods. Around this savior (lower-case “s"), the modern megabucks tour was built. That it happened during an economic upswing was kinda beneficial.
Carolyn Bivens came to the LPGA tour from the outside. Dey was a former USGA president and, by all accounts, not a great PGA tour businessman. Beman came to the job from the PGA tour and Finchem came to the tour from Beman’s office. The apparent successor to Finchem, former LPGA commissioner Ty Votaw, moved to the PGA Tour three or four years ago.
The LPGA tour cannot currently benefit from the economic downturn in the USA, but it can stay the course. If Bivens is out as commissioner, her replacement must act quickly to re-establish ties with small- and mid-town events and make them economically sturdy. Places like Corning, Toledo, and others deserve a place on the tour. Bivens was aping the movements of the PGA Tour (a tour that eliminated smaller venue events when monster sponsors did not step forward) and it did not succeed.
There can only be one hugely successful golf tour and the PGA Tour locked that barn door long ago. The LPGA Tour needs to step toward a different direction. With physically diverse and attractive young talent of a multinational heritage, the tour is poised to represent the world’s diverse population better than the PGA Tour has to date. Let’s see what the next commissioner achieves.
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You know something that we don't... please consider this an invitation to tell us a bit more about which course was snubbed so that Rich Harvest Farms could host that soon-to-be- fabled Solheim Cup of 2013.
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