The LPGA and the Pressel decision is an exercise from Business 101
Morgan Pressel has wisely filed for re-consideration of her application for LPGA Tour membership before she reaches the currently-legislated age of 18. Former commissioner Ty Votaw bent the rules slightly to allow her to participate in the LPGA Q-school, but ruled that if she were to qualify for Tour membership, she could not accept that membership until her 18th birthday in May. The very talented Pressel was the top-ranked amateur in the United States entering the tournament and easily qualified for her card despite not playing up to her usual standards.
So now, the application is sitting in front of new LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens. This is her one chance to show what kind of businesswoman she really is. And it says here that she will over-rule Votaw’s decision, drop the age limit entirely and thereby allow Pressel full membership immediately. She may say the reason for rule change is that Pressel is the reigning US Amateur champion and besides being imminently qualified to play, she also has strong family support. She may say that the limit is arbitrary and has no legal basis (you only have to look at tennis to see that). But make no mistake, the real reason is to take advantage of this golden opportunity to bring the LPGA into full financial bloom.
Pressel herself will not accomplish this goal. Oh, she will be very helpful, much like Paula Creamer was in 2005. Everybody loves the story of the young prodigies playing against and beating the best (female) players in the world. But the real goose bringing the golden egg is Michelle Wie. Bivens already understands that her marketing potential is through the roof and to capitalize on this chance for visibility the LPGA needs to help pave the way to get her in as many events as possible. Wie will easily qualify for full Tour membership in 2007 without even going through the next Q-school. She will win enough money in her limited appearances by sponsor exemptions to do so. Then, to get even more appearances out of Wie, Bivens will change the LPGA Tour’s silly rule that limits its players to 2 non-LPGA appearances.
The time to strike is while the iron is hot. The LPGA Tour currently has the most dominant player in its history winning in half of her appearances. And it has not one but THREE legitimate teenage challengers vying with Queen Annika – and in a catfight of a subplot, with each other - for the throne. Who wouldn’t buy a ticket to see that?
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Wie will easily qualify for full Tour membership in 2007 without even going through the next Q-school. She will win enough money in her limited appearances by sponsor exemptions to do so.
Well said, but when she does that, some people are going to claim that she wouldn't have been good enough to go through q-school and it's like a special exemption for her.
Then, to get even more appearances out of Wie, Bivens will change the LPGA Tour’s silly rule that limits its players to 2 non-LPGA appearances.
Indeed silly is the word for that rule. If they want Wie, they need to change it, and I concur with your optimism that they will have the sense to change it.
And it has not one but THREE legitimate teenage challengers vying with Queen Annika – and in a catfight of a subplot, with each other - for the throne. Who wouldn’t buy a ticket to see that?
You're really on a roll here Shanks! Thumbs up from golf fans. There is plenty to look forward to.
Q. This will be members, in terms of the points, Tour members only, I guess the first year and a half, or however long it's going to take? Wie and Pressel, until they are fully certified, they would not be eligible to earn points. What was the thinking of that?
CAROLYN BIVENS: No, they wouldn't. This is LPGA, its members who are supporting our tournaments and our sponsors. So, no, there really wasn't any consideration.
However, setting a minimum number of tournaments that lpga members must play in (quote Shanks), is the way to go.
PGA members must play at least 15 events.
European pga members must play at least 11 events.
If the lpga put a minimum of 15 events, I think Wie would join when she is finished school and still be able to play enough mens events for her liking.
If Bivens could get Wie to commit to 15 tournaments a year, she'd willingly trade an entire year of appearances from Miyazato. It's not even close.
Q-school would be interesting with Wie in it, and it would certainly get alot more attention.
But I think we are all agreed, that it is very unlikely to happen.
Anyway, I hope you're right. The LPGA needs to loosen up and stop being so clubby.
Ai Miyazato is just 5 foot 2 inches.
She can hit the ball about 250 yards, which is very good for her height, but not near enough to be competitive on the mens game.
Had she played her best stuff, her score could have been better no doubt, but I think making a cut is asking a bit much of her.
Ai Miyazato is 20 years old. She won 5 times on the japanese womens tour.
She didn't do so well in the lpga events she entered, although she made cuts, she was well down the field. That was why it was very surprising that she thrashed the field, including Pressel at the q-school tournament.
Ai will probably be one of the top players on the lpga in the next few years, but I don't think she will challenge the men again, unless something strange happens in her body to give her about 30 or 40 yards more power to her swing. Although she may want to do another mens tournament, just to give a better account of herself.
I think she will win on her rookie lpga season. About 25 tournament to do it in!!!!
To explain making the cut, here is an example:
For the Japanese event that Ai was in, there were 120 players in the event. After 2 days, 60 players make the cut. That means they are allowed to play in the final two days of the tournament.
The other 60 players "miss the cut", meaning they don't get to play the final two days of the tournament.
I tried to avoid saying negative things about other players, hence I don't blog much, especially on sites not directly dealing with Wie and without much content. But since oher players feel free to comment on her, I will comment on them.
The fact is that most people don't care about LPGA. It is slow, boring and mediocre. Bivens can tout all she wants about exciting new players (Creamer, Miyazato, Pressel, Lang etc), but the fact is people don't care about these players. The only exception is Wie. Why else would she be losing network coverage on Michelob, a Major.
Shanks suggests that Bivens should make an exception for Pressel, I respectfully differ. Pressel to me is a dime a dozen. just one of many players who come along every year. There is nothing special in her game or personality. She talks way better than she plays. The only reason she got any attention is bad mouthing other players. She ask "what has Michelle done?" I would ask what has she done. Nothing , except win a women's amateur at 17 when Michelle has won the women's national at 13. She lost US open because of "miracle shot." She placed second with Lang, off 2 shots. There was no way even without that birdie that she could have won outright. Period. When I think of Pressel, the word "mediocrity" comes first and "poser' second. Just like her Dad, she may have one or two decent years, then simply fade away like Kelli Kuhne. Bivens would be stupid to overhaul age requirement for someone as overhyped and average as Pressel.
If she were to increase interest in LPGA, I would argue somewhat facetiously that instead of changing age requirement for someone as untalented as Pressel, she assign themes to different tournament. For instance, for a Hawaiian Open, all the cute players wear hoola coustums, and fat and ugly ones wear male coutumes. Out of respect for Annika she can choose either, and Pressel a male coustume just to get her used to being fat as she is getting there, I know I am being distasteful. My apologies to anyone I may have offended. But sadly I find this scheme more effective than overhauling age rewuirement at the moment.
(I think Creamer is the real deal and the future for LPGA. She has the game and the mental toughness. Michelle is an open book)
She finished 2nd at a womens major. This is a very big achievement and proves that she has the game to be a very good lpga player. Also she finished in the top 25 of all the lpga tournaments she entered. This is another big achievement.
Pressel has proved that she has the stuff required, and is well worth an exemption.
Yes you are correct, there is no money for those who don't make the cut.
Pressel has never played in Japan to my knowledge.
Gustafson, Wie and Miyazato are the only three women to play in the Japanese mens tour.
I think Morgan Pressel is being foolish. It is only a few months. She will easily keep her card in any case--but by pressing the issue she will alienate the LPGA traditionalists. She has already alienated progressives who like Michelle Wie. Does she want to be hated by everyone? Waiting a few more months is part of paying her dues. If she is not willing to do that small thing, how does she get off lecturing Michelle Wie on the subject of paying dues.
Wie could take her!
Pressel could be tough, but Gulbis could take them both.
B) Didn't Se Ri Pak make a men's cut this year or last?
C) What is Dean's real name?
D) Who could take whom, Paul or Norman?
Looks like Bivens took your advice on Pressel. You have amazing powers of persuasion.
The only Norman I ever took on was my older brother and he used to win, but I'm bigger than him now.
Pressel has something to thanks Wie for. I wonder if Pressel will be sending Wie a Christmas card.