Michael Whan. The name seemingly appeared out of thin air Tuesday evening when word came down confirming his appointment as the LPGA’s eighth commissioner.
The Tournament Owners Association was in the midst of its annual meeting in San Diego when its members got the memo.
“We read the release, and everyone immediately goes to Google,” TOA president Gail Graham said. Over the course of a three-month search, Graham, like many others, hadn’t heard so much as a whisper of Whan’s name.
Even Wednesday morning, when LPGA.com released a statement, there was no picture to accompany the announcement.
Whan recognizes that his surname can be a point of confusion. He’s actually of Scottish descent – originally MacWhan.
“We lost the ‘Mac’ somewhere along the line,” he said.
TOA members won’t have to wait long to get to know the new commish. Whan, whose strength seems to be in marketing, is expected to join tournament owners in California on Thursday for the last day of meetings.
Graham was impressed by the gesture and said she isn’t concerned about Whan’s apparent lack of tournament-sponsorship experience.
“It’s not rocket science,” she said. “The Rubik’s Cube that is figuring out the schedule will be intriguing to him. Hopefully he’s a good problem-solver.”