LPGA, European Tour in process of helping save LET

LPGA, European Tour in process of helping save LET

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LPGA, European Tour in process of helping save LET

News regarding the Ladies European Tour has ranged from troubling to dire in 2017, but it appears there’s finally an avenue of hope.

Per reports from Golf Channel and Global Golf Post – both of which spoke to LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan – the LPGA and European Tour have already started talks to help out the ailing LET.

“I have talked to (European Tour CEO) Keith (Pelley), and we both agreed that a bunch of different versions of how we could help as second or third parties is not helpful to anybody,” Whan told Golf Channel. “So, we are working together, Keith and I, to provide a suggestion as to what we think we could do together. We are trying to create one vision.”

That vision is certainly one that hopes to be a vast improvement on the current state.

The LET has experienced a disastrous 2017, to put it nicely, as the circuit has lost seven events on this year’s schedule as well as a crucial sponsor in ISPS Handa.

That departure appeared to ultimately cost Ivan Khodabakhsh his job, as it was announced earlier this month that the LET’s former chief executive had left his position.

The LET has overall shrunk from 28 tournaments in 2008 to just 15 in 2017. Along the way there was a report that the LET lost almost $1.5 million in 2014 and was on the brink of collapse (a story the tour deemed “highly inaccurate”).

But now there’s a preliminary plan in place for a lifeboat.

Per Golf Channel, the LPGA and LET came together formally for the first time three weeks ago at the Aberdeen Asset Scottish Ladies Open. Whan and the LPGA staff said they would have a plan to present to the LET’s board members before 2017 is out.

The LPGA’s commish is optimistic with what he’s heard so far.

“I was enthusiastic about our first chat,” Whan said. “There was clearly an interest from them in wanting us to tell them more.”

The European Tour’s role here isn’t clear yet, but Whan emphasized that Pelley and Co. are indeed planning to work together on this.

As for the LPGA’s concern here, the world’s premier circuit for professional women’s golf is overall a U.S.-based tour but does find itself abroad a good deal. Several European golfers in recent years have also made the LPGA a full-time or partial home for their playing schedules.

But Whan isn’t afraid of competition here, rather the opposite. The LPGA and LET share ownership of the Solheim Cup and also co-sanction the Ricoh Women’s British Open, the Evian Championship and the Ladies Scottish Open

In addition to that, the LPGA commish feels the presence of other strong playing tours around the world is essential to the LPGA.

“Our tour only works if we have super-strong regional tours,” Whan told Global Golf Post. “Some girls like to stay at home and hone their skills before coming to the LPGA – and others just want to stay at home because that is where they want to be.”

Will this partnership work out? Only time will tell, but it’s no doubt a very good sign: The LET needs all the help it can get.

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