In an exclusive interview with The Post’s Steve Eubanks, LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan discussed his potential plan for making the Ladies European Tour a developmental circuit underneath the LPGA Tour’s umbrella. Below is an excerpt from the article:
(Whan) would also like to expand the developmental brand beyond the Symetra Tour, which, according to inside sources, could result in the Ladies European Tour being absorbed into the LPGA.
“If the LET asked me to help, and nobody from the LET has, I’d create a 20-tournament schedule, 17 of which would be played in Europe, and we’d play for $250- to $300,000 (per event). I wouldn’t go after $1 million sponsors. Then I’d take the top five or 10 players and put them in the LPGA while a certain number would make it to the fall qualifying series.
“We’d also play courses at 6,400 yards and we’d set them up like we set up on the LPGA Tour so that we create an environment where everyone knows that those five or 10 players, or whatever the number makes it, are worthy of being out here.
“Now I’m not sure if I’m an LET player that I would like to hear Mike Whan say that he’d have us playing for $250,000 to $300,000 per tournament. That doesn’t sound lucrative. But it is sustainable. And it allows a girl who grew up in Denmark to stay home and play her way onto the LPGA rather than leaving home at 17 or 18.”
If it sounds like Whan has thought this through, sources say he has gone so far as to talk, internally, about what staff would move to London if the tours were to eventually merge.
Whether it happens or not, you can’t fault the man’s vision or his salesmanship.