Mike Whan could have a career in politics should he desire once his tour of duty as LPGA Tour commissioner is done. He does the double talk very well.
Whan said last week that yes, there could be a major in Asia. The golf courses are great, fan support is wonderful, players like going there, but there are no plans in place at this point in time, he said in this story by Randall Mell for the Golf Channel.
“In our case, majors are based on some history, on some legacy, and I can’t just say you are out, you are in,” said Whan. “It will happen sometime. I don’t know that it will happen on my watch. I don’t know that it will happen in the next 10 years, but I think it’s inevitable.”
It seemed that there wasn’t any room left for another major when the tour named the Evian Championship in France its fifth major. The Evian had its first run as a major earlier this year as Suzann Pettersen won an event shortened to 54 holes due to rain.
Pettersen has won another event that many thought at one time would regain major status before it was handed to the Evian and that event met all the criteria that Whan described when talking about Asia.
If you’re talking about history and legacy, what is now the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open was preceded by the du Maurier Classic, a former LPGA major until federal anti-smoking legislation snuffed it.
What Cristie Kerr, the 2006 winner of the CN Canadian Women’s Open, another predecessor to the CP event, had to say in this blog will tell you how the Canadian event is supported by fans, how good its golf courses are and how highly the players think of the event.
It was the same when it was the du Maurier Classic. As a matter of fact, those who were at the final du Maurier Classic in 2000 at Royal Ottawa will recall a passionate plea from champion Meg Mallon to make sure a tour event stayed in Canada.
It did and although there were occasional struggles, the Canadian event remains solid which is why it was frequently touted for a return to major status.
That seemed impossible when the Evian became the fifth major in a game in which four is considered the norm for any tour. Now, Whan is talking six down the road with a possible Asian major, even if he’s non-committal as to when.
Since Canada’s meets all the criteria he mentioned, let’s talk about seven then. It appears, after all, that the sky’s the limit when it comes to LPGA majors.
FRITSCH’S WD IS PRECAUTIONARY
Brad Fritsch sent out an ominous tweet after the World Cup on the weekend.
“On side note, I’ve withdrawn from the AUS Open next week. Off to see a specialist to make sure I’ll be playing next year,” wrote Fritsch.
It’s no secret that Fritsch has been dealing with a bulging disc in his back, but a conversation with his brother Stephen, who also works as his representative, indicates that his decision to pull out of the Australian Open is purely precautionary after a long grind this season.
Fritsch is tentatively expected to play at the Sony Open in Hawaii, which gets underway in early January.