Mike Whan joined Michael Breed on his radio show, A New Breed of Golf, on SiriusXM where the subject, once again, revolved around the schedule. This week, Dow announced that its event, the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, won’t be played in 2020. Not long after that announcement, Midland, Michigan, home of the event, suffered severe flooding as two dams in the area breached.
Through all the tragedy and uncertainty, Whan found a silver lining, telling Breed, “I think the good news – and you work hard to find good news in a crappy situation – but the good news is that everyone who has canceled in 2020 has extended their agreements with the LPGA,” the commissioner said.
“As I tell players all the time, it’s one thing to say, ‘I can’t play;” it’s another to say, ‘I can’t play but I want to be with you for much longer.’ So, we’re excited to know that we’re going to be going to Midland, Michigan for years to come and we’re going to be playing that team event on network TV with CBS, they’ve extended that deal.”
Whan is not offering a pie-in-the-sky perspective. He is dealing with the harsh realities of the situation as well as anyone. As he told Breed, “There’s nothing easy about COVID-19. As I said all along, the 2020 schedule, whatever it turns out to be with travel bans and all the other things, will not be the season that anybody wanted. The most important thing for any business leader is to make sure that 2020 doesn’t become your new baseline.
“We’re working hard to make sure that 2021 and 2022 are not just strong, but stronger than anything we’ve ever put together. I want to come out with ’21 and ’22 with the strongest schedules in LPGA history.
“The only way to put COVID-19 behind you is to make sure that in the coming year, you’re not still feeling the lingering effects.”