As the LPGA hiatus continues, LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan talked with Michael Breed on SiriusXM’s A New Breed of Golf to discuss the recent changes to the 2020 LPGA Tour schedule. He also commented on the final member of the World Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2021, Susie Maxwell Berning. Maxwell Berning, one of six women to capture the U.S. Women’s Open at least three times, finished her career with 11 victories while raising her two daughters. Whan said he commended the drive and determination it took to start a family while being successful as a professional athlete.
“I don’t think there’s probably a lot of male athletes that have grappled with (being a professional golfer and a mother), but almost every player on Tour has had at least those thoughts or conversations once or twice,” said Whan. “That’s why we have traveling daycare, all kinds of ways to make sure moms can stay with us on Tour today. But, those things weren’t available back in Susie’s time. To have that kind of career and make those types of choices are the kind of people we want to celebrate every chance we get.”
Whan went into details on the newly released schedule for the rest of 2020. He echoed the sentiments of his first-person message on LPGA.com, that it’s a responsibility and not a race back to LPGA Tour events.
“We want to be able to say to any town or any sponsor, ‘look what we’re doing to make sure that we’re safe and anybody surrounded with us is safe.’ Until you can make those guarantees, I’ve said this many times, but returning to sport for a lot of us commissioners, returning to sport is a responsibility, not a race,” said Whan. “I can’t view this as a race. I can’t want to rush back. I feel like too many people in too many countries have given up too much of their life to stem this virus. I’m certainly not going to be the reason why we have any kind of setback as we have to be ready.”
Whan spoke on the many decisions that have gone into the final outlook for the rest of 2020, and how much he wants to see players teeing it up again across the world. But, he said his players understand the necessity for keeping those on Tour safe during this time. He said once they are back on the course, it’ll be quite the stamina builder once the season kicks off.
“We literally didn’t lose any events. We now have exactly one open date from the middle of July until December 20th, and that’s the date of the Masters, so we’re not playing that week,” said Whan. “Other than that, our athletes are going to be quite busy, assuming the virus doesn’t have its own decision about how fast we can get back to playing.”