NEW YORK — The LPGA Tour has picked Michael Whan to be its new commissioner, turning to a former marketing executive in golf and hockey equipment to rebuild the tour's relationships with sponsors.
Whan previously worked for TaylorMade and Wilson golf companies and most recently was president of Mission-Itech Hockey.
“I was that crazy high school kid cutting greens at 5:30 in the morning so he could play free golf in the afternoon and caddying on Sundays,” Whan said Wednesday, during an introductory news conference at Madison Square Garden.
He was selected following a three-month search to replace Carolyn Bivens, whom the players forced out in July as the LPGA Tour kept losing sponsors.
“Certainly he's got the business savvy to function in the challenging role of the commissioner,” said Dawn Hudson, chair of the LPGA board of directors. “He's worked in the sports industry and specifically the golf industry.
“He appreciates women's golf and isn't daunted by the challenges we face, but rather sees the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead for the LPGA.”
Acting commissioner Marty Evans will stay on the rest of the year. Whan will start in January.