Under the stewardship of Commissioner Mike Whan, the LPGA had plotted its way around the golfing world with great care, avoiding the pitfalls of many who had preceded what is, in all-but-name, a global ladies professional circuit, until last year.
But, as if a fox had found its way into the LPGA corral around the Year of the Rooster, Whan and his female phenomenon suffered its worst year in a decade - a series of high-profile rules fiascos, misjudgments at the ANA Inspiration and the Evian Championship cost high profile players Lexi Thompson and Korean Ryu So-yeon respectively not only a ‘Major’ title but also a shed-load of cash cost the LPGA even more, its credibility and its hard-earned reputation.
Four events lost. The Alisports LPGA China cancelled less than a month before tee-off, as well as ex-LPGA star Lorena Ochoa’s eponymous event in her native Mexico, the Manulife in Canada and the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open. Whan insists there will be three new events in 2018, yet, at the time of going to press, no LPGA 2018 schedule has been published, giving rise to fears that all may not be well at the top of the women’s game.