New LPGA Commissioner On Deck

By George WhiteJune 16, 2005, 4:00 pm
First of all, she doesnt plan to attend the U.S. Womens Open, despite the fact that she now is the supreme head of the women of the LPGA. This all happened so suddenly that Carolyn Vesper Bivens is frantically trying to get her business wrapped up.
 
I actually have another life that I have to transition, and I only left my New York group (Wednesday) morning, and I didn't get to make phone calls to my L.A. people and my New York people until late (Wednesday) and early (Thursday), said Bivens. So I still have some transitioning to do of that part of my life.
 
Carolyn Vesper Bivens
Carolyn Vesper Bivens will become the LPGA Tour's seventh commissioner.
Bivens will become the first female and only the seventh commissioner in the organization's 55-year history when she assumes the role next month. Bivens, 52, is currently president and chief operating officer of Initiative Media North America, the largest media services company in the United States and part of the Interpublic Group of Companies.
 
She was unanimously elected by the LPGA Board of Directors, which had formed a search committee in January to work in concert with Heidrick & Struggles, a global executive recruiting firm. Current LPGA commissioner Ty Votaw announced his resignation on Jan. 7, but will remain with the LPGA to ensure an orderly leadership transition.
 
I was in a tangential world in media planning and buying, and so that (the phone call from Heidrick & Struggles) was the first contact, the 52-year-old Bivens said in explaining how she was first contacted concerning the position. And it only took one meeting before I was very seriously bitten by the bug, and knew that this was something that I was extremely interested in.
 
The LPGA is well on its way toward a stratospheric place in the sports world, Bivens believes.
 
The platform that's been built, the momentum that's been built in this sport - looking at the seasoned players who are on the tour, the young ones who are fairly new to the tour, and then looking out to those who are in the pipeline, this is a sport that has an awful lot of momentum, she said. And I just could not be more pleased to come into a brand that's this strong and has this promising of a future as the LPGA, and I look very forward to working with them.

Her deep background with all forms of media fits well with the LPGAs goals, she believes.
 
The fact that I work with - and have worked with - all media types, all media forms, with the networks, with publishers across a variety of platforms, I think will benefit me, she said.
 
Votaw, who was not a member of the search committee, said the number of applicants ran into the hundreds.
 
And it ran the gamut of some interesting people who raised their hands, as well some of the most qualified people in the area of sports entertainment, marketing and business. And out of that process - I think I can speak for the search committee - that based on report of the search committee, after that process completed itself, there was no more qualified person than the person that was selected, and that's Carolyn.
 
Bivens herself is a golfer, having been in the Washington, D.C., area for a number of years.
 
I don't play as much as I'd like to, she confessed, and maybe as much as I'm about to. My home course for 22 years was Congressional. In terms of favorite courses, I've got a number around the world. I have to say Pebble Beach ranks right up there. LPGA International sure isn't bad for the LPGA's backyard, and I love some of the Greenbrier courses.
 
But on the other hand, is there really a bad course?
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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.