Votaw to Step Down After 2005
'Having the privilege to lead the LPGA will always be one of the highest honors of my professional life, Votaw said in a statement. While it was a difficult decision for me, it was made easier by the fact that the LPGAs foundation is the strongest it has ever been in its 55-year history and the organizations future is very, very bright.
'I am very thankful to the LPGA Board of Directors for providing me with the opportunity to serve as commissioner and am so very proud of what the membership has allowed the LPGA to accomplish during my tenure. I will always look back upon my time at the LPGA as one of the most rewarding times of my
Votaw was named LPGA commissioner in March 1999, and his seven-year tenure will be the second-longest in LPGA history. Highlights of Votaws tenure include: the LPGAs 50th Anniversary celebration; the historic LPGA Player Summit in 2002, where the organizations successful Fans First strategic business plan was introduced; the convening of the first-ever World Congress of Womens Golf in 2004; and increasing economic opportunities for LPGA members.
In 1999, Votaws first year as commissioner, there were 12 LPGA tournaments with purses of at least $1 million or more and none with purses of $2 million or higher. In 2005, the LPGA schedule features 30 tournaments with purses of $1 million or more and four events offering at least $2 million. During that same period, the average purse rose from just more than $840,000 in 1999 to $1.4 million in 2005, with total prize money of $45 million this season, the most in LPGA history.
The increased economic opportunities for our players is a direct result of two factors: the exponential growth of talent and entertainment value embodied by LPGA Tour members and the recognition and support of that talent and entertainment value by our fans, our tournaments and our sponsors, said Votaw. One couldnt happen without the other, and I am deeply appreciative of the hard work everyone associated with the LPGA has done to make the LPGA stronger during my tenure.
Ty has been a great leader for the LPGA, said Heather Daly-Donofrio, president of the LPGA Tour and a member of the LPGA Board of Directors. Ty has instituted many new initiatives for our organization, resulting in higher purses for our players, significant sponsorship support and increased television exposure for our Tour. On behalf of the entire Tour membership, I thank Ty for all he has done to strengthen the LPGAs position as the No. 1 womens sports organization in the world.
With the announcement from Votaw, the LPGA Board of Directors has established a Search Committee to identify candidates for the next LPGA commissioner.
'I am pleased to announce that the LPGA Board of Directors has finalized a Search Committee to identify qualified candidates for the associations next commissioner, said Marguerite Sallee, chairman of the LPGA Board of Directors.
The search committee is being co-chaired by Heather Daly-Donofrio, president of the LPGA Tour, and Rae Forker Evans, one of the five independent members of the LPGA Board of Directors. The balance of the Search Committee is comprised of LPGA Board of Directors Patti Benson, Dawn Hudson and Charles S. Mechem Jr., commissioner emeritus of the LPGA, and LPGA Tour players Beth Daniel, Lorie Kane, Laura Davies and Deb Richard. LPGA TSA President Jack Benjamin will also serve on the Search Committee in an ex-officio non-voting capacity.
What's in the bag: API winner McIlroy
Rory McIlroy closed in 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.
Driver: TaylorMade M3 (8.5 degrees), with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 70X shaft
Fairway woods: TaylorMade M3 (15 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80TX, (19 degrees) with Fujikura Rombax P95X shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4), P-730 RORS prototype (5-9), with Project X 7.0 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48, 52, 56 degrees), Hi-Toe(60 degrees), with Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto prototype
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
API purse payout: What Rory, Tiger, field made
Rory McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and collected one of the biggest non-major paychecks of the year. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Bay Hill.
|T14||Charles Howell III||-6||$137,950|
|T14||Byeong Hun An||-6||$137,950|
After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On Tiger Woods' career comeback ...
Tiger Woods seems to be the only one keeping his comeback in the proper perspective. Asked after his tie for fifth at Bay Hill whether he could ever have envisioned his game being in this shape heading into Augusta, he replied: “If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.” He’s healthy. He’s been in contention. He’s had two realistic chances to win. There’s no box unchecked as he heads to the Masters, and no one, especially not Woods, could have seen that coming a few months ago. – Ryan Lavner
On Tiger carrying momentum into API, Masters ...
Expect Jordan Spieth to leave Austin with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play trophy next week.
After all, Spieth is seemingly the only top-ranked player who has yet to lift some hardware in the early part of 2018. Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have all gotten it done, as have Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and most recently Rory McIlroy.
Throw in the sudden resurgence of Tiger Woods, and with two more weeks until the Masters there seem to be more azalea-laden storylines than ever before.
A Spieth victory in Austin would certainly add fuel to that fire, but even if he comes up short the 2015 champ will certainly be a focus of attention in a few short weeks when the golf world descends upon Magnolia Lane with no shortage of players able to point to a recent victory as proof that they’re in prime position to don a green jacket. – Will Gray
Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call
PHOENIX – Laura Davies knows the odds are long now, but she won’t let go of that dream of making the LPGA Hall of Fame.
At 54, she was emboldened by her weekend run at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She tied for second, five shots behind Inbee Park.
“The more I get up there, I might have a chance of winning again,” Davies said. “I'm not saying I will ever win, but today was close. Maybe one day I can go closer.”
Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, but she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in 2001. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.
Over her career, she has won 20 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. She was the tour’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996. She probably would have locked up Hall of Fame status if she hadn’t been so loyal to the Ladies European Tour, where she won 45 titles.
Though Davies didn’t win Sunday in Phoenix, there was more than consolation in her run into contention.
“Now people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.