Mike Whan couldn’t possibly have anticipated how the final month of his first year as LPGA commissioner would end.
The nature of the players who want membership on his tour are wider ranging than any commissioner’s faced in the organization’s 60-year history.
It’s possible in the next 30 days Whan will say “yes” to a 57-year-old former man and “no” to a 15-year-old girl.
Lana Lawless, who underwent gender reassignment surgery five years ago, is suing the LPGA in an attempt to get the tour to change its rules so that members are no longer required to be “female at birth.” With players in Orlando, Fla., for the season-ending LPGA Tour Championship, Whan will address the issue in a players' meeting tonight that could lead to a historic vote to change the tour’s bylaws.
Alexis Thompson’s representatives are preparing to petition Whan for a waiver of the tour’s rule that requires members be 18 years old. Thompson, 15, nearly won the Evian Masters last summer, tying for second.
Whan’s giving both issues serious treatment with much at stake.