Whan: Women's major in Asia 'inevitable'


NAPLES, Fla. – Will Asia ever be home to an LPGA major championship?

Given the LPGA’s continuing expansion into the Far East, and the growing force Asians have become, it’s a fair question. It’s also one LPGA commissioner Mike Whan gets every time he attends an event in the region.

“Whenever you walk into a media room in Asia, the first question you’re asked is `Will there ever be an Asian major?’” Whan said.

“And I say yes, and they all start scribbling. I say I don’t know when, and I don’t know where.”

Don’t misconstrue him. Whan isn’t suggesting anything is in the works. He just thinks it is a natural evolution in the women’s game.

“Can they hold it? Of course,” Whan said. “The golf courses are unbelievable. The fanfare is crazy, the TV is good, and players like playing there.”

But Whan has no plans to announce his tour is going to six majors.

“In our case, majors are based on some history, on some legacy, and I can’t just say you are out, you are in,” Whan said. “It will happen sometime. I don’t know that it will happen on my watch. I don’t know that it will happen in the next 10 years, but I think it’s inevitable.”

Asians are dominating the women's majors. They’ve won 10 of the last 12 majors. They're also dominating the world rankings. Six of the top nine players in the world were born in Asia.

The 2014 LPGA schedule released Friday features another new Asian event, a second tournament in China that the LPGA will officially unveil early next year. The LPGA has two Asian swings, one at the start of the year and one at the end. The new China event will give the LPGA eight Asian events. There was just one in Asia back in 1998, when South Korean Se Ri Pak won the LPGA Championship and U.S. Women’s Open to inspire a nation of young girls to take up the game. That lone event then was in Japan.