Michael Whan is the Commissioner of the LPGA Tour which is making its 2012 U.S. debut this week with the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix, Arizona. The thing that excites him the most about returning to the United States is that after such a good start internationally, they are now starting the season with a special event that honors the founders of the LPGA Tour.
The idea for this event began in 2009 when he was not even officially the commissioner. He was in Houston for the season finale event and one week after Michelle Wie won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational. He learned that Michelle Wie made more in one week than the early founders made in their whole careers and the founders took a lot of pride in the fact that the LPGA Tour has grown so much. The phrase “Pay it Forward” is a big philosophy on the LPGA Tour and the goal of everyone involved is to try to leave the LPGA Tour better than they found it.
Yani Tseng has done so many great things off the course as well as on the course. Last year, he feels that the LPGA Tour had to work very hard to even get her story discussed but now no matter where the LPGA Tour goes around the world people are interested in learning about the #1 player in women’s golf. She leads the tour in smiles and she is a very positive presence for the LPGA Tour.