Matthew on LET woes: 'Wrong person' in charge

By Randall MellAugust 2, 2017, 6:35 pm

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Two of the most respected veterans in European women’s golf are divided over who is to blame for the Ladies European Tour’s woeful state.

Scotland’s Catriona Matthew believes LET chief executive officer Ivan Khodabakhsh may have to go.

Laura Davies supports him.

“I don't really play much in Europe, but they have obviously been having their issues with the commissioner,” Matthew said. “I think we need to try and get that sorted and see what direction they are going to go.

“I think the product's there. They have got a lot of good players. It's just perhaps they have had the wrong person at the head. So, hopefully, if they can get that resolved, it can start building itself up again.”

Davies said corporate Europe is more to blame.

“In Europe, for some reason, the corporate world isn't that interested in us, at the moment,” Davies said. “Hopefully that will change.”

Khodabakhsh wasn’t available for comment.

The LET schedule features just 17 events this year, down nine events from six years ago.

The LET’s total prize money for this year is roughly $15 million, according to purses listed on the LET schedule.

The LPGA is playing for a total of $67 million in 34 events.


Ricoh Women’s British Open: Articles, photos and videos


Five LET events have been canceled this year. Last week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open was just the sixth LET event staged this year, outside the majors.

“We need people to step up with the money to back us,” Davies said. “We're getting more TV now, which I thought was going to help, which is what Ivan has done really well. But we're not seeing the results from it.

“I'm just a golfer. I don't know why. I just think we're very unlucky. I think everyone at the tour is working so hard, and they are just getting hammered left right and center, and in a way there's not a lot they can do about it. I know for one thing they are working really hard.”

At the end of last year, the Global Golf Post quoted LPGA commissioner Mike Whan saying he was intrigued by finding a way to merge the LET with LPGA, with the LET becoming a satellite circuit feeding pros into the LPGA, much like the Symetra Tour.

A week later, Whan explained he wasn’t making a move on the LET, just thinking aloud about the partnership.

“My vision is not to acquire the LET,” he said then. “We’ve got a good partnership.”

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Watch: Pieters snaps club ... around his neck

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 1:19 pm

After opening in 3-over 75, Thomas Pieters was in no mood for more poor play on Friday.

Unfortunately for Pieters, he bogeyed two of his first three holes in the second round of the BMW PGA Championship and then didn't like his second shot at the par-5 fourth.

Someone - or some thing - had to pay, and an innocent iron bore the brunt of Pieters' anger.



Pieters made par on the hole, but at 5 over for the tournament, he was five shots off the cut line.

It's not the first time a club has faced Pieters' wrath. 

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Woods would 'love' to see Tour allow shorts

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:59 pm

Players on the European Tour are allowed to wear shorts during practices and pro-ams.

The PGA of America permitted players to show some leg while prepping for last year’s PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods would like to see the PGA Tour follow suit.

"I would love it," he said Thursday in a Facebook Live with Bridgestone Golf. "We play in some of the hottest climates on the planet. We usually travel with the sun, and a lot of our events are played in the summer, and then on top of that when we have the winter months here a lot of the guys go down to South Africa and Australia where it's summer down there.

"It would be nice to wear shorts. Even with my little chicken legs, I still would like to wear shorts."

Caddies are currently allowed to wear shorts on Tour, during events.

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Feasting again: McIlroy shoots 65 to lead BMW PGA

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:04 pm

Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET

Rory McIlroy made seven birdies and no bogeys on Friday for a 7-under 65 and the second-round lead at the BMW PGA Championship.

After opening in 67, McIlroy was among the early groups out on Day 2 at Wentworth Club. He made three birdies and no bogeys on the par-35 front nine on Friday, and then went on a run after the turn.

McIlroy made four consecutive birdies, beginning at the par-5 12th. That got him to 12 under, overall, and gave him a clear advantage over the field. With two closing par-5s, a very low number was in sight. But, as he did on Day 1, McIlroy finished par-par.

"I've made four pars there [on 17 and 18] when I really should be making at least two birdies, but I played the other par-5s well," McIlroy said. "It all balances itself out."


Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship


McIlroy has made 14 birdies and two bogeys through two rounds. At 12 under, he has a three-stroke lead over Sam Horsfield.

"The work has paid off, to some degree," McIlroy said of his practice with swing coach Michael Bannon. "I still feel like I'm hitting some loose shots out there. But, for the most part, it's been really good. If I can keep these swing thoughts and keep going in the right direction, hopefully this is the type of golf I'll be able to produce."

This event has been feast or famine for McIlroy. He won here in 2014, but has three missed cuts in his other three starts. This week, however, he’ll be around for the weekend and is in position for his first European Tour victory since the 2016 Irish Open and his second worldwide victory of the year (Arnold Palmer Invitational).

"I have the confidence that I'm playing well and I can go out and try to just replicate what I did the day before," McIlroy said about his weekend approach with the lead. "On the first tee box tomorrow I'll be thinking about what I did today. Trying to just keep the same thoughts, make the same swings. I went a couple better today than I did yesterday. I'm not sure I'll keep that progression going but something similiar tomorrow would be nice."

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Goat visor propels Na to Colonial lead

By Will GrayMay 25, 2018, 1:29 am

Jason Dufner officially has some company in the headwear free agency wing of the PGA Tour.

Like Dufner, Kevin Na is now open to wear whatever he wants on his head at tournaments, as his visor sponsorship with Titleist ended earlier this month. He finished T-6 at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his second tournament as a free agent, and this week at the Fort Worth Invitational he's once again wearing a simple white visor with a picture of a goat.

"I bought it at The Players Championship for $22 with the 30 percent discount that they give the Tour players," Na told reporters. "It's very nice."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Perhaps a change in headwear was just what Na needed to jumpstart his game. Last week's result in Dallas was his first top-35 finish in his last six events dating back to February, and he built upon that momentum with an 8-under 62 to take a one-shot lead over Charley Hoffman after the first round at Colonial Country Club.

While many sports fans know the "GOAT" acronym to stand for "Greatest Of All Time," it's a definition that the veteran Na only learned about earlier this year.

"I do social media, but they kept calling Tiger the GOAT. I go, 'Man, why do they keep calling Tiger the GOAT? That's just mean,'" Na said. "Then I realized it meant greatest of all time. Thinking of getting it signed by Jack (Nicklaus) next week (at the Memorial)."