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Whan 'not afraid' to bring LPGA to male-only club

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The R&A took a lot of heat last week when it returned to Muirfield, one of three male-only venues in the Open rota.

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan, however, was asked recently whether he would accept an invitation to play a women’s major at a male-only club. His answer: “Probably” – but only if the title sponsor was also interested.

“I’ve learned that the greatest change agent in the game as it relates to gender equality is our players,” Whan said Thursday while appearing on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive.”

“If our players went to a male-only venue, those members would be floored, not only at the way they play but the way they handle the fans, the way they handle the members.

“I don’t know that we’re really going to face that; it’s not something that us or other major sponsors want to pursue. But I wouldn’t be afraid to bring the LPGA to a venue like that because I think that’s going to change minds faster than Mike Whan in a boardroom.” 

The R&A said last week that it would reexamine its stance on the membership debate after the Open. Three clubs in the rota that have all-male membership policies: Royal Troon, Royal St. George’s and Muirfield.