NAPLES, Fla. – New LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan knows she’s inherited a good situation, but she also feels there’s a huge opportunity to do more.
“It's a very unique organization that is primed for growth and continued impact on the world,” she said Friday morning during a sit-down with a few media members at The Ritz-Carlton Naples.
While much of the hour-long conversation centered on next year’s record-breaking schedule, which was just released, and the importance of the tour’s brand and partnerships, Marcoux Samaan also revealed a couple more interesting tidbits.
One involved gambling. With the PGA Tour going all-in on sports betting this year, it seems only natural for the LPGA, which continues to grow in popularity, to follow suit. Marcoux Samaan was mum on details, but she appeared to be in favor.
“I think it's a really interesting opportunity for people to, once again, get to know our players, follow our players, be engaged with our players,” she said. “They're always more interested in the content when you have something on the line, so we are, I think, going to be able to announce some really unique things we're going to be doing in the coming weeks.”
The other deals with something that golf fans have been clamoring for: a mixed competition between the LPGA and PGA Tour. Marcoux Samaan said she was “100% behind it.”
“I think everyone would love to see the men and women play together,” she said. “As you all know for years, people have played with different ideas. There's some hurdles and challenges. We are all for it, and I think there's conversations brewing with a number of entities to see how we can get that done. I think both from the men's side and the women's side, everybody thinks it would be great to put the best athletes in the world together at one time … and there's certainly some good things brewing on that.”