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LPGA, Symetra players offered financial aid from cash-advancement program

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LPGA and Symetra Tour pros can draw off future earnings in a new cash-advancement program while the game is shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

Players received the offer on Friday.

“There’s a cash advance opportunity for players if they’re interested in taking it,” LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said.

Whan did not provide details of the offer, but a source familiar with the program said it is based on where players fall on the LPGA priority category list, with players ranking among the top 15 categories having the most access, with an ability to request an advance topping out in the “mid-five figure range.” Players who rank in lower categories have the ability to draw lesser amounts, as do Symetra Tour pros.

Tour plans to financially assist players, caddies

Two weeks after the PGA Tour halted play, the circuit has stepped in to help bridge the financial gap coronavirus has caused players.

The offer is basically a no-interest loan, with players who draw on the reserves paying it back with money taken from their future earnings.

Whan acknowledged it’s a more limited cash advance than the tour would like to offer.

“If they read about the PGA Tour cash advance, I would just say to all of my members, 'I’m sorry,’” Whan said. “I wish I was on the PGA Tour cash advance program, but I'm not, either. Listen, we don't sit on the same savings account, and I know I'm not going to solve players' full financial problem, but at least it's something.

“I’m hoping it’s enough just to help people get by a difficult time. If this thing drags on forever, it may have to be something we revisit again.”

Whan said players in significant hardship can apply for help from a separate fund.