The men's European Tour and the R&A have thrown their considerable weight behind the LPGA and LET's recent merger
The Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour’s ‘merger’ received a big boost with the R&A and men’s European Tour coming on board.
The R&A and European Tour have been repeatedly linked as adding some much-needed ballast for the women’s game and, with the joint LET-LPGA venture being voted through in November, they have now shown their support and both bodies will each have one seat on the new LPGA-LET Joint Venture Board of Directors.
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The details are yet to be revealed in any depth but the bottom line is that it would help to grow playing opportunities and prize pots as well as getting more women’s golf in front of more people.
The LET’s schedule for 2020 is still to be released – their two Qualifying Schools take place later this month – though one event that we know will happen is the Scandinavian Mixed which is a joint venture between the European and Ladies European Tours.
“We are pursuing similar opportunities in other markets. The women professionals bring a different dynamic and fan base to the game – all of which improves our sport – and we look forward to building a strong women’s professional presence through this new collaborative approach,” said the European Tour’s chief executive Keith Pelley.
Pelley’s equivalent on the LPGA Tour Mike Whan was similarly buoyant: “It’s exciting to see so many stakeholders in the game give their attention and their support to rebuilding a stronger women’s professional tour in Europe. This significant commitment by the R&A and the European Tour is an immediate, important endorsement of the vision for the new LPGA-LET partnership.”
The merger was voted through in November with the minimum of fuss with Beth Allen, who topped the money list in 2016, explaining: “The meeting was very civilised, likely the most civilised LET meeting that I’ve been to in years. Mike Whan is very charismatic and well-spoken.
“His presentation was very good and over 90 per cent of the tour voted yes. I felt like going with the LPGA collaboration was the right thing to do. I’m obviously excited that there will be more opportunities to play next year and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens moving forward.”