ORLANDO, FLORIDA | By the time the first
threesome of Amanda Blumenhurst, Mindy
Kim and Giulia Sergas – bundled, as they
were, in relative anonymity – made
it to the first tee Thursday morning, it
Republicans – historically the more golf-
friendly political party – was good for golf,
Whan said this:
“I don’t know.”
You don’t know?
“I’ve heard more than a few CEOs tell
me that, ‘Hey, this election can really help,’
“ Whan said. “And they probably grasp that
better than I do. I’m not an economist.” At
least not in the sense that John Maynard
Keynes, Adam Smith or John Kenneth
Galbraith were economists.
But Whan is the LPGA’s chief executive
in charge of growth. And as such, he lays
the groundwork in the ongoing courtship of
title sponsors. He designs and/or approves
the plans and he oversees the stratagems.
“We call it the ‘incubator,’ ” he says.
“We’ve got eggs in the incubator. Some
of them are about to hatch and some
of them are just growing for the first
time. I’ve got a lot of eggs at the
end of the incubator cycle. But
now we’ve got to hatch a
The best American
player of the moment,
The economy, real
estate ... all of that stuff is not coming back
for a long time.”
But for their part, Kerr and her fel-
low LPGA competitors are weathering
the front. And they genuinely appear to
be closing ranks in the face of persistent
criticisms that range from the American
women need to become more dominant to
the Korean women are too dominant.
Six players teed it up at the Tour Championship with a shot at ascending to the
No. 1 spot in the Rolex World Rankings.
Two of those women are Korean. The four
others are American, Japanese, Norwegian and Taiwanese.
One of those six, Na Yeon Choi, the best
player you may never have heard of,
What isn’t disputable is the
fact that the LPGA will remain
the home to the best female golf
worldwide. To a woman, the play-
ers insist it’s for the best if they
play against the best on a regular
basis, regardless of from where
those players come. At a pre-
tournament press confer-
ence, Tour officials gathered
the top six at a single podium
at the same time. The respect
each showed for the other
was clear and without grudge.