Not The Smoothest Transition...

Thanks to reader Scott for the link to this John Davis story on Carolyn Bivens' rocky start.

It began with the world rankings, which had Michelle Wie No. 3 even though she hasn't won an LPGA title and only one significant amateur championship. She has since climbed to No. 2, based on 16 events. That puts her ahead of Paula Creamer, the 2005 Rookie of the Year, who has won two tour titles and four worldwide.

"I was a little surprised," top-ranked Annika Sorenstam said Wednesday. "I do think it needs to be tweaked a little bit."

Bivens said the new media regulations fall in line with those of other pro sports and give the LPGA more control over its own property and player images.

But, as a result, the season began with virtually no media coverage of the new Fields Open in Hawaii as writers and photographers refused to sign credential forms. After two revisions, AP agreed to sign the new forms, but Golf Digest refuses to do so. That's no small loss for the tour because it also publishes Golf World and Golf for Women magazines.

Fields Open Executive Director Tim Humes wasn't happy about the lack of coverage, telling Golfweek magazine, "We felt like we delivered. How do you have this good a product and not allow it to be covered? My disappointment was more towards the LPGA for not thinking about the impact this would have on our tournament."

Four of the tour's top executives have resigned in the past six months, but Bivens dismisses that as the normal fallout that comes with new leadership.

"That often is what an organization does from one administration to another and from one stage to another," she said. "I look back on my career at USA Today, and there was a wonderful group of people who were part of the launch. There were people who were so critical for the first five years that didn't make the transition to the next for a variety of reasons.

"It's not that unusual for people to leave, and I have maintained friendships with a number of those who have left the LPGA."

Wendy Ward had this to say about Bivens:

"She has ruffled some feathers because she has a different way of going about things, and some people don't like change," Ward said. "But I wish I had another year left on the board because I see her as someone who is confident in her ability and not afraid to do things her way."

I'd love to know how keeping Golf Digest/Golf World/Golf For Women from covering your Tour is a good thing?