Bivens’ latest gaffe in her 18 months at the top came via the 2007 LPGA media guide. This is a book for which Annika Sorenstam had been the annual cover girl for the past 10 years.
Guess what? No Annika out front in 2007, as Lorena Ochoa, Seon Hwa Lee and Julieta Granada adorn the book’s cover. Granted, Ochoa belongs, but Hwa and Granada over Sorenstam?
The Sorenstam snafu is the equivalent of the PGA Tour leaving Tiger off its media guide. And, you can bet that will never happen.
Apparently snubbing the greatest player ever in women’s golf, the same player who doesn’t necessarily see right down the middle with the commish, was the point. And trust me, this latest LPGA media guide cover fiasco didn’t just roll out of the marketing department without Bivens’ blessing.
The same can be said for every other detail involving the LPGA these days. They are Bivens driven, and if an employee dares disagree — “You’re fired!’’ It’s happened so many times since she took over late in 2005 — 13 “resignations,’’ including her top three assistants — you have to wonder: Who’s next?
Certainly Bivens’ dissing of Sorenstam isn’t enough to break her reign of terror. But apparently Sorenstam’s 69 career wins don’t carry much weight these days. That is especially true for those who dare question Bivens’ iron rule.
Sorenstam, however, is one of those few who dared. Last year, after watching fiasco after fiasco that began with top media outlets boycotting the LPGA, was followed by world rankings that were a laughingstock (Sorenstam the exception), and then more resignations from within, Annika observed: “I am quite concerned about some of the decisions and changes I have seen lately. I just wonder where we are headed.’’
That little white ball just sits there. A man can beat himself before he ever swings at it. ELLSWORTH VINES