Whan Admits Error In Moving Evian, Pledges Change

After one of the great disasters in modern major history, the beleaguered Evian Championship will be moving back to a summer date by 2019 according to the man who switched it, LPGA Commish Mike Whan.

Speaking to Damon Hack on Morning Drive, Whan admitted this year's rain-shortened event has him rethinking things. Randall Mell reports on this and other LPGA news from the interview.

“We will get Evian back to a summer date,” Whan pledged. “It may not be in ’18, but certainly by ’19.”

Whan said he believes in Evian as an LPGA major, but he regrets his decision to move the event to September, with its rainy season and its shorter days.

“The challenges we’ve faced are man-made,” Whan said. “And I’m the man who made them.”

Kudos to Whan for finally coming around and admitting to the mistake.

LPGA Announces 2012 Slate Well Before Its First 2012 Event!

Ron Sirak breaks down the additions to the LPGA Tour's 27-event schedule and says this "very well be the most crucial corner turned in a seemingly endless series of twists and turns during the 62-year history of the tour.

Golf Channel's Randall Mell also gives the LPGA a big thumb's up, saying "The ship doesn’t look like its foundering anymore."

"Quite frankly, one of the things I think we learned in 2008 and ’09 is to really respect that.”

Beth Ann Baldry reports on Mike Whan's first LPGA player meeting. It sounds like the Commish has learned that Plan 2010, or whatever it was the Brand Lady tried to shove down sponsor throats, is best kept on the shelf until times are better.

When Whan was asked how he’d describe the tour these days, he said “re-emerging.” They’re in the business of renewals, and he’s reaching out to all the partners who parted ways in the past several years.

“We’re tied to the business partners we’re with,” he said. “If they’re hurting, we’re hurting. Quite frankly, one of the things I think we learned in 2008 and ’09 is to really respect that.”

"I hurt my back pulling my reserved space sign out of a cement base in the parking lot at the LPGA Tour headquarters in Daytona Beach. I don't want a special space."

Farrell Evans catches up with new LPGA Commish Mike Whan and I don't know about you, but The Metamucil Man has a nice ring to it, no?

You started your career at Procter & Gamble, where you were the lead brand manager for Metamucil and Crest, among other roles. How different is marketing Metamucil and toothpaste from women's golf?

This isn't my first time marketing to women. Crest's core audience consisted of women. But really the most important thing I think in marketing is getting to know what people want. I have spent most of my time in the new job asking questions and listening to learn the business.

And this was a great question by Farrell and quite a funny scene to imagine:

What's the funniest thing that's happened to you on the job so far?

I hurt my back pulling my reserved space sign out of a cement base in the parking lot at the LPGA Tour headquarters in Daytona Beach. I don't want a special space. This isn't the Mike Whan Tour. It's about the players, fans and corporate partners. We're all in the same foxhole.

"In other words, outsourcing is great thing. In fact, it’s worked so well in our downtrodden economy over the past 10 years that the hunch here is it will have a similar effect for the LPGA."

Love the passion in Bill Huffman's take on the LPGA leaving Phoenix. Seems Bill reads the USA Today and was not too taken with Commissioner Mike Whan dropping the "G" word in a story authored by Steve DiMeglio. No, not Tim Finchem's growth mantra, but the other "G" word due to become Finchem's new favorite after his Asian trip.
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“What I’m most proud of in my career is that I’ve built brands; I’ve built them globally, and I’ve left them significantly larger than when I joined them"

Beth Ann Baldry files this profile of new LPGA Commish Mike Whan (family man, Midwest values, looks you in the eye, yada, yada, yada). 

You know, I've read four or five stories on the hockey stick dude and I still couldn't tell you the name of this glorious brand he built.

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"Until such time as the composition of the the LPGA Board changes, they'll keep hiring Marketing people ala the 'Brand Lady.'"

Jim McCabe writes about the strong marketing background of new LPGA Commissioner Whan:

“These are difficult times, but he will bring a lot of skills to the job,” Rugge said. “He is a solid marketing guy,” adding that Whan is "full of energy” and "has plenty of ideas.”

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