LPGA Tour commissioner open to LIV Golf conversation: ‘My responsibility to evaluate every opportunity’

LPGA Tour commissioner open to LIV Golf conversation: ‘My responsibility to evaluate every opportunity’

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PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has made his feelings toward the rival LIV Golf league well known at this point, but his counterpart at the LPGA Tour might not entirely agree with him. 

Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan told the London Times this week that she would be open to having a conversation with LIV CEO Greg Norman following comments he made last week about expanding the league to women’s golf. 

Mollie Marcoux Samaan, commissioner of the LPGA, talks during a press conference during the second round of the HSBC Women's World Championship at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore on March 4, 2022.

Mollie Marcoux Samaan, commissioner of the LPGA, talks during a press conference during the second round of the HSBC Women’s World Championship at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore on March 4, 2022. (Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

“It’s my responsibility to evaluate every opportunity,” Marcoux Samaan told the outlet. “I would engage in a conversation if it would achieve our aim of promoting women’s golf, but there needs to be input from players and sponsors. There’s a lot of factors to consider before we do business with LIV Golf.”

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Norman said earlier this month that he was “100% confident” about starting a women’s LIV Golf league, according to The Palm Beach Post

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, right, congratulates Branden Grace, winner of the Portland Invitational LIV Golf tournament in North Plains, Ore., on July 2, 2022.

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, right, congratulates Branden Grace, winner of the Portland Invitational LIV Golf tournament in North Plains, Ore., on July 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)

“We have discussed it internally, the opportunity is there,” he added, before explaining his reasoning. “Aramco is already the largest sponsor of women’s golf in the world. Aramco, a Saudi company.”

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In addition to sponsorship, the Saudi oil company sponsors six events on the Ladies European Tour, which includes the Aramco Team Series.

From left, Mia Baker of England, Nicole Garcia of South Africa, Madelene Stavnar of Norway and Kelly Whaley of the U.S. celebrate with the trophy after winning the Team Event on Day Three of the Aramco Team Series London at The Centurion Club in St Albans, England, on June 18, 2022.

From left, Mia Baker of England, Nicole Garcia of South Africa, Madelene Stavnar of Norway and Kelly Whaley of the U.S. celebrate with the trophy after winning the Team Event on Day Three of the Aramco Team Series London at The Centurion Club in St Albans, England, on June 18, 2022. (Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

Players from the PGA Tour and the European Tour have been defecting to LIV Golf for weeks over the massive signing bonuses and tournament purses. While some pass judgment over their financial motivation, the same can’t be said for the women’s game. 

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“Put it this way, I think you would see almost the entire tour do it here,” 20-time LPGA Tour winner Cristie Kerr said last month. “What we play for here compared to the men’s Tour, the scale is different.”

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