Very interesting interview with Mark Lichtenhein of the Ladies European Tour by Lewine Mair this week.
It was indeed surprising that the genuine collective offer of help from the European Tour, the LPGA and the Royal and Ancient wasn’t snapped up last year when the tour was depleted to 15 tournaments.
But apparently the offer hasn’t been totally rejected, they didn’t want to rush into things. I cannot at all see how linking up with the LPGA in America would be in the best interests of the game. It would subordinate the Ladies European Tour to a satellite of the main Tour and make the Ladies game one product worldwide. the Solheim Cup would become a non event.
Mark Leichtenhein says the tour is poised to have two new tournaments and is aiming for 20 events this year. the tour begins this week with the co-sanctioned Victoria Open. THey hope for more support from the men’s European Tour like this. Apparently more support from the Royal and Ancient, who already run the Ladies Golf Union and give a grant to the LET is the preferred opion. But independence would be better. Surely there are sponsors out there who would help.
I recently spoke to amgirl who used to play on the tour but who now does other work because she “has to make a living” and she wouldnt be able to make ends meet if she still played professionally. She said that the tour were in “complete denial” about their situation and they were on the verge of going bust but just didnt want to look for help. From the horse’s mouth, that said it all.