After nearly four months of screening, the LPGA Tour on May 25 announced that Mollie Marcoux Samaan will replace Mike Whan in the most powerful position in this agency.

Whan took the initiative to leave the chair at the beginning of this year. He is currently the CEO of the American Golf Association (USGA).

The new envoy Samaan has never been a professional manager or leader, even though he has been playing golf since the age of 11, he is currently at a high level – handicap (handicap) 7.4. But she is famous in the American school sports world.

Serving as the Athletic Director at Princeton University since 2014, Samaan has led these teams to a total of 65 Ivy League championships over the past six years, a group of private universities in the Northeast region of America. The block has a reputation for both the environment and the quality of its high-achieving sports and education, and is notoriously picky about admissions.

Ms. Samaan has been the leader of the sports movement of the famous Princeton University for the past seven years.  Photo: Princeton Athletics

Ms. Samaan has been the leader of the sports movement of the famous Princeton University for the past seven years. Image: Princeton Athletics

Before Princeton, Samaan spent 19 years at Chelsea Piers Management, which owns and operates world-class training and competition complexes, including properties of the same name in New York and Connecticut. At this enterprise, she is the Vice President in charge of strategic planning and the General Director. Samaan also founded and led the Education – Sports fund, which has so far sponsored more than 2,000 scholarships for gifted children in the US.

“The LPGA Tour Envoy is one of the top jobs in sport right now. It’s also the opportunity of a lifetime. I’ve been passionate about golf and have been a fan of this arena for a long time. Now, I’m extremely excited about the task. service to bring the LPGA Tour as well as women’s golf into a new stage of development,” the appointment letter from the LPGA Tour quoted Samaan.

Samaan graduated from Princeton in 1991. While at the school, she was a major player in football and hockey, winning the highest award, for outstanding students in both academics and sports. .

Samaan is the second female Envoy in LPGA Tour history since 1950, after Carolyn Bivens in the 2005-2009 term. After four years of ineffective leadership – mainly from mistakes in business strategy and management style, Bivens had to resign due to pressure from LPGA Tour insiders, partners and the media.

Whan succeeded Bivens from 2010 and is considered a hero. Because when he took over, Whan inherited a future burden because the company was struggling to get out of poverty. At that time, the LPGA Tour had only 23 prizes with a total prize fund of 40 million USD in 52 weeks. That is not to mention the fact that the sponsors are wary of the new boss after a period of feeling the authoritarian tactics of the former leader Bivens in negotiations.

And after 10 years, Whan has turned the LPGA Tour from “a poor girl” into a “reputable lady” in the golf world. This arena escaped the risk of bankruptcy, overcome market challenges, and most recently, through Covid-19. The epidemic caused the season to be interrupted for five months, losing more than 10 events, but the bonus fund for each stage only decreased slightly and the TV audience increased by 30%. Season 2021, LPGA Tour has 34 events with a record total prize fund of 76.45 million USD.

“I think having a female Envoy would be great. But we’re not excluding anyone. The general policy is to find the best. Mike Whan is a prime example,” said Diane Gulyas, LPGA Tour Board Chairman, expressed his own opinion, when Whan announced his resignation.

And Whan always thinks that the Envoy, whether male or female, the future of the arena is still in the hands of women. “LPGA Tour is run by women, today and tomorrow is the same. If I don’t understand that, my successor will be miserable and pitiful”, he stated personally.

The structure of the incumbent LPGA Tour Board of Directors consists of a Special Envoy, two Presidents in charge of competition and training, six independent directors, and six full-time directors – positions held by golfers in the affiliated arena.

Quoc Huy synthetic


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