On February 8, LPGA Tour announced the adjustment of benefits for golfers who do not have a membership card but won major.

From 2021, if he is not a member but wins a major, the golfer will get a full-time slot for five years. In case of receiving benefits immediately, players are automatically contested for the next event in the calendar, and the time and the major prize money will be officially counted.

This is a commitment from special envoy Mike Whan – the most powerful figure LPGA Tour.

This change is to avoid the same bizarre situation as “Sophia Popov”.

Golfers who do not have an LPGA Tour membership card but a major champion like Popov will immediately be granted membership rights.  Photo: AP

Golfers who do not have an LPGA Tour membership card but a major champion like Popov will immediately be granted membership rights. Image: AP

In August 2020, Popov won the major Women’s Open 2020. However, she was not allowed to attend the LPGA Tour event in Arkansas nor the major ANA Inspiration that followed. Golf public opinion that this is unreasonable.

Popov’s points and bonuses at the Women’s Open are also not included in the CME Group Tour Championship race – the grand final of the season in December. If counted, Popov will be decent at the event.

Experts assess Popov’s disadvantages as unreasonable points in the LPGA Tour policy. In addition to Popov, the LPGA Tour 2020 noted a similar case – Kim A Lim won the US Women’s Open.

Particularly ANA Inspiration 2020 is unfortunate for Popov. This event is usually in Spring. But Covid-19 caused the LPGA Tour to move it to September. Meanwhile, the list of matches was closed before translation. Regarding Popov’s new schedule at the ANA Inspiration, special envoy Mike Whan said he did not want the list to change, but insisted that he would consider the radical solution later.

Popov and Kim both got LPGA Tour membership cards, but only for two years. The new policy has no “retroactive” effect on them.

If you win the regular event and receive your membership card instantly, the “outsider” is entitled to attend the next match.

Quoc Huy synthetic


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