Tom Patri: LPGA shooting itself in the foot

Well, they did it again. The LPGA Tour last week was sitting on possibly their most potentially positive media week ever and they managed to make it possibly their worst. Seems impossible, not for them. First out comes the new Women's World Rankings, and agree with it or not, it fired up some veteran players to the point that the negative comments that made it to the press were a "catfight" for the ages.

That was followed by a "media boycott" of the first round, by blindsiding the press (by the way, you want to make those folks your friends whenever possible) with a new press policy, that, let's say, didn't go over well. Have you ever heard of AP walking out of an event? Right or wrong, the LPGA Tour then followed this up with a less-than-apologetic stance. What the heck are they thinking?

These events most unfortunately overshadowed the play of a group of young ladies who are truly talented (Creamer, Gulbis, Pressel and Wie all were in the hunt.) None of that group won, but trust me, they all will win their share. There is real game there.

This entire circus of events happened to, and in front of, a new sponsor for the LPGA Tour. In a day and age that corporate sponsorship is getting harder and harder to come by. I hope that leadership of that tour will look carefully around every corner , and do it that much better then their competitors, for the sake of its players. Their new battle cry is "These Girls Rock." Well then, so should their leadership. Last week they rolled ... over.

Stay tuned, more drama to follow, I'm sure. Hope it comes from the course next time , not the press room.

Tom Patri's teaching academy has moved to Lely Resort, with an indoor studio now open at The Health Club of Naples on Immokalee Road. Patri is one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers in America. He can be reached at tpatri@mindspring.com. To set up a lesson, contact Brandi Hanson at 597-0787 or e-mail brandih@thehealthclubofnaples.com, or go to www.tompatri.com.

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