The LPGA Tour is enjoying its first major of the season at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage in the ANA Inspiration. At the same time, the women’s professional tour took the time this week to announce that Mike Whan has agreed to a contract extension of six year as the Commissioner, which will keep him with the LPGA at least through 2020.
Chairman Mike Trager of the board of directors of the tour announced the contract extension on Tuesday through a letter to staff and the players. Whan at the same time from the ANA Inspiration tournament said he was honored when asked to extend his contract for another six years.
He told reporters that he always says during board meetings that he is proud to be a part of what he called a “crazy family.”
Because, he said that is just what the group is. It is similar to a crazy traveling family and he feels like he is a part of that same family and that there is still a long way to go on this long trip they are all taking.
Whan, who is 50, took the reins of the LPGA Tour in January of 2010, just five months after the resignation of Carolyn Bivens. Players had written to the tour’s board calling for Bivens to resign, which forced the Commissioner to step aside.
Whan has been instrumental in the tour growing from one of 23 events and total purses of $40 million during 2010 to one of 33 events with total purses of over $60 million in 2015.
However, Whan was quick to add that he has said on many occasions that he did not want to be remembered for being part of the team that increased the tour to 33 events from its previous 23. That he added seems incredibly underwhelming to him and not all that fulfilling. He concluded by saying there is much more that can be done and that needs to be done.
Television coverage under Whan has skyrocketed growing from around 200 hours of mainly telecasts that were taped-delayed year each, to over 400 hours with over 90% being live coverage.
Whan was the chief operating officer and president of Mission-Itech Hockey prior to taking his role as Commissioner of the LPGA Tour. He also has had sports employment at Wilson Sporting Goods and Taylormade-Adidas. He also worked with both Britesmile and Proctor & Gamble.