The LPGA Tour has come up with a new twist when it returns on July 23.
How about “Caddies Optional”?
When the ladies make their way to Sylvania, Ohio for the Marathon Classic, one of the tour’s protocols will be exactly that — players won’t be required to have caddies.
Odds are most of the name players will have their people toting those large bags.
Will some players opt to carry their own bags? Seems highly unlikely unless they can use one of those nice three or four-wheel push-carts.
At least one veteran caddie doesn’t like the idea.
Les Luark, Lydia Ko’s caddie totally supports safety considerations required amid the pandemic, but he is concerned that some players will abuse the intent of the caddie option. He said he isn’t alone among his colleagues.
“A vast majority of players appreciate what we do for a living, and this won’t impact caddies who work for those players,” Luark said. “But I think there’s a good portion of players who will take advantage of the monetary advantages they can get from this.
“Whether it’s younger players coming out of college, or Symetra Tour players who aren’t in a financially stable situation, or just players who don’t appreciate caddies, I’m concerned there will be some who think, ‘I can save $1,300 or $1,400 a week for four months by going without a caddie.’ That bothers me,” Luark said.
Christina Lance, the LPGA Tour media director, confirmed players were informed of the caddie option this past Wednesday during a players’ meeting in a video conference call.
“We expect an overwhelming number of players to use their full-time caddies,” Lance said. “This is meant mainly to avoid the local caddie situation, where we don’t know a caddie’s background, and the player doesn’t know their background, and may feel health concerns working with someone they don’t know.”
Symetra Tour Pushes Back Its Re-Start Dates:
The LPGA’s counterpart of the PGA Tour’s Web.com Tour is delaying its re-start.
It was announced on Thursday that the first two events in its revised schedule have been canceled, but both will return in 2021.
The Prasco Charity Championship in Maineville, Ohio (July 8-10), and the Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic in Rochester, New York (July 16-19), won’t be played because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While it was a difficult decision to cancel these events for 2020, there is a silver lining in that each will be back next year,” said Mike Nichols, the chief business officer of the Symetra Tour. “We are grateful to work with such outstanding partners as Prasco and the credit unions of the greater Rochester area, and look forward to working with everyone involved for years to come.”
The Symetra Tour is now slated for a return at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship in Battle Creek, Michigan, July 24-26.