The LPGA Tour selected Princeton athletic director Mollie Marcoux Samaan as its commissioner Tuesday, the second girl to guide the tour since its formation in 1950.
Marcoux Samaan succeeds Mike Whan, who introduced in January he was resigning after which took over as CEO of the U.S. Golf Association.
She inherits a tour that made it by way of the COVID-19 pandemic and emerged with a 34-event schedule with document prize cash approaching $80 million.
The LPGA stated she would spend the approaching months transitioning from Princeton to the LPGA.
“The LPGA Commissioner position is likely one of the finest jobs in sports activities right now and the chance of a lifetime,” she said in a statement. “I’m passionate about the game of golf and have been an LPGA fan since I was a little girl. I appreciate the LPGA’s history and the tenacity of its 13 founders. I’m truly inspired by our tour players and teaching professionals. I’m excited to dive into the LPGA initiatives to impact women and girls in the game at every age and ability.
“My mission and the LPGA’s mission are fully aligned: providing women and girls the opportunity to achieve their dreams through golf.”
The first woman to lead the LPGA was Carolyn Bivens, hired in 2005 with a bullish marketing plan to promote the players. But she alienated sponsors and media at a time when the tour was struggling to get through the recession. She was ousted in 2009 when the LPGA’s schedule had 24 tournaments,10 of them held outside the U.S.
Marcoux Samaan is the ninth commissioner of the LPGA Tour.
“Mollie understands the power of golf to change the lives of girls and women,” said Diane Gulyas, chair of the LPGA board who led the search committee. “In each position, she’s had an excellent document of efficiency in navigating change, forging lasting partnerships and seeing — and seizing — new alternatives.
Marcoux Samaan was a two-sport athlete at Princeton in soccer and hockey — she was named to first workforce All-Ivy League in hockey all 4 years — although her ardour for golf runs deep.
She is a five-time membership champion at North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue, New York, and her senior thesis for her historical past diploma at Princeton in 1991 was titled, “The Social Construction of Sport and Gender: A History of Women’s Golf from 1895 to 1955.”
Marcoux Samaan spent 19 years with Chelsea Piers Management, which owns and operates beginner sports activities complexes in New York and Connecticut. She returned to Princeton in 2014 as its athletic director, throughout which the Tigers gained a league-leading 65 Ivy League titles.
“We were impressed by her track record working with athletes, with her ability to forge new and innovative partnerships; and with her personal passion, authenticity and proven persistence for excellence,” stated Juli Inkster, a Hall of Famer who served on the search committee.
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