LPGA chief wants women's tours merger

Phil Casey

Ladies Professional Golf Association commissioner Mike Whan will ask players on the Ladies European Tour to approve a merger between the two organisations next week.

Whan will put the case for a "50-50 joint venture" to players at their annual membership meeting in Spain on November 26.

The LPGA and LET have been working together since September's Solheim Cup at Gleneagles to agree a deal which will offer LET members more playing opportunities on the far more lucrative American tour.

"The LET, no different from the LPGA, is run by its players," Whan said in quotes reported by the Golf Channel.

"So the players will get the final vote on that.

"It's literally a 50-50 joint venture that we're proposing. Six members of a board from our side and six members of a board from their side. And all proceeds stay in Europe."

Whan is proposing a way to help players make their way from the LET to the LPGA, initially via the final stage of the LPGA's tour school.

That could evolve into direct access to the LPGA for the European Tour's top money winners.

The current financial gulf between the LET and LPGA is enormous.

Tournaments on this season's LPGA had a total prize fund of approximately STG 55million ($A104 million) compared to around STG 12million on the LET, the majority of which came from two majors and the Ladies Scottish Open in the space of three weeks.