Marcoux Samaan named new LPGA Tour chief

Miami (AFP) –


The LPGA Tour on Tuesday named college sports executive Mollie Marcoux Samaan as the new commissioner of the women's tour, replacing Mike Whan, who is stepping down later this year.

Marcoux Samaan, the director of athletics at Princeton University, was unanimously elected by the LPGA's board of directors, a statement said.

"Mollie understands the power of golf to change the lives of girls and women," said LPGA board chair Diane Gulyas.

Juli Inkster, the LPGA Hall of Famer who took part in the search for Whan's replacement, said officials had settled on Marcoux Samaan after a "disciplined and thorough" recruitment process.

"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," Inkster said.

Marcoux Samaan described the job as the "opportunity of a lifetime", adding in a statement she had been a lifelong fan of the LPGA Tour.

"I'm excited to dive into the LPGA initiatives to impact women and girls in the game at every age and ability," she said.

Outgoing LPGA Tour chief Whan announced in January he was leaving after 11 years in the role.

Whan, who was subsequently named the new chief executive of the United States Golf Association, is widely credited with strengthening the LPGA Tour, increasing the number of tournaments on the circuit and boosting overall prize money by more than $25 million.