LPGA Tour offers helping hand to players in need

LPGA and Symetra Tour professionals can draw off future earnings in a new cash-advancement program announced by the tour organisers while the game is shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

While the LPGA Commissioner, Mike Whan, did not disclose the specifics of the assistance, it is understood the program is based on where players fall on the LPGA priority category list, with players ranking among the top-15 categories having the most access, with an ability to request an advance topping out in the “mid-five figure range.”

Mike Whan Mike Whan (Credit: LPGA Tour)

Players who rank in lower categories have the ability to draw lesser amounts, as do Symetra Tour pros.

The offer is similar to a no-interest loan, with players who draw on the reserves paying it back with money taken from their future earnings.

“There’s a cash advance opportunity for players if they’re interested in taking it,” said Whan. “I’m hoping it’s enough just to help people get by a difficult time. If this thing drags on forever, it may have to be something we revisit again.”

The LPGA season is temporarily set to resume June 19-21 at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in Rogers, Arkansas, but that is subject to review.

To date, fourteen LPGA events that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with ten postponements or rescheduled events and four cancellations.

“We are so thankful to all our partners for their flexibility and willingness to work with us during this very difficult time,” said Whan. “This has been a truly collective effort to reschedule tournament dates and work together to provide LPGA players with as many playing opportunities as possible once it is safe for us to resume competing again.”