The Ladies European Tour approved a plan to partner with the LPGA Tour with hopes of expanding the women’s game in Europe and beyond.
The tours keep their identities in the 50-50 joint venture.
Players from the LET will not have immediate access to the LPGA Tour, although LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan said last week that it could lead to that. For now, he says top LET players would have access to the LPGA’s “Q-Series” of two tournaments in consecutive weeks with cumulative scoring that awards LPGA cards.
LET members voted to approve the partnership Tuesday night at a meeting in Spain.
"Two teams, joining for one common purpose, will create opportunities we simply could not have pursued on our own," said Marta Figueras-Dotti, chair of the LET. “At its foundation, this joint venture is about creating opportunities for our members to pursue their passion, and their careers as professional athletes.”
The LET has been struggling recently and this year had 20 official events, including two majors — the Women’s British Open and Evian Championship. The Ladies Scottish Open also was co-sanctioned by the LPGA Tour.
Whan said last week before leaving for Spain the merger is not a takeover. The LPGA and LET each would have six members on the board.
“And all proceeds stay in Europe — can’t take any dollars out,” Whan said. “We can put money into the LET, but we can’t take money back out, which I asked my board to support. I want to make sure the European Tour players know that this is not some American growth strategy.”