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Bivens quits in LPGA Tour revamp

THE LPGA Tour announced sweeping changes on Monday with Commissioner Carolyn Bivens resigning and being replaced on a temporary basis by Marsha J Evans, a member of the LPGA's board of directors.

Ten-time major champion Annika Sorenstam was appointed as an advisor to the board of directors while the association embarks on a search for a full-time commissioner.

"We'll soon have in place a commissioner to lead us into 2010 and beyond, but until then, it's important that we immediately appoint an acting commissioner whom we know and trust," Board Chairman Dawn Hudson said in a statement.

Evans is a retired US Navy rear admiral.

Two weeks ago, several LPGA players sent a letter to the LPGA board calling for Bivens, in her four-year tenure, to resign amid concern about the health of the tour in the face of the economic downturn.

The women's tour has lost seven tournaments since 2007, including all three in Hawaii, and numerous others are up for renewal at the end of the year.

Sorenstam, widely regarded as the best female player of all time, will assist the LPGA with on-going discussions with tournaments and sponsors. "I will do everything possible to ensure that the LPGA remains the pre-eminent women's sports association in the world," said the Swede, who retired from competitive golf last year after winning 90 titles worldwide.

Juli Inkster, a tour veteran and member of the board, said some tournaments that are in danger of being canceled can be salvaged.

"Sometimes when you send a different team, a different delivery, things can work out," she said.


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