Less than 24 hours before Lydia Koh received the LPGA’s richest prize for winning the CME Group Tour Championship on Sunday, the man responsible for that $2 million check, CME Group Chairman and CEO Terry Duffy, felt embarrassed.
In the report golf weekBeth Ann NicholsDuffy expressed his disappointment with the LPGA’s lead after no player showed up for a Tuesday night dinner hosted by the CME and expressed concern about the direction the tour is headed.
“They’d better get together because they’re going to lose people like me over things like this,” Duffy told Nichols.
According to Nichols’ report, Duffy invited a certain number of players to dinner, but when he asked to turn on the lights in the hall to recognize the players, none of the players stood because they were not there. Fried egg added that 11 players responded to the dinner invitation, but when speaker Serena Williams declined, so did the players. No one told Duffy, who called the incident “a disgrace to a company of my size and a disgrace to myself.”
It is not known which specific players refused dinner.
LPGA commissioner Molly Marcu Samaan, who was in attendance at the dinner, responded to Duffy’s remarks by telling Nichols that she took “full responsibility” for the “outage”.
As The Fried Egg points out, this doesn’t seem like an isolated incident, especially considering what else Duffy, whose company has been the title sponsor of the LPGA season finale since 2011, had to say.
“I’m worried about the future of the tour,” Duffy continued, “because management needs to work with their players to make sure everyone has a clear understanding of how we, along with sponsors and others, are developing the game. There is not one person, not two people who could raise it alone. Everyone needs you. They say it needs a village and I think their village is a bit split.”