Halmstad:The US LPGA Tour has scheduled the 2009 Solheim Cup for late August, a date that should keep it from going head-to-head against the US PGA Tour Championship.
It's an issue, especially now that the American men's tour is in the first year of its FedEx Cup playoff, which culminates on Sunday in Atlanta, a few hours after the Solheim Cup wraps up in Sweden. The winner of the US PGA Tour "playoffs" earns a $10 million annuity.
"This year's event was set long before the Tour Championship was set," LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens said Thursday, the eve of the women's match-play event between the United States and Europe.
The past four Solheim Cups have started in September and have fallen on the same week as the Canadian Open (2005), John Deere Classic (2003), Tampa Bay Classic (2002) and Michelob Championship (2000) - none considered top events on the US men's schedule.
Bivens also defended the LPGA's decision to schedule a new tournament last week in Rogers, Arkansas, where rain caused the event to be shortened from 54 to 18 holes.
"These women are professionals, most of them want more tournaments, not fewer," Bivens said. "It was just bad luck, just an act of God that it went the way it did. But it wouldn't cause us to change what we did."
Ten Solheim Cup players were entered in that tournament, which concluded on Sunday with no gallery because the grounds were too soaked to allow fans to enter. The players all arrived in Sweden on schedule to start practice for the Solheim Cup.