LPGA to Test Players' English

Tour worries about sponsor interaction as foreign players increase
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2008 4:12 PM CDT
Na Yeon Choi of South Korea tees off at a tournament in July.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The LPGA will begin mandatory oral English tests for its players next year, and those who fail face suspension and required tutoring, Golfweek reports. The tour is stressing the importance of English as players from Asia have come to play a prominent role in the sport. Of the 121 international players on the tour this year, 45 are from South Korea.

The LPGA says it's essential that players be able to talk with pro-am partners—a lucrative source of income—and to give press conferences in English. "We don’t have a job if we don’t entertain,” said the president of the Player Executive Committee. “In my mind, that’s as big a part of the job as shooting under par.”