LPGA Backs Off English-Only Policy

Tour bows to sponsors, civil rights groups on controversial rule
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2008 2:43 PM CDT
The LPGA includes 121 international players from 26 countries, including 45 from South Korea alone. Asians have won 3 majors this year alone.   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
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(Newser) – A firestorm of criticism has forced the LPGA to overturn its plans to penalize tour players who failed to pass an oral English evaluation after 2 years, GolfWeek reports. “After hearing the concerns, we believe there are other ways to achieve our shared objective of supporting and enhancing the business opportunities for every tour player,” said the LPGA commissioner.

Many saw the policy as particularly discriminatory against Asian golfers, who won three majors this year. The reversal came just 2 hours before an Asian-American legal group, civil rights activists, and elected officials planned to publicly condemn the proposal. “I’m pleased they have come to their senses,” said a California assemblyman. More than 100 international golfers from 26 countries currently play on the LPGA tour.