Seven rounds over five days. The competitor in Sophia Popov wanted to win. The human in her quickly relinquished the sting of a runner-up finish at the inaugural Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play Hosted by Shadow Creek when she was greeted by the loving embrace of family, especially the beaming smiles of her three nieces, walking off the 17th green.
Sophia Popov, statements
“I honestly couldn’t have hoped for a better week. Yeah, I could have topped it off with a win, but pretty sure when I look at them, they’re proud regardless. I’m just lucky to be able to hug my nieces. She said it was really boring today, so obviously it wasn’t that important to her. Priorities are different, and that’s what I love them for. I’m a very, very lucky person with the family I have. I think ability-wise, I had plenty to win today. I hit some shots out of fatigue and made some mistakes, because I was definitely tired from all the rounds that I’ve played and having to go into overtime [with Inbee yesterday] and maybe playing a few more holes than Ally did,” Popov said. “There were a couple key moments where I could have turned it around and she made clutch shots. She played great and is a deserving winner. Every time I thought I have a chance, she kind of said, ‘Nope,’ and that’s the thing with match play”.
The Board of Directors of the LPGA has unanimously elected Mollie Marcoux Samaan as its next Commissioner. Marcoux Samaan, currently Ford Family Director of Athletics at Princeton University, will become the ninth Commissioner of the LPGA since its formation in 1950. She will succeed Commissioner Mike Whan who notified the LPGA Board late last year of his intent to step down in 2021. Whan was recently announced as the next Chief Executive Officer of the USGA. Marcoux Samaan will be working with the LPGA Board and the University to transition to her new role in the months ahead.
“Our selection of Mollie Marcoux Samaan as the LPGA’s next Commissioner is the outcome of an extensive and deliberate search process. The position attracted a diverse group of outstanding internal and external candidates, all passionate about the LPGA. We concluded that Mollie is the right leader to guide the LPGA’s next chapter of growth, impact and achievement,” said Diane Gulyas, Chair of the LPGA Board of Directors and the Search Committee.
“Mollie understands the power of golf to change the lives of girls and women. As a values-centered leader, she’s known for her skills in collaboration, managing through complexity and building a winning team culture. In every role, she’s had an outstanding record of performance in navigating change, forging lasting partnerships, and seeing – and seizing – new opportunities,” Gulyas said.
“Our search process was disciplined and thorough. We were impressed and honored by the large number of quality of leaders interested in the LPGA. But in the end, Mollie stood above the rest. We were impressed by her track record working with athletes; with her ability to forge new and innovative partnerships; and with her personal passion, authenticity and proven persistence for excellence,” said Juli Inkster, World and LPGA Hall of Famer and a member of the Search Committee.
Mollie Marcoux Samaan, statements