LPGA Tour refutes report of Bivens buyout talks

Sports Business Daily reported today that embattled LPGA Tour Commissioner Carolyn Bivens is agreeable to a buyout of the final two years of her contract, but a source close to the situation has told that the LPGA is refuting the story.The story also said that the board has "authorized a golf industry exec to contact potential candidates to replace" Bivens, but that the board was not "actively negotiating a buyout."More information is expected in the next few hours. Last week, several prominent players met over dinner to discuss Bivens's performance, and Golfweek reported that the dinner led to a letter, signed by several top players, that called for Bivens to resign.The U.S. Women's Open, one of the biggest events in women's golf, started today and has so far been overshadowed by reports of the player insurrection.UPDATE: LPGA Chief Communications Officer David Higdon has released a statement:"As we've said throughout the week, we want all of those interested in women's professional golf to focus on the play here at the U.S. Women's Open, which has started today and will conclude this weekend when the 2009 champion is crowned. Out of respect to the USGA and the amazing work that they've done and continue to do in producing and hosting this great event, we will not respond to media reports on internal matters related to the LPGA business. The LPGA players, staff and Board care deeply about our Tour, and we're all working hard to achieve the same long-term objective to grow our Tour. We look forward to a great week of golf."

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by Kevin Cunningham