DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Nov. 2, 2005 -Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Commissioner Carolyn F. Bivens has announced that Deb Richard, a member of the LPGA Tour for nearly two decades, has been named senior vice president of golf for the LPGA, a newly created position, effective Nov. 7. A five-time winner on Tour, Richard announced her retirement from competitive golf earlier this year.
"I am so pleased to welcome Deb to the LPGA staff," said Bivens. "With her many years as a competitor and leader on the Tour, Deb brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for the game. Deb will play a central role in ensuring that we continue to showcase the very best of women’s professional golf on the very best stages possible. As a former player, Deb brings a perspective we intend to use extensively in all aspects of course selection, set-up for players and for fans, as well as all the operational planning which goes into running a great tournament."
As senior vice president of golf, Richard will oversee all aspects of the golf courses on which the LPGA plays. In this position, she will play an integral role in approving the host venues and set-up for LPGA events, as well as working closely with the LPGA Tournament Sponsors Association regarding the staging of tournaments.
"My passion for the game of golf and the LPGA Tour has guided my entire life," said Richard. "Being able to join Carolyn’s staff at a time when the LPGA is loaded with incredible talent and personalities who can transcend the sport is a lifetime opportunity. I look forward to elevating all aspects of LPGA tournament golf."
The 42-year-old Richard won five events during her career, and compiled more than $2.75 million in career earnings. Her most recent victory came in 1997 at the Friendly’s Classic. Her first win came in just her second year on Tour at the Rochester International in 1987. Richard retired from Tour competition due to recurring neck problems that prohibited her from practicing and competing at the highest level.
In 1991, Richard had her most successful year, winning two events in sudden-death playoffs, the Women’s Kemper Open and the Phar-Mor in Youngstown. That year, she also finished runner-up to Alice Miller in a sudden-death playoff at the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic. Richard also won the SAFECO Classic in 1994.
Richard, a native of Manhattan, Kan., who currently resides in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., has been actively involved in charity initiatives. Richard founded the Deb Richard Foundation in 1995 to award college scholarships to physically challenged children. Through the hard work and dedication she put toward her foundation, she was honored with the Golf Digest Founders Cup Award in 1994, the Sports Illustrated "Good Sports Award" in 1995 and was a recipient of the Samaritan Award in 1996.
Richard, a 1989 graduate of the University of Florida and a 2004 Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient, also endowed the Deb Richard Foundation Scholarship program at her alma mater in 2003-04. This scholarship program helps physically challenged children reach their potential through education. To date, she has awarded 13 five-year grants to children worth $25,000 each, and six of those children have already graduated college.
Richard was the 1984 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion and captured the low individual honors in the World Cup Championships in Hong Kong that same year. At the University of Florida, Richard was a three-time all-American from 1983-85. The NCAA Championship runner-up in 1985, Richard received the 1985 Broderick Award, given to an outstanding female collegiate golfer. A seven-time tournament winner at Florida, she was named to the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.
Connie Wilson, LPGA