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Page last updated at 22:28 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 23:28 UK

LPGA scraps English 'exam' plans

Se Ri Pak
Five-time major winner Se Ri Pak thinks players should speak English

The LPGA Tour has decided not to pursue plans that would have seen players having to speak English by 2009 else face suspension.

Regulations, whereby all golfers who have been on the tour for two years must pass an oral exam or face a threat to their membership, have been axed.

The plans sparked fury among LPGA members, which has 45 South Koreans among its 121 non-American players.

LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens said a punishment-free program will be used.

World number one Lorena Ochoa of Mexico was among those who spoke out against the idea of requiring players pass an oral proficiency examination or face penalties that would include suspensions.

The LPGA agreed that there would be better ways to achieve the goals it sought without inflicting punishment.

"The LPGA has received valuable feedback from a variety of constituents regarding the recently announced penalties attached to our effective communications policy," Bivens said.

"We have decided to rescind those penalty provisions.


"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.

"In that spirit, we will continue communicating with our diverse tour players to develop a better alternative."

The LPGA says it will now announce a revised approach, which does not impose playing penalties, by the end of 2008.

It will continue a program started in 2005 to provide all LPGA players with language training, tutors, translators and learning schemes.

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