As LPGA struggles, players call for the commissioner's ouster

With the arrival of the U.S. Women's Open, which begins Thursday, this week was supposed to be a highlight of the year on the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour. But instead of celebrating the field of talented international stars, led by the lithesome Mexican Lorena Ochoa, the LPGA finds itself enmeshed in controversy: An untold number of influential players have signed a letter calling for Tour Commissioner Carolyn Bivens to resign.

Although the timing of the unrest is surprising -- given the potential distraction it creates during the most prestigious event on the LPGA calendar -- the circumstances behind it are well known to followers of the tour. The LPGA is reeling in these tough financial times. Seven of its tournaments, including all three in Hawaii, have been canceled in the past two years due to a lack of corporate sponsorship. Six more are currently without sponsors and in danger of being lost.