Mike Whan is leaving the LPGA Tour after 11 years as commissioner, a surprise announcement Wednesday that comes just three weeks after he guided the tour through a season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whan did not set a date for when he would leave. The announcement was described as the start of a succession plan.

Even though the pandemic shut down the LPGA Tour for five months and took a chunk out of a decade of savings, Whan says the tour came out of the year even more financially secure.

He did not offer a clear reason for stepping away or saying what he would do next.

“The LPGA is poised for even greater heights, and as such, I’m excited to hand the baton to the next leader and become their biggest supporter,” he said in a letter to the LPGA staff, members and sponsors. “One of the hardest jobs of a leader is to know when their work is done. If the COVID-19 pandemic taught me anything, it was that the LPGA executive staff has full control of our business and is capable of incredible things.”

The announcement comes two weeks before the LPGA Tour begins a new season, back to full strength going into the year.

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