The Korn Ferry Tour announced two weeks ago that it will return to Maine with the Live + Work in Maine Open at Falmouth Country Club starting next year for the next five years.

Alex Baldwin, president of the Korn Ferry Tour. US PGA TOUR

One of the people who helped make it happen is a graduate of Bates College.

The president of the PGA Tour’s top development tour is Alexandra “Alex” Baldwin, a Connecticut native who majored in political science major before graduating in 1993.

So, how does a political science major become the leader of one of the top golfing tours in the world? Baldwin said that pursuing a political sciene major felt right, even though her passion is in sports.

“I always had an affinity and always had an interest in sports business,” Baldwin said. “Even before I got to college, I spent a lot of time in internships, working with sporting events. I worked with the Volvo Tennis Tour in New Haven, Connecticut, while I was in high school. My mom was a teacher and my brother is a teacher, he was a political science major, I generally appreciated a liberal arts education.”

It’s been 10 years since Baldwin has been to Lewiston, and she’s excited to return to Maine next year for the tournament.

She said she enjoyed the people at Bates and in the community, and that she wouldn’t be where she is without some of the people she met in Lewiston.

One who had a big impact on her is Evan Silverman. He was a fellow student who has been a great friend to Baldwin and who supported her in her dreams.

This year has been a good one for Baldwin. In January she was named the President of the We.com Tour, which became the Korn Ferry Tour in June. She became the first female to lead one of the six PGA Tour Global Tours. (The other four, in addition to the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour ,are the PGA Champions Tour, the Mackenize Tour (based in Canada), PGA Tour Latinoamerica and PGA Tour China.

“It’s absolutely awesome, it’s fantastic, it’s an amazing tour,” Baldwin said. “Everything about it is pretty awesome, the talent is exceptional. We are the path to the PGA Tour and we provide that development platform for our players not only to play and compete, but for them to earn their PGA Tour card.”

After Bates, Baldwin became an agent for golfers in the mid- and late-1990s on the LPGA and PGA Tours, representing players such as Karrie Webb, Suzann Pettersen, Brad Faxon and Carlos Franco, while working with the International Management Group in Florida, for which she started as an intern in 1992 and worked her way up to an agent.

She started with IMG with its Latin America Business Affairs group before becoming an agent.

“I stumbled into it many ways. My background is also in Latin American studies, so I spoke Spanish,” Baldwin said. “It just happened at a time where there were a lot of up-and-coming Spanish-speaking golfers. I was afforded the opportunity; I was certainly a talent they needed at that time to address the growing phenomena that was happening. It was really fortuitous — I was at the right place at the right time.”

Baldwin returned to New England in late 2004 to join the Fenway Sports Management, which is led by John Henry, the owner of the Boston Red Sox.

At IMG, Baldwin dealt with the player side of sports, dealing with player rights and how to get endorsements for her clients. With Fenway Sports Management, she was able to see the team and league sides.

The maintained involvement in golf through the Deutsche Bank Championship, the longtime PGA Tour stop at TPC at Boston in Newton, Massachusetts.

Baldwin stayed with Fenway Sports until 2012 when she moved back to Florida to work with Creative Artists Agency, another sports and entertainment agency group.

Instead of working with players as she did at IMG, at CAA Baldwin worked with sponsors.

“Golf was an area they were very invested in,” Baldwin said. “The team in Jacksonville was focused on the golf side, so they asked me to join that team.

“I had the opportunity to grow that business by going out and bringing on new partners — working with some great brands like Waste Management, for the Waste Management Phoenix Open (on the PGA Tour). I worked with CVS Health, which is a big sponsor of the CVS Health Charity Classic (a one-day tournament in which PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, PGA Champions Tour players come together for a team stroke play event). I worked with Concur, who had a deal with Jason Day.”

Baldwin has been with the PGA Tour since 2017 as its Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, working with brands such as Dell, United Airlines and Morgan Stanley.

“I had an opportunity to work with a bigger pool of partners and had teams (of people) managing those partners,” Baldwin said. “I got to dig in and understand the tour’s perspective and how they work with their partners and what are all the dynamics are.”

Tom Lewis of England competes in the Korn Ferry Tour Championship golf tournament in Newburgh, Ind., earlier this month. AP


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