Archive for the ‘LPGA’ Category
On paper the LPGA’s one-in-four rule (requiring LPGA players to play every tournament on the schedule once every four years) seems like a good idea. It allows tournaments to leave out to wishing and hoping of landing a Michelle Wie or Paula Creamer and understand that, not matter how much the player may dislike the course hosting the event, they still have an obligation to show up at least once every four years.
The idea, which has been knocked around by the PGA Tour, is something many see as the future of men’s professional golf. While it’d be great to see Tiger Woods show up in San Antonio or Reno once every four years, the idea just doesn’t seem to make sense when you realize that the players are in fact their own bosses. They call the shots and make the decisions on the courses they play.
It’s part of what makes golf (as well as tennis) such a unique sport. Forcing a player to play an event due to a rule just doesn’t make sense, no matter how badly you’d like your stars to show up for every tournament. You not only risk burning them out each year by playing a couple extra events; you also run the risk of alienating them.
LPGA player Angela Stanford is now one of those players who will forever be alienated by the tour’s one-in-four policy. Read the rest of this entry »
Today’s opening round of the Tres Marias Championship in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico, signaled the changing of the guard on the LPGA tour. The tour’s poster child, Lorena Ochoa, is playing in her last professional golf event as a full-time member. Where does the tour go from here without the face of the game? Nobody knows for sure. Quite honestly,the bigger question that needs to be answered is, who’s going to take the torch and become the new face of women’s golf?
The LPGA not only needs a recognizable face to go along with their sport; they also need someone who can win on a consistent basis. Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam did that. While she’s still young in her own right, the future of the LPGA most likely sits in the hands of one player — and that would be Michelle Wie. Read the rest of this entry »
The world of women’s tennis is one that’s full of uncertainty. One day, Kim Clijsters is winning grand slam titles in her early 20’s; the next she’s announcing her retirement from the sport. Tennis is one of those sports where a player in their mid-20’s is considered over the hill when you compare them to the 16 and 17-year-old kids running around the courts.
The LPGA has never been that way. Players like Laura Davies and Nancy Lopez are the epitome of great golfers playing into their mid-40’s and 50’s. Hell, playing golf is a sport that’s supposed to be played when you’re old and cranky. It gets the men and women out of the house and saves millions of marriages every year. After all, nobody wants to be stuck doing yard-work at that age, right?
But the times of superstar golfers playing into the twilight years appear to be over. Last year, Annika Sorenstam announced her retirement from the sport at the age of 38, an age where most players on the PGA Tour tend to come into their own. (Just look at Phil Mickelson, Kenny Perry and Vijay Singh.)
After exhausting all potential financial avenues, the LPGA managed to come up with just 23 full-field events for the 2010 season. The current number — which is down from 27 last season — only adds to the general consensus that former tour commissioner Carolyn Bivens was one of the biggest factors in the new schedule.
Golf World’s Ron Sirak reported that “a mix of a bad economy and bad blood among tournament owners left over the Carolyn Bivens commissionership. Many of the tournaments acting commissioner Marty Evans was able to lure back returned at lower purses.”
Bivens’ polarizing personality left the tour between a rock and a hard place, forcing former acting tour commissioner Marty Evans to play fireman and put out the flames. In the end, I guess 23 tournaments isn’t such a bad thing. It just means players will be playing more golf this season — something that should be a big positive for tournament officials. However, if there’s one thing that’s going to hurt the tour this year, it’s the news regarding long layoff between the first event of the season and the first event on U.S. soil.
Fans of the LPGA based here in the States won’t get the chance to see the women play until the last week of March. That means there’s more than a full month between the Honda LPGA Championship in Thailand and the J Classic in La Costa, Calif. Read the rest of this entry »
81-year-old Castle Pines Golf Club founder, Jack Vickers, looks like a genius these days. When it was first reported that he was going to pull The International from the tour schedule, there were many out there who thought he was crazy for pulling the plug on Colorado’s biggest golf event.
Why would one of the best events on the schedule suddenly decide to up and leave the golf scene? It seemed like a logical question at the time. That was until the bottom fell out of the economy, and tournaments like The International were able to save face before they lost millions.
“The community is really going to miss this thing,” Vickers said back in 2007. More than two years late, Vickers is right. The state of Colorado really does miss a regular tour stop. Read the rest of this entry »
OK, we’ve all seen the Anna Rawson piece on E:60 and have
Googled ogled her numerous times when she’s passed by on the television. I’ll admit she’s got the looks to earn the LPGA some big bucks in the future. Shoot, she’s already earning a better living off the course modeling for various designers.
But if there’s one things that’s missing from that gorgeous face, it’s a solid golf game. During the E:60 interview, the LPGA’s VP of communications, David Higdon, was asked what Rawson needed to do to become the face of the LPGA. Higdon held his hands above his head like he was holding a trophy. Just like Anna Kournikova when she was playing on the WTA, Rawson needs to find a way to get inside the top 50 world rankings and win a tournament or two – at least.
She definitely didn’t go in the right directions this weekend at the Women’s British Open, shooting an opening round 82 to fall completely off the map. She followed that up with a 5-over 77 to finish at 15-over for the tournament. That just won’t do for the future face of the LPGA.
Read the rest of this entry »
It took some time, but finally, after all this time, Michelle Wie is doing things the right way. Instead of chasing her dream of playing with the men on the PGA Tour; Wie turned her attention to college and the goal of playing full-time on the LPGA. After qualifying and earning her card at Q School, she made her first start of the season yesterday at the SBS Open and didn’t disappoint. Read the rest of this entry »