ANA Inspiration and Augusta National Women’s Amateur underscore just how far behind American women have fallen
This past weekend, two major events took place in women’s golf: the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in Augusta, Ga.
Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit, who won the ANA, was the sixth consecutive international winner of that LPGA major championship.
The ANWA was won by Japan’s Tsubasa Kajitani. Of the top 12 finishers in that event, three were Americans.
Only four of the top 12 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings are Americans, and one of them, Jennifer Kupcho, has yet to win an LPGA event. Lexi Thompson is one of the four, and she hasn’t won since June 2019.
What has happened that makes American women almost a throw-in on the biggest stages in women’s golf?
Is it the college programs that recruit international players and because of the must-win mentality, aren’t willing to take the time to develop players? (Tavatanakit played at UCLA.) The Duke women won the 2019 NCAA championship. Of their five players, one was from China, one from Italy, one from Slovenia and one from Thailand.
Or, is it the equipment manufacturers, who are far less generous with their equipment contracts as they are with the men? Without a guarantee of income out of college, many women can’t afford to hone their skills in the minor leagues. They take their scholarship education and go into the workforce.
Or, following that theme, is it the LPGA, which doesn’t have enough money to fund a developmental tour that provides purses large enough for players to survive?
I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that the LPGA, the PGA Tour and the USGA need to figure it out. If you don’t believe me, ask the NCAA.
Reader hangs a bull’s-eye on NBC’s split screen
I’m glad to see others share my disdain for NBC and Golf Channel’s split-screen “Playing Through” coverage of live golf (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 6).
I thought it was particularly obtrusive during the WGC Match Play tournament a couple of weeks ago. I consistently missed key shots in the various matches as they were shown on the postage-size part of the split screen while some inane commercial ran.
Because the networks don’t care what viewers think unless they tune out completely, I hope others join me in boycotting the products and services from companies that choose to advertise in this manner.
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