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In Praise Of The LPGA

The LPGA's stars, like Michelle Wie, are shining right now. (Kevin Burns, Front Row Shots)
The LPGA’s stars, like Michelle Wie, are shining right now. (Kevin Burns, Front Row Shots)

Isn’t it interesting how this has worked out:

Everything that the PGA Tour needs right now, the LPGA has.

The LPGA’s stars are playing well.

The PGA Tour’s stars are not.

The LPGA has natural healthy rivalries (Wie vs. Thompson, Ko vs. Lewis, Asians vs. Americans).

The PGA Tour has an injured Tiger Woods, a floundering Phil Mickelson, a plateau-ed Rory McIlroy and a not quite ready for prime prime time Jordan Spieth.

The LPGA’s best players make a special point of playing in its tour’s top events no matter how far they have to fly on a plane to get there.

The PGA Tour’s best players are so rich that they can plan their schedules around personal convenience. Bubba Watson blew off the Wells Fargo Championship, an event that treats the players like kings; offers a terrific golf course and is important to the Tour’s future.

The LPGA and its players “get” it when it comes to making time for their fans and the media that covers their Tour.

The PGA Tour’s top-ranked player rarely signs autographs and breaks news only on his own website.

The LPGA has managed to deal with Donald Trump without losing its dignity.

The PGA Tour, you get the sense, is only embracing Trump now out of desperation.

The LPGA is gaining title sponsors.

The PGA Tour no longer can pick and choose the top blue-chip corporations to fork over title sponsorship money.

Makes you kind of wonder why the disparity in purses is so great.

Sure, the guys hit the ball farther, play faster and are more accomplished around the greens.

But too many (not all) of them are robots, not even worth their weight in sound bytes. Too many of them speak the same clichéd golfspeak.

On the LPGA the Asian women have made an earnest effort to study English. And an increasing number of English-speaking women are learning Korean, Japanese and Chinese.

Maybe Time magazine wasn’t so far off the mark after all last month when it named Lydia Ko one its 100 most “influential” people in the world.

Didn’t see Patrick Reed’s name on that list. Did you?


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