Women vs Men Will Run Its Course

By Brian HewittFebruary 11, 2004, 5:00 pm
I am not getting this. Greg Norman is being quoted as saying that Laura Davies invitation to play in this weeks ANZ Championship is another gimmick and I am not getting this.
Ernie Els is being quoted as saying Davies presence as the only female in the field of this co-sanctioned (European and Australasian Tours) event is not the natural thing to do. And I dont see why.
Colin Montgomerie is being quoted as saying, There doesnt seem to be a finite end to this. I dont really understand it. And I dont understand what he doesnt understand.
Annika Sorenstam got to play in a PGA Tour event. Famously so. So did Michelle Wie. So did Suzy Whaley. Se Ri Pak got to play against the men in Korea. Sophie Gustafson played against the men, too.
Why shouldnt Laura Davies, a future Hall of Famer, a long hitter and one of the great personalities in all of sports, get her chance?
I know what most of the men who oppose women playing against the men at the games highest levels fear. They are afraid all of this will turn into a trend.
It will not. There are less than a dozen women in the world with enough game to realistically believe they can make the cut, much less challenge for the lead against the best men. None of those women, save for the 14-year-old Wie, have expressed a desire to play against the men on a regular basis. None of those women, with the remotely possible exception of Sorenstam, could ever hope to finish in the top 125 on the money list on the PGA Tour in this country any time in the near future.
This is not a trend any more than it was a trend when Casey Martin won the legal right to ride a cart in competition. In that instance, there wasnt a flood of players with similar disabilities good enough at golf to make it through the 108-hole crucible called Q-School. No trend ensued.
As for the sponsors granting these unrestricted exemptions: They know where their bread is buttered. They dont want to alienate the men by giving away exemptions lightly to players who dont belong in their events, regardless of gender.
Norman gets it right when he says poor performances by women against the best men will be detrimental to the womens tours. Which is another reason why this wont be a trend unless a woman comes along who can hold her own. Wie is the best candidate for that. And the guess here is shes at least six years away from being physically, mentally and emotionally equipped to prove it.
If she succeeded on the PGA Tour, it would be a great story. More than that, it would be an inspiration for anybody who has ever been told they cant achieve something.
But Michelle Wie is like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan. She has much to yet achieve. But talents like hers come along once in a lifetime. She is not a trend.
So I think its time everybody chilled out a little on all of this. Allow it to run its course. Lets root for Laura Davies this week. She is an underdog. It will be great to see her succeed. If she plays poorly, she can handle it.
This is something we should all be able to get.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.