Is Inbee Park getting enough attention as she takes the women’s game to a place it has never been before?
Actually, is her story getting the media play it fully deserves as she takes all of golf to a place it has never been before in her bid to become the first man or woman to win four professional majors in a year?
With Park going to St. Andrews for the Ricoh Women’s British Open this week, the women’s game is preparing to make a rare move to golf’s center stage in a way it hasn’t since Annika Sorenstam teed it up at Colonial in a men’s PGA Tour event 10 years ago.
While there is a buzz over Park’s quest, it isn’t anything like the buzz Sorenstam created playing Hogan’s Alley with the men. In fact, some of the women who worked so hard to build the LPGA, including Sorenstam, think Park’s quest should be getting more media build up than it is receiving.
“This is going to be huge if she wins, but it won’t mean as much if she doesn’t get the recognition and attention this deserves,” Sorenstam said. “It’s a big deal, but people aren’t really paying attention. You look at what she has done already, I don’t think it’s getting enough attention. If this were a player on the PGA Tour, it’s all anyone would be hearing about.”
With Tiger Woods and the best men in the world teeing it up at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational this week, women will be watching to see how Park's story is played. Sorenstam is hopeful Park’s quest will generate even more buzz as this week progresses.
“The way this is setting up, at St. Andrews, makes it even more special,” Sorenstam said. “It’s amazing. Hopefully, people will tune in and it will become this amazing highlight, not just for her, but for the LPGA and its history.”
Count Hall of Famer Beth Daniel among those hoping to see Park’s story get more play outside its normal niche, to generate a larger buzz among mainstream sports outlets and even in the news world at large.
“It’s getting a lot of attention in the women’s golf world, as it should,” Daniel said. “It’s a pretty large feat, just winning three majors in a row, and pretty incredible to be going for the slam.
“There’s always been some disappointment, for my whole lifetime, that women’s sports have taken such a backseat, that for some reason it’s not as great an accomplishment if a woman does it. It gets a little frustrating.”
Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez wishes Park’s quest was being told more broadly.
“I feel like women are never given the credit they deserve,” Lopez said. “The women in golf need to be given more credit. I don’t think they’ve gotten it. I just hope the credit is given to Inbee. She’s a great player and a super person, and she has done a great job handling this.”
Hall of Famer Pat Bradley is hopeful Park’s story will be suitably documented.
“I hope people will recognize how hard this young lady has worked to get to this historical moment,” Bradley said. “I hope she is given the due recognition.”