May 15, 2003

Girl to play in men's tourney.: No, I'm not talking about Anika and the Colonial. I'm talking about 13-year-old six-footer (!) Michelle Wie who will become the first woman to play a Nationwide Tour event at the Albertson's Boise Open in Idaho, courtesy of a sponsor's exemption. Even Vijay Singh thinks she's amazing. Wonder what other interesting comments we'll here from the men.

posted by worldcup2002 to golf at 12:20 PM - 4 comments

Lawd, "here from the men?" I am so embarrassed.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:59 PM on May 15, 2003

I, personally, cannot wait for the first man who isn't quite good enough to make it on the PGA tour who decides he wants to go for the large purses on the LPGA tour and gets rejected by the public because he is a man. Then the double standard rears it's ugly head. I have no problem with anyone who makes the tour by qualifying. I do have a problem with the sponsor's exemption in general. People are trying to make a living, and if other people who are "more marketable" are getting in without qualifying, this is making the difficult task of surviving on the PGA tour harder for them. Not everyone is Tiger, not everyone can win events and make it to the top 10, some people have to scrape by on their dream, and the sponsor's exemption hurts their chances even more. I also think it demerits the LPGA tour if the women are going to start deciding that it's cooler to be playing on the PGA tour, and the sponsorship of that tour might tank out, which would be a shame.

posted by therev at 08:50 PM on May 15, 2003

I think I have to agree with you there, therev. Qualifying, regardless of who you are, is one thing. A sponsorship exemption is kinda lame, unless, say, you're a previous champ of the tourney you're getting an exemption to, or have won some other even on the same tour or even better, the PGA tour.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:40 PM on May 15, 2003

Most tourneys have 8 sponsor's exemptions, half of which are specifically 'restricted' to Q school grads or players in the top 125 on the money list. Usually the others end up going to local pros or past winners who no longer qualify automatically. Of course, not always. As more women press for these spots I think we'll see even more of the Vijay Singh/Fulton Allem reactions from the men. And I agree with therev, in the long run this has to marginalize the LPGA. It's interesting they are embracing Annika's move now when they have to realize the long-term ramifications are not positive.

posted by kloeprich at 12:53 PM on May 16, 2003

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