Remember the USW Mustangs — LET Saudi Quotes — Must-click women’s golf links
The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, March 24, 2022
It’s unfortunate that losing a life, as USW did, is what makes us reflect on just how precious it is. In some capacity, we have all dealt with losing someone or something — and it never gets any easier. Some days you smile in remembrance, on other days the memories bring an ache to your heart. Grief is a vicious cycle of raw emotions unlike any other.
What’s enchanting about humanity is that you can grieve for strangers. How is it that you can feel heartbroken over someone you have never laid eyes on? To me, that’s showing the utmost compassion. Over the last week, my heart has been breaking for the entire community of The University of the Southwest. I am an alum of Virginia Tech, who was only seven years old when the tragic shooting happened, and I still felt the spirit of our 32 Hokies when I walked on campus. Former, current, and future students will forever share a bond that will ultimately begin to heal the community in Hobbs, New Mexico. I can only hope that everyone is doing what is necessary to begin the process of mending their broken hearts.
For the students, they lost peers. For the teachers and staff, they lost students. For the families, they lost loved ones who had their entire lives ahead of them — and that’s what hurts me the most. Seeing young people taken before their stories can even begin will never cease to shake me to my core. One student, Jackson Zinn, was 22, the same age as me. Karisa Raines was 21. Mauricio Sanchez and Travis Garcia were both 19. Laci Stone and Tiago Sousa were 18. Their coach, Tyler James, was 26, and it was his first year as the head coach. Each had their own stories, their own goals, and shared one common love — golf.
I can say confidently, without having met a single one of these beautiful souls, that they lived with integrity, respected others, and believed in themselves because that’s what this game teaches you. I believe their families as they pour out their hearts, commemorating their babies. A donation site has been set up by the university to help the families and the community as they continue to mourn.
Stories like these serve as a devastating reminder that even though we have all these dreams, hopes, and ideas, fate can be cruel and we may not have as much time as we think. Despite the haunting possibilities of “what if”, life goes on. We find ways to heal while never forgetting our loved ones.
My heart will remain heavy for a while, but what brings me a little comfort is the thought that these seven amazing humans are teeing it up, where-ever they are.
“Your memory feels like home to me. So whenever my mind wanders, it always finds it’s way back to you.”— Ranata Suzuki
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This week in women’s golf
If you have links you wish to share for Golf Thursday, sources for golf news, or want to talk about anything at all, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org ! Discussion of any kind is always welcome…I mean it…MESSAGE ME!
I thought this quote from men’s world no.1 Jon Rahm was veryyy interesting and a take we may have seen before…
Here’s what’s hot from LPGA.com this week…
Also sad update on Nelly Korda, she won’t be in the field for this year’s first major:
Last week in Saudi Arabia, Georgia Hall took home the trophy with a five-stroke victory to finish an impressive 11-under for the week!
The ladies of the European Tour is back in South Africa this week for the Joburg Ladies Open
For more on this week’s tournament, check these out…
Epson Tour News
Well this is cool!! Shaq (who is merely a torso in this tweet) is helping out with some promotional work for the Epson Tour.
Here’s a look at what’s to come in college golf tournaments !
Also this blooper from Stanford’s Rachel Heck and Caroline Sturdza is just too good! We’ve all broken a club or two.
Five at The IX: Anna Nordqvist and Georgia Hall Press Conference on the LET in Saudi Arabia
With all the controversy surrounding Saudi Arabia, the PGA Tour, and Phil Mickelson especially, it seemed appropriate to bring in some female perspective on this topic. Women’s golf has only recently hit the desert (since 2020) but it’s been seen a a good thing.
I saw a series of tweets that piqued my interests, thus leading to today’s Five at The IX.
The original tweet I saw (which sparked a dumpster fire of responses by the way).
Which was followed by this response from Eamon Lynch, a brilliant tweeter and even better journalist. And he hits the nail on the head with one sentence.
So that being said, this press conference from March 15, before the Aramco Ladies International, touched on what women’s golf in Saudia Arabia means, why they enjoy playing in Saudi, and their thoughts on Phil’s comments.
(Edited for time, for the full press conference click here.)
Q. The question is for both of you. The fact that the Saudi women now are picking up golf thanks to some work and initiatives done by Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation, how do you encourage them? And what would you like to say to them to get into golf, and would you do that?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Well, I think that the initiative that Golf Saudi had starting out with the first tournament here two years ago, the Ladies First initiative, where they gave away — don’t quote me on this, but it was like 1,500 memberships. I thought that was huge.
I didn’t grow up in a golf club where there was many females. It’s very hard. I actually started golf when I was 10. I quit about two months later because I didn’t enjoy it and there wasn’t many other girls that I could relate to. Then I picked it up three years later.
So I know golf might be a sport where you need to be surrounded by some friends or women in particular to kind of share the experience with compared to other sports, so just seeing that, I think, has been huge. Also coming here and meeting some of the young girls here. It’s nice to see the COVID restriction lifted and see more people out and about and on the beach walk and around the hotel. There’s a few more people coming out than last year.
It’s been great to kind of pick up and just meet young girls and ladies.
Q. I have a question for both of you. What do you want the spectators to experience from this tournament? Is there any advice you would like to give for Saudi women and girls who want to play golf?
GEORGIA HALL: I started when I was 7 years old, and I just really enjoyed trying to make contact with the golf ball and try to hit it as hard as I could. That’s the advice I would give to start off, just have a lot of fun with it, and golf can be a lot of fun as well, especially if you’re going with friends. You can make loads of different games up.
I think number one is just to have fun and see where you are with it. Everyone is different when they take up the game. Some find it easier than others. But yeah, I think just have fun.
THE MODERATOR: Anna, I think you can answer the initial part of that, which is what would you say to spectators who are thinking about maybe coming along this weekend to watch the golf? What would you say to bring them here?
ANNA NORDQVIST: I think it’s a fantastic opportunity just to obviously watch women’s golf. There’s so much talent in Europe. There’s so many good girls, and they’re so young now. I’m old at 34.
It’s a cool experience, and I think a lot of people who have never been to a golf tournament in person, I think it will be quite a different experience. It’s pretty cool seeing it up front.
I know Aramco and Golf Saudi, they do so much things for the spectators, and they have this little village with a lot of fun stuff going on. So even if you don’t go out on the golf course, it’s definitely worth a visit there.
THE MODERATOR: I think on Friday of the tournament, they’ve got a ladies’ day for any women that want to come for free golf lessons as well as to see these awesome lady athletes in action.
Q. Anna, I was wondering if this whole controversy with Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman and all these things have affected you in some way? If you think there’s a different reality between men’s golf and women’s golf in this whole scheme of things. And kind of your reflections as a Golf Saudi ambassador.
ANNA NORDQVIST: I’ve never been one to comment on other people’s thoughts, what the men’s like, what the women’s is like. I’ve always believed in giving women opportunities to play all over the world and for people to believe in women. Just seeing the schedule on the Ladies European Tour improve and push all the other women’s tours too. I think it’s great.
At the end of the day, I think we’re all fortunate to be able to do what we love for a living and try to get better every day. I met so many amazing people all over the world thanks to this sport. I think at the end of the day I’m very fortunate to do what I do and to see the women’s game grow and being a bright future in it.
THE MODERATOR: One last question from me just before you go. The press conference before, we had Maha, Lina, and Ines all together, three Moroccan players, three Arabic players. How great is it for you to see this kind of diversity in the field?
ANNA NORDQVIST: I think that’s what’s so great about the Ladies European Tour. There’s players from all over the world, some girls from Australia. You see even players coming over from the U.S. to compete. Also them playing all over the world, playing Saudi, Dubai. We were just in Kenya a couple weeks ago, going to South Africa then to Thailand.
So I think the diversity and everything about the Ladies European Tour, I think it’s a place where a lot of people feel like home, and it’s a very friendly atmosphere, and that’s what I enjoy to coming back and playing on the Ladies European Tour. I have been playing a little bit more, and it’s just because I like the atmosphere. It’s a nice change of pace to the LPGA Tour.
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