The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, February 28, 2019
Amy Olson interview—Integrity and sportsmanship in golf—Must-click links in women's golf
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Integrity in Golf
Earlier this week, LPGA players Amy Olson and Ariya Jutanugarn were accused of cheating at the Honda LPGA Thailand. More specifically, they were called out for backstopping, which has been a topic of debate in the golf world. If you’re unfamiliar with what it is, here is how this particular situation unfolded. Jutanugarn chipped it onto the green within a few feet on hole No. 18. Olson, her playing partner, signed that it was okay NOT to mark her ball. So Olson went ahead and chipped herself, but her ball hit Jutanugarn’s, which served as the backstop so her ball didn’t roll any further.
Olson had an advantage here but there was no foul play involved, as the two fist bumped walking off the green. To my understanding, not marking your ball from time to time speeds up the game and is quite a common practice. And if both players are on the same page, there is no intent, in my mind, to cheat.
I think the situation below up because of two factors: 1) golf is a sport that prides itself immensely on sportsmanship and integrity and any instance, and when that is called into question, there is going to be a response. And 2) social media makes it easy to respond and blow situations out of proportion. That seemed to be the case here. Here’s the Twitter thread that essentially sparked the backstopping controversy. You can read Olson’s response to the situation in the tweet of the week section.
This Week in Women’s Golf
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The HSBC Women’s World Championship is underway this week!
Amy Yang won the LPGA Thailand Honda but withdrew from the HSBC.
Here’s who is on the move in the Rolex World Rankings.
The USGA announces sectional qualifying sites for 2019.
The LPGA said there was no infraction from Olson and Jutanugarn.
Olson explains she was speeding up play after incident with Jutanugarn.
Michelle Wie is making her return from a wrist injury.
This 14 year-old starred in a Netflix documentary and is also really good at golf.
Tweet of the Week
Five at the IX: Amy Olson
Speaking of Amy Olson, she’s tied for the lead at the HSBC Women’s World Championship heading into Round 2 today (Feb. 28). Here are some highlights from her interview with the LPGA about her impressive performance in the opening round.
Reporter: Can you tell us how good that eagle was on No. 8, because it’s left a few players scratching their heads.
Amy Olson: It’s not a long par five but it’s a very challenging approach shot from that far. You can’t be short because you’ll be in the hazard and then it’s a really tough bunker shot to that pin if you go over the green. I did have the perfect club; I hit a really nice high shot so it would come in soft and it just ended up being perfect.
Reporter: I bet you breathed a sigh of relief because it’s quite hard knowing what to do with the second shot!
Amy Olson: Yeah, you know, when I struck it I said that’s as good as I can do and that’s all you can do out here.
Reporter: You’ve had some excellent scores in 2019—66’s, 67’s—it’s all going according to plan.
Amy Olson: Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun and I’ve made a lot of birdies most rounds. It is fun posting some low numbers and being up the leaderboard! I’m looking forward to continuing that.
Reporter: You’re competing in your first HSBC Women’s World Championship. But how did you enjoy the cocktail party last night? That’s some view.
Amy Olson: It was a lot of fun, honestly I’ve never done anything like that. Seeing the skyline at night from such an incredible place was a one-of-a-kind experience so it was a really good way to start the week in Singapore.
Reporter: A lot of people do call it Asia’s major—it’s quite fitting in some ways.
Amy Olson: Absolutely, it’s a beautiful city and a great golf course. We all love coming here.