The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, May 23, 2019
Heroes and villains — Interview with Duke's Jaravee Boonchant — Must-click links in women's golf
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Heroes and Villains
Happy Golf Thursday, everyone! It’s been a whirlwind of a few weeks for me and the PGA. Three straight championships with the most recent being the PGA Championship at Bethpage in Farmingdale New York and now I’m writing from the Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill in Rochester, New York. It’s been a really fun and crazy stretch and great to see parts of New York I’ve never seen before! This is actually my first time really seeing the city, and it did not disappoint. Central Park was a treat.
Anyways, last week at the PGA Championship there were a few big things that happened. Tiger missed the cut and Brooks Koepka went wire-to-wire to win it all. I bring this up because 1) I think it’s absolutely fascinating how Tiger truly moves the needle in terms of attendance and excitement. People were still chanting Tiger’s name on Sunday when he was probably on his yacht home.
And 2) it’s been interesting to see how Koepka’s narrative has taken shape over the last couple years. For whatever reason, he isn’t necessarily ‘liked’ or ever praised in the media. He’s criticized more than anything. But this past weekend, he captured his 4th major to join Ben Hogan, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players in the modern era to win four or more men’s Major Championships in a span of eight starts. That’s incredible.
So, what does this has to do with women’s golf? Well, everything. Because these storylines of heroes and villains don’t really happen in women’s golf. Partly because they aren’t covered nearly enough for them to develop to the extent of Tiger and Brooks, but also because I don’t feel like there really is a Tiger Woods of the LPGA right now. Of course, you can’t dismiss the Karrie Webb, Laura Davies and Annika Sorenstams of the world.
But over the last several years, there hasn’t been a huge comeback story in the women’s game or sheer dominance by anyone. While players have undoubtedly gone through stints of dominance, and there are a handful who are consistently finishing in the Top 10, the long-term, far-reaching narrative of who the ‘G.O.A.T.’ is of women’s golf doesn’t quite exist in 2019.
In a perfect world, covering women’s golf would have this component AND what I talked about last week: showing these players as the wonderful people they are and everything they do beyond the course. When it comes to college golf, even more so than professional, I feel I can only find news and storylines if I go digging. You really have to search (unless you are here with us!). I truly do believe it comes down to the volume of coverage. It simply isn’t enough in its current state to generate the interest that the likes of Tiger and Brooks get. End of story.
There is tremendous talent and plenty of unique personalities to generate interest, but there are not enough people and media telling those stories to the world. It’s exactly what other women’s sports organizations like the WNBA deal with. While the haters pose that “nobody cares” about women’s sports – look at it this way. If we aren’t giving them any reason TO care, how are they supposed to care? If we aren’t showing people the best, most interesting and most consumer-facing sides to an organization and/or female athletes, of course they aren’t going to care. That’s on media to get right.
Our job is to make them care.
This Week in Women’s Golf
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The insane shot that basically decided the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship.
Duke went on to win its seventh NCAA Championship over Wake Forest.
You can celebrate Women’s Golf Day at Topgolf on June 4.
Arkansas’ Maria Fassi claims NCAA Women’s Golf individual title.
ANWA helped boost the NCAA women’s game.
80-year old unable to shoot her age at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.
Helen Alfredsson, who won the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open, has a great story.
Here are players to watch at the Pure Silk Championship, which tees off today!
The LPGA Foundation announces 2019 LPGA Leadership Academy Schedule.
Team USA rode around San Francisco on scooters for Solheim Cup bonding!
This caddie is battling MS with a special LPGA player in her corner.
Amy Olson toured her hometown with the KPMG Women’s PGA trophy.
Tiger Wood’s success promised to diversify golf. It didn’t.
Tweet of the Week
Five at The IX: Jaravee Boonchant
The No. 2 seeded Duke women’s golf team captured the 2019 NCAA Women’s Golf title yesterday afternoon. Jaravee Boonchant, just a sophomore, played a huge part in that title — knocking off the No. 1 ranked amateur in the world, Jennifer Kupcho. Kupcho won the ANWA earlier this year at Augusta National. Listen to Boonchant’s interview and reaction following the massive victory. The match with Kupcho was tied for 13 holes and Boonchant didn’t take her first lead of the day until 17. However, the roller coaster didn’t end there as she suffered a bogey on No. 18 to force a playoff, where she would eventually seal the win.