The IX: Golf Thursday with Sarah Kellam, April 8, 2021
The power of women supporting women — Patty Tavatanakit's winning press conference — Must-click women's golf links
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Before last week, I didn’t know much about Dinah Shore.
That’s a little embarrassing to admit since I’m such an avid fan of women’s golf, but besides the fact that she was a big-time celebrity that was the former namesake of an LPGA Tour event, my knowledge was lacking.
As any good millennial would, upon realizing this, I swiftly Googled Shore and was amazed by not only her incredible life, but her dedication to using her prominent platform to elevate a women’s sport that at the time wasn’t taken as seriously as its male counterpart.
Because of her efforts, the event she helped to create is one of the most prestigious tournaments on the LPGA Tour’s schedule and is considered equivalent to the Masters by many of its participants. Dinah stepped up to the plate and instead of just saying “I support women”, she put action to her words, resulting in the creation of something that has been tremendously impactful.
If you’re present on social media, you have likely seen the hashtag #womensupportingwomen or #womenempoweringwomen. It’s typically used by women to show their support and encouragement of other women that are a part of their lives or that they follow.
So, when I was on-site at the ANA Inspiration last week and considering Shore’s contributions to the women’s game, I began thinking about what it truly means for women to support women and how that’s applicable in women’s golf.
It’s one thing to say that you back something or are a champion of a certain cause, but it’s another thing entirely to show up and do the work. And beautiful, life-changing things can happen when women choose to do the work for other women.
Dinah did it with her event and there are countless others in women’s golf that are affecting real change in the industry by ACTUALLY putting their nose to the grindstone in their support of women.
Consider the Women in Golf Foundation hosting the National Women’s Collegiate Championship, a women’s college golf event for historically black colleges and universities. The foundation has also been given the chance to select a player from the championship to receive an invitation to a Symetra Tour tournament, an opportunity that wouldn’t have happened without WIGF wanting to support the next generation of players.
Today, it was announced that Beth Ann Nichols of Golfweek, someone who has made her career telling the stories of women within golf, will serve as the first female president of the Golf Writers Association of America. Knowing her and her passion for elevating women within the game, I’m sure she will use her platform to shine even more light on both the women’s game and her fellow female writers that cover it.
It seems like every other week the LPGA Tour is announcing a new partnership in collaboration with a female-owned company with the likes of Mocha Moms, Firs2Aid EMS, and Beltz Portable Toilets joining forces with the Tour in recent months.
Doing so doesn’t just generate name recognition and revenue for those companies and help the LPGA Tour with its needs for tournament and daily operation. In the same way they support their female athletes, teachers, and professionals, curating these types of business relationships allows the LPGA as an organization to continue their tradition of elevating women both on and off the golf course.
I think we all can take a page from Dinah’s, the Tour’s, WIGF’s, and Beth Ann’s book. Clearly we all support women and women’s golf or none of us would be here.
But, how are we doing the work? Are we tuning it to the golf? Are we following and liking women’s golf content on social media? Are we inviting our fellow ladies to play? Are we bringing awareness to this great part of the game? Are we doing our part to be supportive of our fellow women in golf?
It can be a challenge to consistently be an advocate for something that you’re passionate about, but, as we have seen time and again, when women ACTUALLY do their part to lift up other women, amazing things can take place. Change happens. Empowerment occurs. Differences are made.
And trust me, it’s worth it.
This week in women’s golf
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The Blue Bay LPGA has been cancelled yet again due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. (via LPGA.com)
Renee Powell was on site at Augusta National to watch Lee Elder’s historic moment on the first tee. (via LPGA.com)
Condoleezza Rice now serves on the Board of Directors for the Mickelson Foundation. (via Golfweek.com)
This 62-year-old is a freshman on the women’s golf team at Reinhardt University. Yep, you read that right. (via GOLF.com)
A look back to when the Jutanugarn sisters were a part of the par 3 contest at the Masters. (via LPGA.com)
Patty Tavatanakit won the ANA Inspiration going away on Sunday, but not without help from her mental coaches. (via Golfweek.com)
Is Patty Tavatanakit golf’s next superstar? Steve Eubanks thinks so. (via LPGA.com)
It was a final round for the ages Sunday at the ANA Inspiration. (via Golfweek.com)
Tavatanakit held off an incredible final round charge from Lydia Ko to win her first LPGA title. (via GOLF.com)
Lydia Ko gave Patty Tavatanakit a run for her money with a final round 62 at the ANA Inspiration. (via LPGA.com)
Patty Tavatanakit now leads in the Rolex Annika Major Award. (via LPGA.com)
Shan Shan Feng said that she learned a lot from playing with Patty Tavatanakit. (via LPGA.com)
Lydia Ko shot a final round 62 at the ANA Inspiration on Sunday. (via LPGA.com)
It was a historic major Sunday for many reasons, but Lydia Ko’s 62 was the most impressive. (via Golfweek.com)
More on Lydia Ko’s historic final round at the ANA Inspiration. (via GOLF.com)
LPGA Tour players are also hitting drives over 300 yards. It’s not just a PGA Tour thing. (via Golfweek.com)
The purse breakdown for the ANA Inspiration. (via Golfweek.com)
Here’s who won how much at the ANA Inspiration. (via GolfDigest.com)
Mike Whan is feeling good that the ANA Inspiration will continue to be one of golf’s most prestigious events. (via Golfweek.com)
Without the blue wall, the 18th hole at Mission Hills looked and played entirely different last week. (via Golfweek.com)
Moriya Jutanugarn caught up with Vision54 coaches at last week’s major championship for the first time in quite a while. (via GolfChannel.com)
It was another missed cut for Michelle Wie West at the ANA Inspiration following a second round 79. (via GolfChannel.com)
Shan Shan Feng is BACK and it honestly doesn’t feel like she really ever left. (via GolfChannel.com)
Lexi Thompson accidentally broke an ANA Inspiration tee marker and So Yeon Ryu’s reaction was priceless. (via Golfweek.com)
Lexi Thompson and So Yeon Ryu shared a funny moment after Lexi broke an ANA tee marker. (via GolfDigest.com)
Shan Shan Feng played no golf in 2020, but, just like the rest of us, she didn’t miss a meal. (via LPGA.com)
Sophia Popov finally got to play the ANA Inspiration last week after missing out on the September edition. (via Golfweek.com)
Pat Hurst has been at quite a few LPGA Tour events this season, but Catriona Matthew also made an appearance at the ANA Inspiration. (via GolfChannel.com)
Five takeaways from the second edition of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. (via GOLF.com)
Tsubasa Kajitani sat down with Cara Banks to discuss her ANWA win. (via GolfChannel.com)
Tsubasa Kajitani is the 2021 ANWA champion after winning in a playoff. (via Golfweek.com)
It was Japan’s Tsubasa Kajitani that took home the ANWA title after a playoff. (via GolfDigest.com)
Tsubasa Kajitani hung on to win the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in a playoff. (via GOLF.com)
A playoff was needed to decide the 2021 ANWA champion. (via GolfChannel.com)
ANWA is now the dream for the next generation of girl golfers. (via GolfDigest.com)
With a loss at ANWA, where is Rose Zhang headed and what’s next for her? (via Golfweek.com)
Here’s what you need to know about Rose Zhang. (via GOLF.com)
Ingrid Lindblad didn’t make it to the playoff after not being able to figure out the greens. (via Golfweek.com)
Pauline Roussin-Bouchard just missed out on the playoff at ANWA but still carded a top 3 finish. (via Golfweek.com)
Even though she lost in a playoff, it was an incredible week at ANWA for Emilia Migiliaccio and her mother. (via GolfDigest.com)
Emilia Migliaccio and her mother made a different bit of history on Saturday at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. (via Golfweek.com)
The final round of ANWA is absolutely incredible, but the practice round on Friday is one of the best experiences in women’s amateur golf. (via Golfweek.com)
The story of one player’s heartbreak after yet again missing out on the final round of ANWA. (via GOLF.com)
There was an 11 for 10 playoff at ANWA to determine who would be in to play Augusta National in the final round. (via Golfweek.com)
Rachel Heck went with a local caddie for the final round of ANWA on Saturday. (via Golfweek.com)
Volunteers make golf events go, but many don’t just work one event a year. In fact, for some, it’s a lifestyle. (via Golfweek.com)
Both the LPGA and European Tours are still having to adapt their schedules to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (via GolfDigest.com)
Gwen Stefani to perform at the opening ceremony for the Solheim Cup. (via LPGA.com)
Tweet of the Week
Five at The IX: Patty Tavatanakit’s Winning Press Conference
How are you feeling now that you can say that you are a major champion?
It’s amazing I’m still calm, there is some calmness in me. I don’t know why. But like I said, I just wanted to — I just wanted it to be done since this morning; didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. But I meditated twice this morning. Just be patient. I knew it was going to be hard out here and I got to be really strong mentally.
So it feels great to be a major champion. It still hasn’t really sunk in yet the fact that I’m like — I just turned 21 six months ago and now I’m a major champion in my rookie year. Just crazy.
You talked on the green after your win about how you remembered getting your low mm trophy back in 2019. What does it mean to come full circle with the Dinah Shore trophy?
It’s an amazing, amazing feeling. I feel like I’m really grateful for all the opportunities I got from before AJGA for having me play here as an amateur, and also got an invite when I was in college. Really grateful for those opportunities to come and play, experience the course and know how it’s like to play in a major.
I feel like that helped me a lot. I was talking to my coach last year at the U.S. Open. I was like, Wait this is my fifth U.S. Open. Then I was just, Oh, man, I’ve played in couple majors, like enough to know how to handle myself out there, and it was probably the best experiences I’ve ever gotten from anyone giving to me.
How much did the Symetra Tour help you for this moment?
I learned how to win out there. I learned how to be comfortable, to feel like I could do it, which really helped. If I were to recommend anyone to turn pro they should go to the Symetra Tour. It’s a preparation tour. A transition from college to LPGA is — it’s huge. It’s way too big for me personally.
But I’m really glad I played on Symetra Tour for half a season, even though going in I kind of just wanted to make it to Q Series and ended up getting the card and winning three times, which is incredible.
I asked you about being a closer, and now you’re a closer. How does it feel?
It’s like it hasn’t really sunk in. It’s kind of surreal right now. But I feel great. I feel like all the hard work and dedication into trying to be better as a golfer has paid off, and huge thank to that to my coach, Grant Wade and Pia and Lynn, Vision 54 helping me stay sharp on the course.
I want to go back to last night when you said you couldn’t sleep. How much sleep do you think you actually got, and what kind of thoughts were running through your mind?
I really remember counting my breaths for like — it reach 100 for like five times. I shut the light at 10:00. I took magnesium powder just to help relax my muscles and to sleep a little better. Tried to go to bed around 10:00. I think I laid around until 11:30 and got up to go to the bathroom at almost 5:00 and just stayed up.
Were you thinking at all about that jump into Poppy’s Pond and what that might be like?
Yeah, I was. You know, there is a lot of thoughts going on throughout from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00, until now. There is probably a million thoughts that run through my head.
I don’t remember them all because I just wanted to stay present the whole moment, the whole time I’m out there on the course. Breathing helped. Just activating my senses and to be aware of myself, it really helped me to be present out there.
What was the most helpful thing that Pia and Lynn said to you this week?
Actually I have it on my text. I could read it to you. I sent them a text about my core values this morning. So they said, “Reality check. You don’t know if you’re going to win or not today. You can play good and not win or you can play so-so and still win.
You do want to make yourself proud by taking the best actions possible to manage yourself and your game plan. That was huge. I took that really seriously. Just focus on what is 100% under your control, because the outcome is — you can’t control it.”
I said, I agree. No matter what happens today my core values are, one, my parents will be proud of me and still love me no matter what; two, I’m already so proud of myself to be able to play good the last three days and just be a better player already since last year; and three, I’m still going to be the same Patty who appreciates the love and care from the people that matters in Patty’s life; and four, at the end of the day there is always room for improvement and I won’t stop trying to be or get better.
I feel like those words, I just keep like making it sink in to my system, and I really think those core values helped me to win today.