The thing we’ve all been waiting for — LPGA in Thailand — Must-click women’s golf links
The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, Feb. 23, 2023
Happy Golf Thursday. 364 days ago, I wrote about how Hannah Green became the first woman to have ever won a mixed event. It sparked a lot of us golf fans to beg the question — why aren’t there more mixed LPGA/PGA events on the tour schedules?
Not long after Hannah Green, Linn Grant also lapped the field at the Scandinavian Mixed. And just a couple months ago, PGA Tour players had a difficult time picking their jaws off of the floor watching Nelly Korda do Nelly Korda things at the QBE Shootout.
All of these roads are pointing to one destination…golf NEEDS more mixed events. And yesterday, our wish (that feels like years in the making) came true with the announcement from the PGA and LPGA tours about the Grant Thornton Invitational.
The invitational will be a mixed-team challenge, where 16 LPGA and 16 PGA TOUR players compete together in a co-sanctioned tournament for equal prize money of $4 million. The 32-player event will be held at Tiburón Golf Club & The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón and will feature 9 hours of live coverage on Golf Channel and NBC and is set to debut December 4-10, 2023.
Golf hasn’t seen an event like this since 1999, when John Daly and Laura Davies won the final edition of the JCPenney Classic.
At the heart of the invitational, it’s meant to be equal money and equal visibility. With a purse of that size, and guaranteed tv coverage, this is the PGA taking all the right steps in the right direction. LIV Golf and Saudi Arabia have all but said they are willing to throw money at women’s golf, and are making moves to do so, therefore the only way to counter the many missteps made last year, the PGA Tour should back the LPGA in every way and become major supporters of women’s golf across the board.
But all the drama and politics aside, this is a good thing…it’s beyond good! To reiterate my point from nearly a year ago, golf fans like a spectacle now. We get amped for the Solheim and Ryder Cups, we expect the WM Phoenix Open to get bigger and rowdier every year, we love the pageantry of Masters Week, we crave these big moments outside of the majors — otherwise we’d only tune in 9 times a year (4 majors for the PGA, and 5 for the LPGA).
The invitational is creating a major moment. After the dust of another season settles, having the best of the best, big names like Nelly and Jessica Korda, Tony Finau, and Rickie Fowler signed on so early will only grow the interest over the course of the year.
It’s what we’ve been waiting for, for a long time and I can’t help but to think that other announcements like this one are soon to follow. See you next week, golf fans.
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This week in women’s golf
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The Honda LPGA Thailand: What expect
- The big storylines of the week
- The excitement around this week
- 5 things to know about the field and the course
- LIVE SCORING & LEADERBOARD
Now this is something that piqued my interest and I’m curious to know your thoughts on this…in this Golf Digest article, it discusses an inevitable hurdle that LPGA players all go through…turning 30. It’s definitely an interesting read.
To celebrate the fourth edition of the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund (PIF), four inspirational female figures in the local sporting community, namely Abrar Bukhari, Haya Sawan, Dania Akeel and Leena Al Hakeem, came together to discuss the strides made in Saudi Arabia’s sporting scene at the ‘Driving Change in Women’s Sport’ panel.
Epson Tour News
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Five at The IX: Quotes from Honda LPGA Thailand
The LPGA is back in action and kicking off two weeks, back-to-back, in Asia! Ahead of the first tee shot of the Honda LPGA Thailand, the media got a chance to talk to some of the tournament’s stars.
“Yeah, I feel like it’s kind of like a birdiefest out here. You have to shoot a really low one to win, so obviously I think having length helps. But, yeah, I think bermuda on the greens, so I’m used to that growing up in Florida. Pretty grainy around the golf course as well. Again, I’m used to that. I don’t know. I like the layout. I like the weather, most importantly. And hopefully I have a good four rounds this year as well,” — Nelly Korda on her experiences at Siam Country Club and what is it about this course she likes.
When I was going into the last week I didn’t know whether I was going to like play great or not. Obviously it’s a course that I played well at before so you’re able to draw back on a lot of good memories. But getting off to a really good start shooting 8-under on the first day was definitely really a good confidence booster to say, hey, there is a lot of things that are going really well. — Lydia Ko on winning her first start of the year, and as a Mrs!
“Well, my first— what is my goal? My goal is like find my — find out my like swing well on the course, especially during the tournament. So I wanted to get good feel of my swing, and then I think if I find something on my swing, result comes out quickly. So it will be win or like good — like I think good result, so I can’t wait.” — Jin Young Ko when asked what are some of her goals for this season.
“Yeah, it feel really like special week for me, and also for all the Thai players as well playing in front of all the fans in play Thailand. And especially the weather, that we get used to it. And then also the course that we play. It’s always memorable memories for me, so it’s nice to be here.” — Atthaya Thitikul on playing in front of a home crowd.
“Yeah, two is kind of my goal. I think most of my goals revolve around the majors now, and they’re probably right up the top of my priority list. But I think also one of my big goals is not to be too tired by the end of the year. I want to pace myself throughout the year and be happy. I think if I’m happy, I’m happy on the golf course as well. So, yeah, obviously golf-wise, majors are a big goal, and world No. 1 is at the back of my head.” — when reflecting on the success she had in 2022, Minjee Lee speaks on the grueling nature of the tour schedule and how she plans to win more majors hopefully.
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