Women’s golf is the future of the game — Must-click women’s golf links — Best Rose Zhang reactions
The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, June 8, 2023
Well, golf fans, I’m not quite sure what to make of anything right about now. I touched down in New York yesterday to an orange haze after circling LaGuardia for 30 minutes, which really felt like seconds because I was deep in conversation with my seat buddy about the PGA/LIV merger. Much of the conversation included the phrase “I just don’t know”, because truly, what the actual hell is going on? And honestly, I won’t get into it. There’s not enough concrete information swirling around and this will take weeks to unfold as the commissioner of the PGA Tour Jay Monahan tries to pay penance.
The two cents I will offer up on the matter is this — these two entities, the PGA tour and LIV Golf, have made claims over the last 18 months or so, that the true goal is to grow golf globally. To me, that sounds like investing in junior golf development across the globe. Involving the other, smaller tours like the DP World Tour and Asian Tour. Introducing more mixed events with the LPGA, LET, and Epson Tours — because women’s golf is global; in the first five events of the season, five players from five different countries won on the LPGA.
It’s difficult for me to understand the argument of “growing the game monetarily” when a non-major tournament in Louisanna for the PGA Tour has a bigger purse than an LPGA major. It’s difficult for me to understand wanting more outreach for viewership when networks consistently cut off LPGA events to broadcast something else. To be fair, LIV is only a year into whatever it is they are trying to do. However, beyond the large payouts, I’m not seeing the work they are doing.
Last week at Mizuho was momentous for the LPGA. From the venue, to Michelle Wie West’s hosting skills, to Rose freaking Zhang going head-to-head with Jennifer Kupcho in her pro debut to win — we witnessed history and within a matter of days, the entire conversation has shifted to this ongoing battle between money and seemingly the male ego. Tuesday was Women’s Golf Day and not a single major golf outlet reported on it, because why would they? Bigger issues are happening, right?
Golf’s biggest leaders have a duty to protect and ensure Rose Zhang’s future — she is the future of golf, period. Her mini-press tour across New York was unlike anything we’ve seen in recent history from a young LPGA star. She’s extremely likable, she’s great with the media, she’s humble, she seems grounded, and she will become the next face of golf. The casual golf viewer needs to see more of Rose Zhang. Her story, coming from immigrant parents, learning golf within a matter of months before competing in tournaments, and just grinding is what needs to be shared. She knows herself, she knows her swing and she focuses on the fundamentals — we could all learn a thing or two watching her manage a course.
While the PGA and LIV hash out the details, the LPGA needs to situate itself in a position that showcases the raw talent and unity of the tour. Throughout this whole situation, the LPGA has only grown in sponsorship and viewership, the growth is there but perhaps kicking into the next gear needs to happen sooner rather than later. A statement from Commissioner Marcoux Samaan was released after some of the dust had settled.
Remaining focused on the women’s game is exactly the assurance I needed. At the end of the day, golf fans want to see amazing golf being played at the highest level — women’s golf delivers that week in and week out. With Pebble Beach on the horizon, I’m hoping players take hold of this moment, and prove that the LPGA really is the better tour and all levels.
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This week in women’s golf
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Event this week — ShopRite LPGA Classic
- Field Breakdown: ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer
- How to watch ShopRite
- Five things to know about the ShopRite LPGA Classic
Epson Tour News
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Five at The IX: Best reactions from Rose Zhang winning at Mizuho
On Sunday and Monday, the world of golf was simply reeling over Rose Zhang and the incredible two-week stretch she pulled together. Rose is in full bloom and the world is giving her, her flowers.
Here’s a collection of social media posts just obsessing over Rose that I’m currently obsessing over.
The No Laying Up guys
Cameron Jourdan, Golfweek
Kate Smith, Epson Tour
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