The IX: Golf Thursday with Sarah Kellam, June 10, 2021
The Scandinavian Mixed — Interview with Hope Barnett — Must-click women's golf links
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FINALLY…a mixed-gender event
For those golf fans that have been BEGGING for a mixed-gender professional golf event, it’s finally here.
The Scandinavian Mixed takes place this week, a novel event featuring both European Tour and Ladies European Tour players competing on the same golf course for the same trophy and prize money. The tournament is being hosted by Annika Sorenstam and Henrik Stenson, two of the best players ever to come out of the region, and both are competing this week in the field of 156.
The format is fairly traditional with a cut being made after 36 holes of stroke play and the top 65 players moving on to the weekend and world ranking points will be awarded per the usual. Vallda Golf and Country Club is hosting and it’ll be the first time in the history of the game that women and men will go head-to-head for a professional golf title.
It’s about time that something like this was added to the schedule on one of the major golf circuits and it’s no surprise that the European Tour and the Ladies European Tour are the ones to undertake such a project. They are always open to pushing the envelope and this event is hopefully poised to push their American counterparts to do the same.
Having Annika Sorenstam and Henrik Stenson fronting this charge also says a lot about professional Europeans’ commitment to growing the game and bolstering women’s golf. Annika has a history of taking on charitable endeavors with her foundation and its mission and we know that her male counterparts like Justin Rose are doing their part to support women’s golf as much as possible.
What we don’t see as much is the guys of the PGA Tour really showing out for the LPGA Tour unless prompted otherwise. The #HoodieForGolf campaign video posted by the Tour was cool and it’s always nice when the guys will say something on social media in reference to the women’s game, but very rarely do you see an event being hosted where these two entities are collaborating like the European Tour and LET are this week.
We talked a few weeks ago about a deposition of Jay Monahan in which the PGA Tour commissioner was unable to name a single LPGA player in the field at the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open and how that instance alone demonstrated how little the organization thinks of its female equivalent. So, it shouldn’t be shocking that the PGA isn’t interested in any sort of event like the Scandinavian Mixed because it’s clear from their leadership’s point of view that the women’s game isn’t worth investing in even though ALL golf fans know that it is. And honestly, it’s a shame.
Women’s golf doesn’t need to play the same game as the men do, but they do need the support of their counterparts, especially one with as much money and power as the PGA Tour. The European golf contingencies are obviously making something work with this first-of-its-kind tournament and it’s high time that the PGA and LPGA take part in an event of this nature.
Surely there have been discussions of this sort before and if the Scandinavian Mixed is as successful as it’s poised to be, action needs to be taken on our side of the pond.
Because if we don’t do as much as we can to grow the game together as one sport and one team, golf is sure to die out.
This week in women’s golf
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Annika Sorenstam will be playing in the American Century Championship this year. (via Golfweek.com)
Lucy Li makes her second straight start, playing on an exemption at Lake Merced. (via GolfDigest.com)
Here’s how to watch the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship. (via LPGA.com)
Yuka Saso captures the U.S. Women’s Open in a playoff. (via LPGA.com)
At just 19 years old, Yuka Saso wins the USWO. (via Golfweek.com)
Yuka Saso wins at Olympic on the third playoff hole. (via GOLF.com)
Don’t know much about Yuka Saso? Here’s what you need to know. (via GolfDigest.com)
Rory McIlroy’s swing has been a source of inspiration for Yuka Saso and the two are eerily similar. (via Golfweek.com)
This was Rory’s response to learning that Yuka Saso studies his golf swing. (via GolfChannel.com)
The Thompson versus Saso battle on Sunday was reminiscent of the 1997 USWO. (via GolfChannel.com)
Lexi Thompson lost her lead and the USWO title on Sunday. (via GOLF.com)
Ron Sirak on Lexi Thompson’s ability to bounce back. (via LPGA.com)
Thompson joins a notable list of players who fell apart in final rounds at Olympic. (via GolfChannel.com)
More about Lexi’s lost final round lead. (via GOLF.com)
Lexi Thompson misses out on the playoff, USWO title in San Francisco. (via GolfDigest.com)
Nasa Hataoka lost to Yuka Saso in the playoff for the USWO title. (via LPGA.com)
The Olympic Club definitely played tough, but it also played fair. (via GolfDigest.com)
Megha Ganne took home low amateur honors at the U.S. Women’s Open. (via Golfweek.com)
Megha Ganne is so stranger to the spotlight having played in the ANWA in April. (via Golfweek.com)
The future is bright for amateur Megha Ganne after her performance at the USWO. (via GolfChannel.com)
This 17-year-old made some noise at Olympic last week. (via GolfChannel.com)
Megha Ganne a 17-year-old amateur was at one point leading the USWO. (via GolfChannel.com)
More on Megha Ganne, the USWO’s breakout star. (via GOLF.com)
Here’s how much money each player earned at the USWO. (via Golfweek.com)
Check out this left-handed par save from Patty Tavatanakit. (via Golfweek.com)
There were some notable names that missed the cut in San Francisco last week. (via Golfweek.com)
Mel Reid channeled her inner Brooks Koepka at the USWO. (via GOLF.com)
Mel Reid and Brooks Koepka FaceTime…who knew? (via GolfChannel.com)
Another GREAT piece on the dumb things that men say to women on the golf course. (via GolfDigest.com)
Check out this interview from Golf Channel with Clarissa Childs, executive director of the Women’s South Carolina Golf Association. (via GolfChannel.com)
Mike Whan’s thoughts on the U.S. Women’s Open last week. (via GOLF.com)
There are only three LPGA Tour events left to qualify for Tokyo. (via LPGA.com)
VOICE CADDIE is now the official rangefinder of the LPGA Tour. (via LPGA.com)
The storylines to follow at the Island Resort Championship on the Symetra Tour. (via SymetraTour.com)
Here are the featured groups at the Symetra Tour’s Island Resort Championship this week. (via SymetraTour.com)
The Scandinavian Mixed is the first event for Emily Kristine Pedersen this season. (via LadiesEuropeanTour.com)
LET player Meg MacLaren is really looking forward to the opportunity that the Scandinavian Mixed presents. (via LadiesEuropeanTour.com)
Here’s what to watch for at the Scandinavian Mixed. (via LadiesEuropeanTour.com)
Onebox is partnering with the LET for ticket sales for the 2023 Solheim Cup. (via LadiesEuropeanTour.com)
Pia Babnik took home the Jabra Ladies Open title. (via LadiesEuropeanTour.com)
Here’s how the LET is doing its part for environmental sustainability. (via LadiesEuropeanTour.com)
Tweet of the Week
Five at the IX: Hope Barnett, LPGA Content Producer
How did you begin working for the LPGA Tour and what are your job responsibilities?
My internship in 2018 with the PGA TOUR solidified that golf is where I wanted to be. Even more so with the LPGA Tour. I interviewed for a job right out of college with the LPGA as a videographer/editor but I actually didn’t get that role. As bummed as I was, I held out hope that I could work for the LPGA in the future. I’d been working as a News Reporter for six months in College Station, Texas when I got a message from LPGA HR saying there was a job they think I might be a good fit for. I am now a content producer for the LPGA, where I help run our social media accounts, edit videos, write articles, do on-camera work, and more.
How is the Tour working to make women’s golf more of a household entity? What has been your favorite way of connecting fans with the women’s game?
At the LPGA, we try our best to think outside the box when storytelling. With hundreds of athletes, there are so many connections to be made between fans and pros. Making that connection has been very important to me and my team which will continue to help grow the game. My favorite way of connecting fans with the women’s game is through the Instagram live interviews I do. Giving fans a raw and unfiltered look into their daily lives has been amazing not only for me but also a big hit with our followers.
Do you think digital and social media are helping women’s golf? How so?
Digital and social media are great ways to help grow women’s golf. A large majority of the people around us are on social media. Whether or not we’re capturing their attention via highlights that showcase just how good these women are, their stories, or maybe even the #HoodieForGolf campaign – I truly believe women’s golf grows every day and social media will continue to be at the forefront of it. I also see this outside of professional golf. We’re tagged in videos all the time of little girls and women swinging a club for the first time. It is so awesome to witness.
Who on the LPGA Tour do you suggest that fans follow on social media? What player, in your opinion, has the best Instagram or Twitter?
There are several good accounts out there that you could scroll through and be entertained but since I cannot mention all of them, Tiff Joh (@tiffjoh) because I love the mix of content she posts. Surfing, golf, funny videos – a little bit of everything. All of the moms on Tour post a good mix of golf, life, and their kids including Michelle Wie West (@michellewiewest). It’s awesome to watch them balance motherhood and their everyday jobs. Truthfully, it’s hard to pick a couple of players because you could follow just about anyone and find something unique. Take a look for yourself and you will see!
Where would you like to see women’s golf in 5 years?
It is difficult to put any type of numerical value on how much I want women’s golf to grow because I never want it to stop growing. I would love to see more little girls getting into the game, which is at the forefront of the LPGA’s daily initiative. Not only do I want to see more women playing golf but also more people watching women’s golf. I’m just excited to be here and along for the ride.