Saturday, September 29, 2007

Let Me Get This Straight

According to, the organizers of the Samsung World Championship have just changed their selection criteria to allow Annika Sorenstam to enter the tournament's elite 20-player field this year. Even though this solves a problem Mulligan Stu pointed out in early September, it opens up a new can of worms. Here's the money quote from the ESPN article:

In an effort to upgrade the event, tournament organizers decided to eliminate a criteria that has not been used in nine years--the option to offer an exemption to the U.S. Women's Amateur champion--and replace it with a spot for an active Hall of Famer.

Right now, there are 4 active Hall of Famers: Juli Inkster, Annika Sorenstam, Karrie Webb, and Se Ri Pak. I can see why this year they'd give Sorenstam the nod. In any case, there's a big problem for the future: the tournament organizers need to develop selection criteria for whom to invite if more than one active Hall of Famer fails to qualify by other means in a given year. Do you want to be the one to tell Juli Inkster why she wasn't selected?


spyder said...

I volunteer to tell her.. i always liked her.

Perhaps they could borrow a page from the NBA and organize a small lottery, shuffling some huge cards with their names and pictures on them. Make it a big TV deal promoting the event.

hound dog said...

So why does Annika automatically get this new exemption? Karrie Webb is as equally qualified to receive it, and she isn't high on the money list either. Also, adding Annika now means that Player #14 on the money list will be shut out of the event. If Nicole Castrale earns more than $6400 at Navistar (and she's in the Top 10 right now), she'll drop Se Ri Pak into the #14 slot, leaving TWO Hall-of-Famers out! What a freaking mess!

As I said in my Samsung preview a year ago - it's their tournament, they can invite whoever they want.

The Constructivist said...

Not player 14, player 17--some of the people already in are in the top 14 on the money list. So it looks like Se Ri is safe, but yeah, what a huge gamble the Samsung people took on that one!

The Constructivist said...

But yeah, if I were Juli or Karrie, I'd be fuming. (Now, Annika's injury has to play a role here--the former two were healthy all season and had every opportunity to play their way in.) But if they were so set on Annika, why not an invite for the "player whose won the tournament the most times"?

I think Samsung ought to hire you, Mulligan Stu, and I as highly-paid and hardly-working consultants who offer the "smell test" on any future controversial decisions they plan to make.

The Constructivist said...

Here's Hound Dog's take--it's worth a full read, but his last line is an instant classic: "Maybe next year they should give the HOF exemption to Nancy Lopez--then they can honor the Hall Of Fame AND the fan favorite who can’t break 80 in one fell swoop."

For good measure, here's Mulligan Stu on the same topic.

The Constructivist said...

The Florida Masochist wonders whether the field is now 21 at the ADT. I don't think so. I think Samsung always had the option of choosing whether or not to invite the US Women's Amateur champion in the past for the (let's call it) 20th spot. They'll have the same choice with the HOF exemption, as well. What I think they should do in the future is get rid of the open-ended sponsor's exemption. Limit their choices to proven competitors with a chance to win the thing.