Monday, November 12, 2007

How Much Better Is Women's Golf Than Men's?

Sure, Phil Mickelson was one of the 10 top 20 male golfers in the world to compete in the HSBC Champions event in Shanghai this weekend and the only one to win, but let's see how many among the top 50 in the world will play at the HSBC Women's Champions event premiering in late February 2008, shall we?

And, by the way, how many male golfers have gotten a 35-hour TV marathon to celebrate their entry into the Hall of Fame? Guess Tiger will be telling his people he wants the "Se Ri" treatment once he's qualified....

Oh, and that Fed Ex Cup thing on the PGA that everyone was mocking and only grudgingly conceded that it got Tiger going-head-to-head against his closest competitors at the end of the season more often than in previous years? Well, try the LPGA's ADT Championship on for size. This coming Sunday, the 8 players who have survived the multiple cuts will be competing for the $1M prize based on their final-round scores alone. Yup, you read it right: 18 holes with a million dollars at stake. Now do you see why Mostly Harmless wants you to take your blog to the course? Last chance in 2007....


spyder said...

Guess Tiger will be telling his people he wants the "Se Ri" treatment once he's qualified....

Well, no. That will be an automatic given when he dies; hours upon hours of replaying the vast collection of various specials and documentaries and other video artifacts that have flooded the US cable and broadcast content streams for the last 12 years. I would think Tiger's total hours of media face time run in the low hundreds????

And if the HSBC Champions (mens) event wanted to get lots of the top male golfers to appear they would pay out the requisite sums, including a deep prize pool w/ say 25th place getting the equivalent of the Women's champion's top prize. But that would never happen; there are too many dumb little events between now and the New Year for the men to garner great payouts doing silly things like Skins Games and such.

The Constructivist said...

Yes, but will one station--like say the Golf Channel--give him 35 hours in a row?

Well, as for prize money at the HSBC Champions, I predict you'll see it go up, and as it does that you'll see more of the top men doing the Asian Swing during the PGA's Fall Finish. But it's going to take a long time for that to happen, as prize money on the PGA Tour is so bloated. One of the nice effects of prize money being so small on the LPGA Tour is that it's easy to create a new event that can quickly attain "near major" status.

But I'm using the HSBC Women's Champions event to suggest that the LPGA is far more globalized than the PGA--has been since the days of The Big Four (Swedish, Australian, South Korean, American), but especially since the Pak-induced exodus from Asia (not just Korea). Plus, even thinking pessimistically--say, half the regular American Solheim Cuppers make the trip to Singapore--the fact that most of the LPGA's Asian players and most of the top players from the JLPGA and KLPGA will be there gives that event a huge lead in the strength of field and prestige factors over the men's event. The women's Asian tours are both arguably better than the LET, whereas you can't say the same of the men's tours in Asia.

spyder said...

Yes, but will one station--like say the Golf Channel--give him 35 hours in a row?
Gawd no, that would destroy the financial wellbeing of any network that tried that in the US given the whopping two minute attention span of the mass of the viewing public.

the LPGA is far more globalized than the PGA
Yes, and that is more than obvious, whether they play in the US or in Asia. I think that goes for most of the second tier of professional sports (both men and women) in the world, regardless that the US comprises the vast majority of participants: skiing, bicycle road racing, mountain bike racing, motorcycle racing, sports car racing, etc., et al. When was the last time a US citizen (either male or female) won a world road race/marathon??? How many make it into the top ten?? Yet in the US alone, nearly half a million people compete and complete marathons, about equal to the rest of the all the rest of the world combined. More people play golf here, but we only acknowledge the PGA, and its "white" male heroes, as the epitome of the sport.

The LPGA has a chance to be a model for cultural diversity unlike the other sports. A chance, but only if those that determine the market forecasts see a profitable bottom line in it. Perhaps the same chance as say women playing at the Augusta National course (or becoming members??).