Thursday, February 12, 2009

2009 LPGA Preview: Preseason Dispatches from the Golfy Media

When I left golf writers out of last month's list of what people are thinking will happen in the 2009 LPGA season, I didn't do so to suggest that they're not people, too. I simply wanted to give them a post of their own. So, in chronological order, here are some of the early birds from the golfy media, offering their own previews and predictions of the season as a whole:

Beth Ann Baldry
Jim Gorant
Larry Bohannan
Brian Hewitt
Mary Ormsby
Larry Bohannan

Pretty short list, eh? Bill Jempty was right to wonder where the media has been. Ron Sirak at Golf World does a good job this week, and Jason Sobel gives the LPGA some love in his latest Weekly 18, but where is everyone else?

Besides Annika's retirement and wedding, Lorena's engagament, Natalie's reality tv appearances, Anna Rawson's take on the history of representations of women's professional golf, and the coming of Michelle Wie, there hasn't been all that much on individual LPGA golfers in the pre-season from the golfy media, either. Jaymes Song, who I hope will be AP's regular writer on the LPGA beat, has profiled Michelle Wie. He doesn't match local reporter Ann Miller's profile, but then he doesn't have as many words to work with; moreover, he did a solid job last season when he got the chance to cover the LPGA.

Here's hoping the golfy media goes beyond focusing on the LPGA's business woes and communication gaffes in 2009. I'll have a few suggestions for them tomorrow.

[Update 1 (1:41 am): We bloggers had better set an example for the golfy media, not fail to outdo them as Jay Busbee just did in his preview post. Don't get me wrong--I appreciate his Lorena and the Others series (as cursory as his look at Ochoa's top 9 challengers turned out to be), am impressed he got Natalie Gulbis to be a regular guest blogger, and am glad he's been linking to all kinds of LPGA news and posts in his daily link-o-rama posts (including two by yours truly)--it really is a good thing that he's giving the LPGA some love in '09. And he certainly knows more than the average sports fan about the LPGA. But when Larry Bohannan is outdoing you on a regular basis, you've got to try a little harder!

In contrast, take Brent Kelley's rapid pick-up of the news that the Golf Channel will be paying the LPGA for broadcast rights for the next 10 years. Sure, Beth Ann Baldry of Golfweek adds a few more details (like the fact that the LPGA hasn't given up on a network deal, which I remain optimistic about), but I found out about it from first. No communication gaffe from Bivens's office, no bad news for the tour--it's actually a major coup for the LPGA. And Brent's season preview is spot-on, if too short. The man really does know his stuff. If only 2 national golf writers knew half as much about the LPGA as he does.]

[Update 2 (6:22 am): To give the media some credit, I'd like to add that Bill Huffman's behind-the-scenes look at how the Phoenix organizers chose to move the tournament from Superstition Mountain to Papago GC is most excellent.]

[Update 3 (12:02 pm): Here's Bill Jempty's season preview!]

[Update 4 (2/13/09, 6:44 am): Missed Elling on Wie. Sorry, Steve!]

[Update 5 (6:50 am): And thanks to Geoff Shackelford for this Lawrence Donegan piece surveying the many perspectives on Michelle Wie.]

[Update 6 (7:07 am): Great Alex Blair profile of Stacy Lewis.]

[Update 7 (7:10 am): Great Jimmy Burch profile of and interview with Angela Stanford.]

[Update 8 (7:13 am): Here's Steve DiMeglio on the rookies. In his picks for potential major winners, though, he seems unaware that Maria Hjorth is pregnant. His Ochoa profile is much better.]

[Update 9 (7:16 am): Here's Bob Gillespie on Kristy McPherson.]

[Update 10 (2/14/09, 11:40 pm): Stop the presses! Geoff Shackelford actually has a serious post about the LPGA--looking over the siting options for their '10 LA event.]

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