Monday, November 8, 2010

Recommended Reading: Lisa Mickey, bangkokbobby, Worth Blackwelder

As the LPGA comes down to its last 2 events, it's worth pausing to appreciate how big an influence a small gesture can have. Lisa Mickey has a great piece on how as a 10-year-old Dori Carter was invited by Heather Daly-Donofrio to caddy for her on the 18th hole of her victory in a 1997 Futures Tour event--and 13 years later Carter got her own Futures Tour win.

It's also worth taking a look back on the 2000s, courtesy of bangkokbobby at both and Seoul, and deciding what you make of his system for determining who had the best decade. (First question: how is he defining a decade?) [Update (12:24 pm): Answer from bangkokbobby: Not a decade--the 2000s in their entirety! So this could end up being a list of the best women golfers of the millennium, it seems. Kewl!]

And it's also worth considering the growing pains involved in golf's globalization. You don't have to love the Life on Tour blog or agree with Worth Blackwelder's every argument and assumption to think that something's very wrong in the disparities between the KLPGA's treatment of visiting LPGAers and LETers in their respective co-sponsored events.

[Update 1 (11/20/10, 11:01 am): Re: Blackwelder's accusations of preferential treatment for KLPGAers in their dual-sponsored event with the LET, here are some remarks from one of Larry the Looper's commenters:

I read with great interest Worth Blackwelder’s post on this website because I was at both the LPGA Hana Bank tournament and the LET/KLPGA tournament. I am writing to try to separate truth from rumor because I am all for calling a spade a spade, but some of the things that the author says is not only wrong but irresponsible for someone with his experience.

So, here goes. The letters below correspond with the letters in his letter to Beth Ann:

B/ The Haevichi Resort was the official hotel of the tournament. Many players, including Koreans on the LET and LPGA stayed there too. More importantly, the hotel where many of the KLPGA players stayed was NOT complimentary. What tour does that? Many KLPGA players and their families know Jeju island well as they play tournaments there often so they opted to stay in other hotels that may not be as nice, but are closer to the venue. The staff of the KLPGA stayed at one of these other hotels.

C/ Many KLPGA players purchased vouchers which allowed them to pick from the menu and remit their vouchers for payment. I was assured by the organizers that food was NOT complimentary for any players. I agree though, that food at the golf course was expensive. This is true because I paid those prices too.

D/ This is the most outrageously inaccurate statement here. No player received courtesy cars, including the sponsor exemptions. All the rental cars look very similar on Jeju island. The parents of the KLPGA players usually rent these cars at the airport on an individual by individual basis. This fact could have been easily ascertained by asking the someone at the tournament, including the English speaking tournament co-organizers from the UK.

E/ This is true. This is a problem on the KLPGA.

F/ House caddies cost the same for Koreans, Americans and Martians.

So, the author wants us to believe that the KLPGA set up these obstacles to give blatant advantage to KLPGA players and that the LET would allow this to happen.
Clearly, based on the real facts above, the author’s conclusions are just not supported. Further, not only was the tournament co-sanctioned, but the tournament organizers consisted of a Korean company and a UK company working with their respective organizations.

I will not comment on the remainder of his letter. I will say that I think it is good to discuss and debate issues that relate to the game that we love and the tour that we are close to. However, I think that if we are all truly interested in ensuring that women’s golf continues to thrive, then we should be having these discussions based on true facts, rather than inaccurate gossip that inflames people and turns them from reasonable to irrational. This is not only the responsible thing to do, it’s the right thing to do.

Would be nice to get to the facts here, eh?]

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