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This Season Has Been A Failure


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#1 Tailgater

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 09:02 PM

This opinion probably wonít be well received, and I bet there will be many rebuttals. I welcome it.

This LPGA season has been a failure in terms of improving the product and interest in the LPGA and its players. I am a huge LPGA fan. However, this season has not been fun to watch. I donít know the exact cause.

But here are a few reasons:

Lots of delays due to poor weather
No rivalaries
Weak year by the American players
Terrible TV coverage
Lack of intriguing majors

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#2 North Texas

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 09:30 PM

The wife and I have, and continue to, watch way more LPGA golf on TV then the PGA. Don't ask me why but it's just way more interesting to us.

Does anyone know how TV ratings have done compared to previous years?

Weather delays are just bad luck.
Don't see the rivalry aspect as a big deal as there are numerous good players pretty much contending every week.
Weak play by Americans could, and will, become a huge problem for the LPGA if it doesn't change.
Don't really know what was terrible with the TV coverage as compared to previous years.
Majors are always more intriguing.

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#3 legitimategolf

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 10:29 PM

View PostTailgater, on 19 August 2018 - 09:02 PM, said:

This opinion probably won't be well received, and I bet there will be many rebuttals. I welcome it.

I don't think it's such a bad thing to say. Actually I have sensed a kind of a lull this year. There is a sort of changing of the guard, maybe. Many so-called star players are checked out right now. And the current top ten perhaps is a bit low key compared to "stars" of past eras. Like Minjee. I have a big crush on Minjee, I think she looks great and is a consummate pro, but ok I can see why she is a bore. I thought Jessica Korda was going to dominate this year, but she cooled off big time.

Also can't overlook the Michelle factor. The biggest female name in the game for better or worse and she's out of commission lately. That takes a lot of the steam out of any tournament I think. On the international side of things, In Gee has also been a disappointment, in a number of ways lately, after showing so much potential very early on. Lydia won this year but is she out of her slump? Hard to say.

I don't think it'll be too long before Lucy Li turns pro. Perhaps she is the one who can bring balance back to women's golf.

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#4 Mellow

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 10:48 PM

Minjee is not boring.  3putt just single-handedly repeated that so often he drilled it into you.  Don't buy it.

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#5 Tasals

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 12:24 AM

View PostNorth Texas, on 19 August 2018 - 09:30 PM, said:

The wife and I have, and continue to, watch way more LPGA golf on TV then the PGA. Don't ask me why but it's just way more interesting to us.

Does anyone know how TV ratings have done compared to previous years?

Weather delays are just bad luck.
Don't see the rivalry aspect as a big deal as there are numerous good players pretty much contending every week.
Weak play by Americans could, and will, become a huge problem for the LPGA if it doesn't change.
Don't really know what was terrible with the TV coverage as compared to previous years.
Majors are always more intriguing.

First round of the US Womens open had the lowest viewership of any LPGA event this year, final round of the Womens British was the most viewed event of the year and pushed this years average viewership up (local winning at home is always a massive draw in any sport). British made the average viewership comparable to 2013 levels, but again thats just one tournament giving it a massive boost.

The LPGA has viewership and marking issues, they almost couldnt find a venue to host the US Womens Open a few years ago. The LPGA doesnt have a marketable dominant star and challengers, or someone you hate to see win and watch to see if they lose a la Patrick Reed.


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#6 8602081

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 12:29 AM

I'm sure the rating aren't an issue in Korea..

I think the lack of great players in US is making people lose interest here in US.

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#7 Tailgater

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 04:01 AM

View Post8602081, on 20 August 2018 - 12:29 AM, said:

I think the lack of great players in US is making people lose interest here in US.
I agree. The reason for the perceived lack of interest might be as simple as this.

I know S.H. Park is great. She hits it a mile. She rarely makes a mistake. She putts very well. And I still have zero interest in watching her play. I have tried to care about her. But I just donít. I donít dislike like her. She just doesnít move the interest needle for me.
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#8 Rustbelt

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 05:53 AM

There needs to be an American star or two in LPGA for the ratings in the US to improve unless there is a transcendent player who is a well spoken.  This has been the case with Roger Federer and Serena Williams in tennis.  Of course, SHP is one of the biggest star in Korea and her being on the leader board increase viewership there.  

As for the rivalry, is there a better budding rivalry than Sung Hyun Park vs So Yeon Ryu?  Co-players of the year, KPGM playoff, British Open contention just to mention from last 12 month.

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#9 new2g0lf

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 09:34 AM

I find the quality of the LPGA product has declined this year.  It seems like they are doing a really poor job marketing their top players, there doesn't appear to be any interesting rivalries and it doesn't help US ratings that there isn't anyone from the US in the Top 10.  It really has become the Asian Tour and the top money leader for the US (Jessica Korda) is relatively unknown.  

The best players are clearly not from the US and the ladies representing other countries have earned their positions at the top but without some creative marketing it's just very hard to get emotionally invested in any tournament.  In fairness I had zero interest in the Wyndham this weekend for the same reason, there was no one on the top of the leaderboard that I was interested in seeing win.
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#10 legitimategolf

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 09:35 AM

View PostTailgater, on 20 August 2018 - 04:01 AM, said:

View Post8602081, on 20 August 2018 - 12:29 AM, said:

I think the lack of great players in US is making people lose interest here in US.
I agree. The reason for the perceived lack of interest might be as simple as this.

I know S.H. Park is great. She hits it a mile. She rarely makes a mistake. She putts very well. And I still have zero interest in watching her play. I have tried to care about her. But I just don't. I don't dislike like her. She just doesn't move the interest needle for me.

Then think of her as a villain and root against her. It's all just entertainment IMO. I never liked Michelle Wie but as a fan of the LPGA I had to suffer through a pretty long reign of terror. But I got through it okay.


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#11 Texsport

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 09:45 AM

I agree with the idea that popularity in the U S has dropped, but elsewhere it has likely risen.

The lack of a dominant U S player is involved,and in my mind, the ridiculous and unfair round 4 back 9 penalizing of Lexi Thompson, causing her to lose a major championship still leaves a sour taste in my mouth - a major black stain on the LPGA.

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Edited by Texsport, 21 August 2018 - 08:19 PM.

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#12 Stooch

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 10:31 AM

A couple things on this topic, first I find course setups too easy.  This isn't an LPGA thing though it's a professional golf thing.  I think the sponsors and the networks want scoring rather than a tough test.  I'm the type who thinks -12 is a good score for 4 days of playing well and not -24.  A great example is yesterday's 18th (the gimmick hole), I don't have issues with drivable par 4's they can be fun to watch but using it as the 18th and the playoff hole is amateur hour. Soon as you hit the playoff there's a good chance one of the players has a big advantage over the other.  I'm a big Sung Hyun Park fan so the result didn't upset me but if I'm being honest SHP had a huge advantage when she can drive it and be 10-15 yards from the pin and Lizette drive is 50-60 yards away from the pin.  I also don't like lift/clean/place has become the default setting for a drop of rain, it gives the players another advantage over the course, well unless you're Lexi Thompson.

As for ratings another symptom is any casual viewers will have a hard time keep track of the LPGA.  With the PGA you know from 3-6 on thurs and fri you can find it on the golf channel and on Sat and Sun you can find it from from 12-2:30 on the GC and 3-6 on the network covering it.  The LPGA from week to week it changes it can be on from 10:30 in the morning til 9 PM on tape delay and everywhere else in between.  Stable TV times isn't a cure all but would be a slight overall increase.  This is why IMO the LPGA has to take control and produce their own content like Tennis (TennisTV and WTA Network), with Tennis TV outside the majors I can watch any mens tennis match anywhere in the world on a given week.  Money talks and the PGA will always be the driving force and get favored placement by GC but with a fee based streaming option for the LPGA website I think you have more than enough LPGA fans globally would subscribe and make the economics work.  I love the featured group components at various majors with the streaming option, how do you think a featured group every week of top end Korean golfers would play in Korea if they were available to stream?

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#13 Argonne69

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 11:04 AM

'Not much one can do about the weather. That's one reason I don't mind tape delayed coverage, as long as they bother to edit it for television and show some actual golf that was played before the weather delay. I hate to see taped coverage that involves the booth announcers talking about the rain delay. Grrr. Of course, it costs money to send out the TV cameras to cover the morning wave.

There's a lot of talent at the top of the rankings, so there's no reason there can't be a good rivalry. However, let's face it, the players are just too nice. :)

I was hoping some of the young Americans (e.g. Nelly, Angel, Megan, and Emma) would step up their games. They've had moments where they've shined, but they lack consistency. The more experienced Americans (e.g. Danielle, Jessica, Austin, Jaye Marie, and Lizette) just don't get into contention enough to get TV time. If a player isn't in the featured groups on the weekends, they're invisible.

To me, the problem starts in the lack of a proper U.S. feeder series for the tour. The Symetra Tour simply doesn't cut it in preparing the players for the LPGA. 'Same with the U.S. college golf system. What's needed is the equivalent to the KLPGA's Dream and Jump tours.

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#14 ChronicSlicer

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 11:37 AM

I have no issue personally with Koreans or Aussie`s or whatever nationality winning on the LPGA, however I do believe the lack of Americans winning is likely hurting TV ratings here. Be honest and look at this link, who on this list of US players can draw a crowd or viewers and has the skill to win a few times a year...be honest, don`t just pick your favorite or the one who looks the best..https://www.rolexrankings.com/rankings

In my opinion it`s Lexi. I think she could be the player who moves the needle, she just needs some help with the putter.
Let`s face it, the Pink Panther is basically done, Michelle Wie is too inconsistent. Who`s the next "IT" girl of the LPGA for the US?

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#15 Argonne69

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 11:45 AM

View PostChronicSlicer, on 20 August 2018 - 11:37 AM, said:

Who`s the next "IT" girl of the LPGA for the US?

Lucy Li.

There are a number of talented players that have just left, or getting ready to leave, the college ranks in the next year or two, e.g. Gillman, Schubert, Kupcho. However, based on recent (lack of) success of players from the college ranks, I'm not getting my hopes up.


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#16 jumpcut

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 12:10 PM

View PostChronicSlicer, on 20 August 2018 - 11:37 AM, said:

I have no issue personally with Koreans or Aussie`s or whatever nationality winning on the LPGA, however I do believe the lack of Americans winning is likely hurting TV ratings here. Be honest and look at this link, who on this list of US players can draw a crowd or viewers and has the skill to win a few times a year...be honest, don`t just pick your favorite or the one who looks the best..https://www.rolexrankings.com/rankings

In my opinion it`s Lexi. I think she could be the player who moves the needle, she just needs some help with the putter.
Let`s face it, the Pink Panther is basically done, Michelle Wie is too inconsistent. Who`s the next "IT" girl of the LPGA for the US?
Lexi's divisor is only 41 events, just two more than IK Kim, a part-time player. I didn't realize she's played so seldom.

Edited by jumpcut, 20 August 2018 - 12:13 PM.


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#17 WestTex

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 12:12 PM

Also, not to sound like a previous LPGA commissioner, but the language barrier doesn't help.  I love watching anyone from anywhere win, but it is challenging to get behind someone like SHP when they don't speak too much English and she's stoic as stone.  Not her fault at all, mine, but I can get behind SYR a little more simply because I understand her better.  I would absolutely love more interviews and stories about the players, as some have some very compelling backgrounds and think that may help with viewership - though not necessarily on the channel - but certainly on the LPGA website.  That being said, I still love watching Namdalla even if she cracks a smile as often as I get a birdie.

I do think engaging the youth market is smart, as they may be more willing than us older generations to support someone not from the US.  Just an assumption though.

I would love (and pay for) a streaming option to watch certain specific groups with mics and translators.  I'd love to know what SHP, Nasa, and anyone esle talks about with their caddies.

One of the reasons we watch the LPGA vs the PGA is they SEEM more accessible, even if they are not.  No offense to anyone, but (most of) the guys all seem cut from the same Ken Doll, and even with the proclivity of Asian women on the LPGA, they all seem to have unique personalities and the LPGA can use that to their advantage.  Seeing what the KPMG meant to SHP and Mo's first win meant to Ariya were touching moments that we enjoyed seeing.  Use that!

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#18 airjammer

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 12:32 PM

It definitely seems to be incredibly boring this year. The courses are softer than charmin even without the rain and they are setup that way because the depth of the fields is very shallow. If they were set up with firmer greens 1/4 of the field wouldnít be able to hold a green due to lack of clubhead speed.  

Wie and Lexi I don't have much info about any of the other players nor do their games say ďhey look at meĒ and now neither do their outfits.
The tour didnít do themselves any favors by changing the dress code.  Like it or not if their game is boring relatively speaking either their personality or outfit better not be.

If Iím in charge Iím getting creative, all players will be micd up and I would encourage chatter between the players even if itís a little trash talk, what you did last night, what you and your instructor are working on, mental techniques that a average player might be interested in. Anything to make these players more of a person not just another player. Times have changed..viewers have more options than ever therefore the competition is higher than ever before.  



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#19 95124hacker

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 12:37 PM

Lack of intriguing majors??

ANA: long playoff between Pernilla and In Bee that carried over to Monday

USWO: intense playoff between Ariya & Hyo Joo Kim after Ariya seemingly had a Greg Norman type meltdown

KPMG: another playoff between SH Park & So Yeon & Nasa who was playing hot coming in. Who can forget SHPís recovery from the greenside water hazard?

Ricoh British: local gal Georgia Hall comes from behind to snatch one from Pornanong looking for her 1st

I think your standards for intriguing golf is too high dude...

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#20 Rory4Pres

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 12:42 PM

Honestly, it is pretty boring.  So many players have little to no emotional changes, makes me think I'm watching Robots play a round of golf.  
You throw in Joe Buck and his crew that can't pronounce the leader's name and yeah, the only thing from preventing you from changing the channel is not knowing where the remote is.


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#21 legitimategolf

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 12:51 PM

View PostChronicSlicer, on 20 August 2018 - 11:37 AM, said:

I have no issue personally with Koreans or Aussie`s or whatever nationality winning on the LPGA, however I do believe the lack of Americans winning is likely hurting TV ratings here. Be honest and look at this link, who on this list of US players can draw a crowd or viewers and has the skill to win a few times a year...be honest, don`t just pick your favorite or the one who looks the best..https://www.rolexrankings.com/rankings

In my opinion it`s Lexi. I think she could be the player who moves the needle, she just needs some help with the putter.
Let`s face it, the Pink Panther is basically done, Michelle Wie is too inconsistent. Who`s the next "IT" girl of the LPGA for the US?

I feel this issue/problem is getting worse by the day! The LPGA's anti-Korean propaganda campaign from the late 2000s, while it did manage to stoke some passion among US fans, was never anything but a smokescreen for the real problem, which is declining interest in golf by American women and girls. A healthy tour would have embraced the emergence of a new golf-crazy nation and the higher level of competition it inspired. But judging by the response I am concluding that American golf was in trouble even back then.

I have no hope of the situation changing anytime soon. The current landscape is the result of a myriad of unstoppable forces, economic, cultural, and possibly beyond. I don't think the US government has the power to seize back control of women's golf just as I don't think the Korean government ever set out to do such a thing. It's more like a natural phenomenon.

But so what. It's just sports in the end. Any hardcore sports fan, even if their favorite is a dynastic team or a Hall of Fame caliber player, is inured to disappointment. Chicago Cubs fans endured like a century of disappointment, but that didn't stop them from enjoying the game, their team, their ballpark etc. this whole time. American golf fans should look to these people for inspiration perhaps.

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#22 WestTex

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:08 PM

View Postlegitimategolf, on 20 August 2018 - 12:51 PM, said:


But so what. It's just sports in the end. Any hardcore sports fan, even if their favorite is a dynastic team or a Hall of Fame caliber player, is inured to disappointment. Chicago Cubs fans endured like a century of disappointment, but that didn't stop them from enjoying the game, their team, their ballpark etc. this whole time. American golf fans should look to these people for inspiration perhaps.

Being originally from NE Ohio, this explains exactly why I will still root for the US when it's a nation vs nation set-up.

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#23 the bishop

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:12 PM

View PostWestTex, on 20 August 2018 - 12:12 PM, said:

Also, not to sound like a previous LPGA commissioner, but the language barrier doesn't help.  I love watching anyone from anywhere win, but it is challenging to get behind someone like SHP when they don't speak too much English and she's stoic as stone.  Not her fault at all, mine, but I can get behind SYR a little more simply because I understand her better.  I would absolutely love more interviews and stories about the players, as some have some very compelling backgrounds and think that may help with viewership - though not necessarily on the channel - but certainly on the LPGA website.  That being said, I still love watching Namdalla even if she cracks a smile as often as I get a birdie.

I do think engaging the youth market is smart, as they may be more willing than us older generations to support someone not from the US.  Just an assumption though.

I would love (and pay for) a streaming option to watch certain specific groups with mics and translators.  I'd love to know what SHP, Nasa, and anyone esle talks about with their caddies.

One of the reasons we watch the LPGA vs the PGA is they SEEM more accessible, even if they are not.  No offense to anyone, but (most of) the guys all seem cut from the same Ken Doll, and even with the proclivity of Asian women on the LPGA, they all seem to have unique personalities and the LPGA can use that to their advantage.  Seeing what the KPMG meant to SHP and Mo's first win meant to Ariya were touching moments that we enjoyed seeing.  Use that!
I do think Biven's heart was in the right place but there may never be such a ham-handed attempt to implement a noble idea ever again.  The Korean, Japanese, Thai players all get plenty of opportunity to be interviewed in their native languages by representative media from their own countries.  I do think it is to their benefit to be able to give interviews and converse in English however.  I do understand it isn't the easiest language to learn either.  And I know that many are trying.  But to be honest, interviewers over here don't do themselves or the players any favors when you take a player with limited English skills and then ask them "Terrific shot out of the fairway bunker on 15.  Take me through your decision making process there."  I've seen many times where interviewers ask questions requiring answers that far exceed the players grasp of the language.
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#24 North Texas

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:19 PM

View PostChronicSlicer, on 20 August 2018 - 11:37 AM, said:

I have no issue personally with Koreans or Aussie`s or whatever nationality winning on the LPGA, however I do believe the lack of Americans winning is likely hurting TV ratings here. Be honest and look at this link, who on this list of US players can draw a crowd or viewers and has the skill to win a few times a year...be honest, don`t just pick your favorite or the one who looks the best..https://www.rolexrankings.com/rankings

In my opinion it`s Lexi. I think she could be the player who moves the needle, she just needs some help with the putter.
Let`s face it, the Pink Panther is basically done, Michelle Wie is too inconsistent. Who`s the next "IT" girl of the LPGA for the US?

Lexi is the closest to being the "IT" girl of the LPGA for the US.

However Michelle Wie could have been, or could still be, the "IT" girl for the entire LPGA, regardless of nationality.

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#25 Stooch

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:21 PM

I'll say this, I call Mike Whan the "Wine and Cheese" commissioner, he's great at smoozing the sponsors and getting the LPGA a full schedule and he deserves great applause and accolades for that.  The product on the other hand that he puts out can be considered very lacking, from TV, rulings and decisions everything we consume as fans is sub-par IMO.

Like in a couple of weeks 95 % of the LPGA is gonna have a month off of competitive golf just as the race to the CME heats up and some are in the thick of it, it's still a million bucks.  The great debacle of shortening the Evian to 54 holes, I normally wouldn't care but the LPGA insists on calling it a Major, so know I judge it as such.  The only thing I can say is if you act 2nd tier you're gonna be treated 2nd tier


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#26 Argonne69

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:22 PM

I believe the language issue is overblown. After four days of golf, do we really care about a 60 second post round interview? There's not enough time to ask interesting questions anyway, so you wind up with 2 or 3 softball questions. You know the answers coming before the question is even finished. Is a fan really put off because the golfer didn't give a passionate, articulate answer to the inane question? Frankly, I'd rather listen to May or Sung Hyun then, ummm, Michelle.

Edited by Argonne69, 20 August 2018 - 01:23 PM.


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#27 ChronicSlicer

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:24 PM

View PostArgonne69, on 20 August 2018 - 11:45 AM, said:

View PostChronicSlicer, on 20 August 2018 - 11:37 AM, said:

Who`s the next "IT" girl of the LPGA for the US?

Lucy Li.



Lucy reminds me so much of Michelle Wie, young prodigy showing flashes of greatness. She will likely be the talk of the town, but will she just kick the tires or light the fires.

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#28 Argonne69

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:29 PM

It'll be interesting to see if Lucy goes the college route, or jumps straight into the professional ranks. I'm guessing she follows Lydia, Lexi, and Brooke and turns pro.

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#29 WestTex

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:31 PM

View PostArgonne69, on 20 August 2018 - 01:22 PM, said:

I believe the language issue is overblown. After four days of golf, do we really care about a 60 second post round interview? There's not enough time to ask interesting questions anyway, so you wind up with 2 or 3 softball questions. You know the answers coming before the question is even finished. Is a fan really put off because the golfer didn't give a passionate, articulate answer to the inane question? Frankly, I'd rather listen to May or Sung Hyun then, ummm, Michelle.

Agreed, to clarify I was proposing maybe a web-based interview with more substance not related to any specific tournament time frame or setting.  For example, let's sit down and talk with In Gee what it means for her to sponsor the scholarship program at Lancaster because of her roots.  Or perhaps interview the Jutanugarns about how they've relied on each other in their career.  Or what their interests are outside of golf - didn't know SHP would be a vet, or that D. Kang was a painter of good talent.  Heck, Megan Khang's family's story is a great one too.  So much opportunity there.

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#30 legitimategolf

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:32 PM

On the bright side, the International Crown is coming up, and the number one seeded team (Korea) is looking pretty vulnerable at the moment. I actually like the Americans' chances at defending.


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