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19th Hole

Outrage as dramatic LPGA classic gets no live TV coverage

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Just four days ago, we reported on the tense and exciting conclusion to the LPGA season, the final two tournaments sure to decide the Rolex rankings number one and alongside that, the Player of the Year.

As the Pelican Women’s Championship came to a dramatic close, viewers at home were left wondering why there was no coverage of such an important final round, a final 18 that saw one of the two contenders for both titles, Nelly Korda, record a triple-bogey seven on her 71st hole before a bounce-back birdie at the last.

That got the Olympic gold medallist into a four-way playoff, after back-to-back short putts missed by Lexi Thompson. And Nelly then went on to win the dramatic affair with another birdie at the same hole in which Lexi missed another short putt.

Go back a year-and-a-bit and both the Cactus Tour (alongside the Outlaw Tour) virtually saved the game of golf during the beginning of Lockdown, the domination of early 2021 LPGA events by the Korda sisters grabbed many a column inch whilst the European Tour’s ‘Scandinavian Mixed’ got excellent attendances and positive reports all through the media covering the European Tour.

Sure, it’s easy to see why Sunday Night Football usurps the coverage – more viewers equals more advertising equals more bucks – but there really is no excuse not to cover the women’s game in some way and to give viewers the option.

Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nicholls tweeted that this was one of the most important LPGA moments ‘we couldn’t watch live on TV this year’ and received a host of support, probably best summed up by the reply from @JohnInt, who tweeted “Needs an Arnold Palmer business sense and attitude. Someone needs to step up and take to another level.”

Or just someone that really cares. Plenty do.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. art williams

    Nov 17, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    If Mike Whan was still commish and the GC was still privately owned this would not have happened. NBC has all but ruined the GC.

  2. Greg

    Nov 17, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    Remember what Leadbetter had to say about this subject..

  3. Sal Johnson

    Nov 17, 2021 at 10:11 am

    There is a perfect answer to this.
    If Golf Channel can’t find the time on either their network or one of the NBC Sports and USA networks (all owned together), give the events back to ESPN will would love to have it again.

  4. Dan Gibson

    Nov 17, 2021 at 9:44 am

    I too was hacked off at the lack of TV Coverage for the important final round of this LPGA event. I thoroughly enjoy women’s golf, watching them use almost every club in their bags. But if I see a matchup coming like Lexi & Nelly, the GUY in me takes over — I’m not only watching the sport, I’m watching these beauties.

    I tried livestream and it failed, so I kept account on the NET to following the leaders. It took waiting ’til the morning after to see how the event finished. Nelly nailed two great putts following her Triple on 17; but Lexi really gagged on her last three scoring putts … Great Drama !

  5. Martin

    Nov 17, 2021 at 9:39 am

    It was broadcast live on Sky in the U.K.

  6. CrashTestDummy

    Nov 16, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    Is the LPGA getting such poor ratings that TV networks won’t even pick it up? It is surprising because the LPGA pros are so good. Some of the scores they are shooting at tournaments is unbelievable. They are fun to watch.

    It might just be the fact that people are cutting the cord and TV ratings are just down more and more. I think people are just tired of the constant 24/7 politics and propaganda being force fed and injected into everything. That is why I cut the cord.

  7. Chris Hartman

    Nov 16, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    I watch more LPGA events on TV than PGA. I like the “atmosphere” of the LPGA ladies better. So much friendlier, no stupid male ego rivalries, and I can appreciate their slower swing speeds and use of more game improvement style clubs like higher lofted fairway woods, hybrids etc. Peacock had 4+ hours of coverage Sat/Sun of the 12th hole, but as soon as the lead group got off the 12th green, the coverage just ended. Why not just follow that final group to the finish? So then I had to stream it on golf channel, with it cutting in/out multiple times, including a solid 4-5 minutes of outage right when the final group was coming down the 18th. As a LPGA fan, you always know coverage will be worse than the PGA event, but this weekend was just appalling at the disparity.

  8. Boyo

    Nov 16, 2021 at 7:02 am

    They get short shrift all the time. They are great players. Typical male bias.

  9. Brian

    Nov 16, 2021 at 4:22 am

    Nobody thought this. No one.

    • Ben Wright

      Nov 17, 2021 at 10:28 am

      Quiet! Your comment doesn’t fit the narrative!

  10. Mike

    Nov 15, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    I enjoy watching women’s golf because their game (in terms of distances) is closer to my reality! I watch all the final rounds of every event. With rare exceptions, watching on TV, there’s just no buzz or excitement in terms of a gallery getting loud, cheers, anything. Criticize me if you like, but somehow the game needs to expand, from an audience perspective, past kids & people over 55 (like me). For the most part, watching it is BORING. And we’re talking about the best female players on earth!

    Get a ‘task force’ & figure out how do we sell this sport to the 18-49 crowd. And bring in fans. LOTS OF THEM (the PGA events do). Maybe a real rivalry might stir up some excitement (all the women always seem so nice & polite to each other!).

    • David

      Nov 16, 2021 at 8:06 am

      I’m older than this dude and I share his thoughts. The lady golfers show off such wonderful swings & results. Many, maybe most, of my old coot golfing buddies also watch & agree.

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19th Hole

Greg Norman delivers swaggering response to Rory McIlroy after recent PGA Tour wins jibe

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Rory McIlroy has been one of the most outspoken critics of the LIV Golf Series since the breakaway tour’s inception.

The Northern Irishman has slammed many of the recent defectors to LIV, calling them ‘duplicitous’, and after winning the Canadian Open back in June, McIlroy set his sights on LIV’s CEO Greg Norman.

Speaking to Amanda Balionis after his victory in Canada, Rory talked about how much the win meant to him:

“Yeah, this is a day I’ll remember for a long, long time…my 21st PGA Tour win..one more than someone else…that gave me a bit extra incentive today.”

That ‘someone else’ could only have been one man – LIV chairman Greg Norman.

Unsurprisingly, that jibe did not go unnoticed by Greg Norman, and in a recent interview with Australian Golf Digest, the multiple major champion hit back with a slick response.

“I respect Rory, but I am somewhat confused by his approach. But then, he is paid to sit on the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council, so he is obviously going to support the tour. I do know he has asked for sizeable appearance fees to play in Saudi Arabia. His comments also show competition is a wonderful thing.

“So, I take it as a compliment that he wanted to beat my 20 PGA Tour wins. His next goal should be to win more than 91 tournaments globally or to maintain No.1 in the world for more than 331 weeks.”

We’ll see if Rory has a response for Greg should he grab a victory in the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

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19th Hole

‘I’m ready to cop some heat’ – Cam Smith unfazed by backlash after reportedly signing for LIV

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It’s been quite the summer for Cam Smith, with the Aussie capturing his maiden major at the Home of Golf before almost instantly being heavily linked with a move to LIV Golf.

After unconvincingly dodging the question of whether he was joining the breakaway tour or not following his Open win, the Telegraph reported that the Aussie had signed a deal with LIV worth north of $100 million.

Per the Telegraph, Smith will likely make his LIV debut next month in Boston, but it still hasn’t stopped the Aussie from teeing it up at the FedEx Cup playoffs, with his eye very much on capturing the $15 million bonus.

Asked on Tuesday to confirm or deny the report, Smith responded with an auspicious “no comment,” which stoked plenty of response from golf fans and those in the media.

Following his opening round at the FedEx Cup Playoff opener in Memphis, Sky Sports reporter Nick Dougherty asked Smith if he understood how journalists “read between the lines of those sorts of comments“, and the Aussie offered an interesting response:

“Yeah, it’s just their job, mate. That’s what they’re there to do, they’re there to sell stories, and I’m sure they’ve had a few looks at it the past few days. You know, I’m ready to cop some heat.

I understand what I’ve said, but like I said, I’m here to play to win the FedEx Cup Playoffs. That’s my number one goal, and whatever happens after that will come from me.”

Smith began his charge at the FedEx Cup title with a round of three under par in Memphis to sit just five back of the early lead.

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19th Hole

Leona Maguire pulls off one of the greatest up and downs from a bunker that you’ll ever see

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When the pros face a greenside bunker situation, they are usually very adept at getting up and down.

However, take the wedge option away, and that success rate obviously drops quite significantly.

In recent times we’ve seen players try and get out of horrible spots in the sand with a putter, with usually poor results. Back in February, at the 15th hole at PGA National, Lee Hodges attempted just that, with a disastrous result, putting the ball from sand to the hazard.

So, how about removing wedges and the putter as options? 

That was the dilemma facing Leona Maguire at the opening round of the ISPS Handa World Invitational, with the Irish woman choosing to play a HYBRID from a nightmare spot at the back of the bunker.

What happened next showcased the 27-year-old’s immense talent, knocking her hybrid bunker shot to inside 10 feet and then drilling the putt.

“One of the greats,” and “imagination at its best”, declared the announcer. Agreed.

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