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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

Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia’s personal relationship has reportedly turned toxic

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In 2014 Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia were the so-called ‘dream team’ of the Ryder Cup.

The pair totted up a combined total of 5-and-a-half points of the 16-and-a-half won by the victorious European team, beating the pairing of Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan in the second day foursomes before both winning their singles.

Their relationship was so solid that McIlroy was honored to be an usher at Garcia’s wedding in 2017, but recently it’s all gone sour, with Golf Monthly reporting a “complete deterioration” of the relationship.

A week ago, it was widley reported that the Spaniard had told his Northern Irish friend that they were now “finally getting paid what we deserve,” a comment that received the reply, “Sergio. We’re golfers. We don’t deserve to be paid anything.”

According to Golf Monthly, the relationship has now “turned personal,” with the world number three unhappy that his old friend has dedicated himself to the Saudi-backed tour, putting the selection process for the Ryder Cup into confusion. The rhetoric between the two is reported to be “bitter and personal.”

At the Wells Fargo Championship in May, as he was hacking out of the rough after a ruling, Garcia was heard muttering, “I can’t wait to leave this tour,” before being confirmed as one of the initial participants of the LIV Golf Series.

Whilst it is unclear exactly what the sanctions are with regards to the Ryder Cup 2023, the way the PGA and DP Tours are moving, there is a distinct possibility that LIV players will be seriously affected – though Garcia has made clear that he wants to be a part of it.

At a press conference before the inaugural LIV event at the Centurion Club, Garcia stated, “I haven’t resigned from the European Tour because I would like to still be a member. I’m European, I love the European Tour. I played it for 23 years. Obviously we’re going to have to wait and see what the European Tour does. But I definitely would like to keep my membership and get my chance to make the Ryder Cup team because I love that event. But we’ll wait and see what happens over there.”

Whilst recent LIV press conferences on site have caused their own controversy, Garcia has prompted his own backlash.

After reportedly delivering an anti-DP World Tour rant at the BMW International in Germany last week, Golf Monthly reports that one tour player commented:

“They (LIV players) all think they are untouchable, and they all think the tours can’t do anything. I think they’re all about to realize they’re wrong. It is short sighted to think regulations can’t change and that there isn’t a lot of ill-feeling towards them. I think they’ve miscalculated quite dramatically.

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19th Hole

‘You like apples?’ – Greg Norman takes bullish shot at PGA Tour over LIV poll numbers

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CEO of LIV Golf and former superstar Greg Norman took a shot at the PGA Tour via social media on Wednesday.

Sports Illustrated “Morning Read” shared a Harris Poll that indicated younger U.S. golf fans are open to the LIV Golf series despite its controversial source of funding.

Norman commented on social media with a link to the poll while tagging the PGA Tour’s official accounts, saying, “@pgatour you like apples??”

The line is, of course, in reference to a scene in the 1997 classic film Good Will Hunting, and Norman then doubled down on his bullish aim at the tour with a gif of one of follow up lines from Matt Damon’s character:

The results of the Harris Poll were extremely interesting.

According to Sports Illustrated, “Younger Americans are more aware of, more interested in and more open to the LIV tour, according to our polling — and the split is sharp. So while 40% of those 45 years old and younger are familiar with LIV, as opposed to 35% of the overall population, that figure falls to 27% among those aged 55 and over. And while 55% of U.S. adults familiar with the league plan to watch an LIV event, that number rises to more than 7 in 10 (71%) among those aged 18-34.”

The source of the funding for LIV has generated vigorous debate in recent months. The poll results indicated that younger golf fans aren’t as concerned with the Saudi money as the older generation. Among those aware that LIV Golf is funded by foreign government investments, a majority (52%) of those 45 and younger have no issues the arrangement, while those aged 55 and older report far more often that they disapprove.

There were plenty of other interesting results from the polling.

  • Those aware of LIV Golf’s funding sources are nearly evenly split about it (35% oppose the relationship while 36% support it).
  • By a nearly 2 to 1 margin, Americans say that professional sports funders’ identities have no bearing on whether or not they watch. “In much the same way that sports fans are able to keep rooting for their team even if individual players have personal issues, it seems that they are willing to suspend judgment about a league even if its sponsors have poor reputations. This leaves open the question, however, of how potent attempts at “sportswashing” could be: If consumers are able to separate sporting events from their sponsors, it could run the other way, with leagues not transferring their positive reputations back to their funders.”
  • Among golf fans aware of the PGA Tour’s suspensions, 45% support the decision.

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19th Hole

‘Bye Bye Cheat!’ – Tour pro blocked on Twitter by Patrick Reed after shovel jibe

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@PReedGolf – probably the cause of more ‘blocks’ on Twitter golf than any other is at it again.

As one of the more recent recruits to the LIV Golf Series, Reed has once again opened himself up to criticism, a factor of his career for many years.

On this occasion, Reed tweeted an offer for tickets to this week’s second LIV event in Portland, an offer that was re-tweeted by DP World Tour pro Mike Lorenzo-Vera with the comment, “Does this code works if I want to buy a shovel ???”

The comment refers to an incident at the 2019 Hero World Challenge when Reed was accused of brushing away sand from behind his ball in a bunker, and didn’t go down well with those that run the former Masters champion’s Twitter – they blocked him.

The move didn’t bother Lorenzo-Vera. He went straight back with, “Well… that was fast! Bye bye cheat!”

Support was there. Popular on-line commentator group ByTheMinute (Non LIV) Golf said, “Love this MLV but everyone else is blocked already,” but one respondent took the opportunity to cast doubt on the new PGA/DP Tour alliance by accusing, ” Have some self respect instead rather than praising a decision to iron out the fact the Euro Tour will be now on par with the Korn Ferry.” Ouch.

Most recently, a press conference held at Pumpkin Ridge saw Reed, Brooks Koepka and Pat Perez face a barrage of awkward questions from reporters, and the answers given certainly have received little approval. The irony, of course, being that Koepka was quite happy to accuse his fellow LIV player of cheating at that event in 2019.

The LIV Golf Invitational Portland starts tomorrow and Reed plays with Perez, Talor Gooch and Dustin Johnson as the ‘4 Aces GC’ team, whilst Koepka captains ‘Smash GC’, comprising his brother Chase and DP World Tour winners Richard Bland and Adrian Otaegui.

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