By Brigitte L. Nacos
Today, the fourth and last round of the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) U.S. Women’s Open, the most important event of the year for professional female golfers, is being played at the Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. But contrary to the complete coverage of the recent U.S. [Men’s] Open Championship at Bethpage, New York, there has been very little media attention to this year’s championship and major ladies’ events in the past. Indeed, whereas literally all major and non-major tournaments of the Professional Golf Association’s (PGA) tour and Senior PGA tour tend to be covered generously, those of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) receive little or no attention at all.
To be sure, this is nothing new. Yet, I found it particularly disconcerting that today’s New York Times “SportsSunday” Section displayed a large, four-column report and picture about next week’s [men’s] British Open site at Turnberry, Scotland, which was continued on an inside page. Taken together with a column by Dave Anderson on the duel between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus at the 1977 British Open, the Times managed to devote more space to the up-coming men’s major tournament than to the current U.S. Women’s Open.
Yes, the women’s tour does not have stars like Tiger Woods or Phil Michelson, but one reason may well be that the sports media tried too hard to promote Michelle Wie as the female Tiger Woods and more or less ignored the accomplished young players.