While surfing…er, researching the Internet for potential subject matter, I stumbled across a list of the US states ranked by their 2004 population at Factmonster.com. I compared this list with the 2007 LPGA schedule and came up with a list of the Most Populous US States Without An LPGA Event. Do I still sound bitter about losing the Atlanta tournament?
1. Texas (#2)
Second in population only to California, Texas hasn’t hosted an LPGA event since 2001. Do Dubya and his constituents not like women’s golf? Or is the LPGA run by a bunch of Democrats? To make matters worse, the closest event for most Texans is near Tulsa. Here are a few examples of how far away Tulsa is: Dallas 257 miles, Lubbock 487, Houston 496, San Antonio 571. If you’re coming from El Paso, don’t – Phoenix is about 400 miles closer.
2. Pennsylvania (#6)
Pennsylvania lost the Wachovia/Betsy King event in Kutztown after the 2004 season. Either the LPGA Championship in Maryland or Corning, NY is the closest venue for most Penns.
3. Michigan (#8)
Michigan’s last event was the Oldsmobile in East Lansing back in 2000. Oldsmobile? No wonder! These folks have to head south to either Illinois or Ohio (Canada’s out this year – Edmonton is a long way from Detroit).
4. Georgia (#9)
Seeing three larger injustices somewhat eases my pain. Prattville (near Montgomery) and Mobile, Alabama are my closest options. Mount Pleasant, SC is about seven hours away but is the closest for eastern Georgia.
5. North Carolina (#11)
I know the 2007 US Open is at Southern Pines, but NC hasn’t had a regular tour stop this century.
6. Massachusetts (#13)
Must be too close to New York State (which has three events). The HSBC Match Play event in New Rochelle is the closest.
7. Indiana (#14)
Sandwiched between Ohio and Illinois, the Hoosiers have options.
8. Washington (#15)
If neither Microsoft nor Starbucks is willing to step up, Happyfan is just going to have to make that drive to the Safeway in Oregon every year.
9. Tennessee (#16)
Lost their tournament in Nashville this past off-season. Options are now Arkansas, Alabama and Virginia (for those in the Bristol area).
10. Missouri (#17)
The new event in Rogers, Arkansas helps the people who live too far from Springfield, Illinois.
And now the states that are overly blessed:
1. Hawaii (#42)
You’ve GOT to have an event in Hawaii, but do you have to have two? The jet lag can’t be that bad, and the sponsorship changes on these tournaments more often than anybody’s. I know the tourism helps, but Hawaii has fewer residents than New Hampshire, Maine or Idaho.
2. Arkansas (#32)
Besides Wal-Mart, Bill Clinton and Chigger – who wanted a tournament in Arkansas? Oh yeah, the people in southern Missouri and those in west Tennessee after Nashville died.
3. Oklahoma (#28)
Good local sponsorship and attendance have kept Oklahoma on the schedule.
4. Oregon (#27)
Doesn’t Safeway have any supermarkets in the Seattle area? Or Houston?