Monday, June 11, 2007

LPGA Championship – Epilogue

Suzann Pettersen won her first major title using a putter that belonged to one of her pro-am partners. The commentators mentioned that putting had been a problem for Suzann but she entered the LPGA Championship ranked T24 in putts per GIR. I think the real difference this week was she hit 45 fairways over the four rounds (11.25 per round) since she was 99th in accuracy coming in.

I’ll be honest – I was not rooting for Pettersen to win yesterday. I was hoping for one of the rookies, Na On Min or Angela Park, to take it, and at the very end I was pulling for Karrie Webb. Why? Something about the way Suzann carries herself (especially during interviews) pushes me away from her. Even during her post-victory interview yesterday she made a couple of arrogant comments. I’m probably being too harsh on her, but I just can’t shake that attitude. Pettersen is a great player, right now probably the second-best there is. Everybody develops their opinion about an individual, and mine on Suzann is unfortunately a negative one.

If I don’t pick Karrie Webb at least as a CYA at the first two majors in 2008, you have permission to kick my posterior. Her last four finishes at the KNC and LPGA – 1st, 2nd, T20, 2nd. In none of those four cases was she playing particularly well going into the event.

One of my favorite places on the web is the message board at It’s a very comfortable forum where you can express your opinions and not worry about getting verbally assaulted. One common topic that I’ve often tired of hearing there is the lack of tv time that the “Sisters” get. I’ve usually attributed that to the natural desire to see one’s favorites more, plus the fact that some of the complaints have come out even during events where the Korean players weren’t really in contention. Well, perhaps I was wrong and the SeoulSister crowd is right. At no time during the first 15 holes on Sunday were either Na On Min or Angela Park more than three shots out of the lead. Both of them were playing in the final two groups, Min with Pettersen and Park with Webb. During the three hours of coverage we saw every single approach and green shot of Pettersen and Webb plus most of their tee balls. We saw only two of Min’s FOUR consecutive birdies (on tape, no less), only a couple of Park’s putts and each of them got exactly ONE approach shot on air. Dottie Pepper said putting is Angela Park’s weak area and she has great shot-making ability – let us freaking see it for ourselves!! When Lindsay Wright moved to within a couple of the lead, we started seeing her. Of course, she has blonde hair so why wouldn’t TGC put her on the air? We got the obligatory shots of Annika and Paula and Morgan and even Lorena (who is not a blonde but isn’t she cute all the same?) but there was no time to show two Korean kids scrambling to compete with the big girls and, in Min’s case, not lose hope of winning until after Pettersen’s first putt at 18. It was criminal and The Golf Channel should be ashamed.

That’s Na On Min’s picture at the top, by the way.


Galley said...

The Golf Channel may tend to concentrate their coverage on North Americans ( or at least Caucasians), but these Asian players are a force to be reckoned with, just as the Latino players have changed the face of Major League Baseball. The LPGA and MLB are no longer North American sports, but world sports. MLB has been making great strides in spreading the game round the world. Let's hope the LPGA can work with the broadcasters to broaden their coverage.

The Constructivist said...

What galley said! The parochialism of US women's golf media is going to hurt the sport in the US in the long run. If they keep sending the message that only white Americans matter (never mind that Wie and Prammanasudh and Hurst are American), it's a huge step back from the days when Nancy Lopez was the face of women's golf.

The Constructivist said...

Plus did you notice how great Na On Min's story is--her dad sells his construction business to give her a chance on the LPGA and travels with her from tournament to tournament. What a great father-daughter bonding story and "American Dream"-type story. All you have to do to find out about it is read the interviews at If the Golf Channel execs and announcers and interns aren't even doing that, it really makes me angry!

Hound Dog said...

My primary anger with TGC - aside from the very real problem of not getting much coverage of the Asians - was we weren't getting much coverage of two players who had a very real chance of winning the tournament. The MLB equivalent would be for a media outlet to only show highlights of American players, even if the game winning hit was delivered by Manny Ramirez or Ichiro.

This parochialism (I'm learning how to use these new words thanks to TC!) unfortunately fits in with the elitist Country Club attitude that has always tainted this game. That sort of political incorrectness has been weeded out of a large part of our society and it needs to be weeded out here.

The Constructivist said...

They need to understand it's bad business, period. Not showing people in contention makes your coverage less interesting and relevant. The fact that there's a racialized pattern (there's another one for ya!) makes it even worse.