Cancelling the ANWA shows just how far the game of golf still has to grow!
With much anticipation, during this time of crisis; we as golf fans clamored for news, any news, for when we’d see competition being played again. We got that wish yesterday as the governing bodies of both the PGA, USGA, & The Masters releases their tentative yet formidable schedule for the fall of 2020. 9 weeks, 7 professional tournaments for the men’s game. A rescheduled PGA Championship on the west coast at Hading Park. 4 back to back weeks of Fed-Ex cup Playoff. You know, because sponsors matter more than the players sanity. Then. Much needed rest week before a sure to be grueling test of US open golf at storied Winged Foot. Followed, may I add almost too closely by the grand daddy of all golf events, a grand spectacle in the game, the Ryder Cup. On home soil for the Americans in the flyover state of Wisconsin at Whistling Straights. Surely, the men that have made it this far in the season need a break, and that’s what the schedule has provided. A then 6 week hiatus; 7 if you’re not a Ryder Cup member; before the men pick back up for the most anticipated event on the list. The Masters.
A glaring omission from the tournaments being rescheduled alongside the 2020 Masters Tournament. A tournament that no less than a year ago today, was taking center stage as the groundbreaking moment for the game. A tournament in which chairman Fred Ridley called “monumental” and “essential to the game as a whole” before play began in 2019. The Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Seemingly all too easily cancelled amongst the hoopla surrounding the men’s tournaments. This event features the top amateurs of the women’s game, many of whom turned pro directly after their final putts dropped at Augusta a year ago. Women who seemingly, almost all too easily; took center stage walking the grounds around Augusta National Golf Club in their own flagship event, and delivered in every way imaginable. A back nine dual to rival that of the greatest Masters finishes in the history of the game. An eagle at 13 by Jenifer Kupcho.
Yet again, by no fault but their own, the governing bodies have made the conscious decision to shut down the progression of women’s golf within the game. They’ve chosen to make sponsorship dollars (The Fed-Ex Cup) and the men’s game far more important than the growth of our sport nationally and globally. Yet again proving the gender barrier that is all too existent in the game is self imposed. An event that was the talk of every golf fan far and wide last year as possibly the greatest feel good story of the year for the game of golf. An event that Chairman Fred Ridley himself called “magical” and “gratifying” seems to have been pushed under the rug without any attempt at making it work. A somber message that cash is king to the golf world. Even if it’s always one step forward and two steps back.