Women’s golf doesn’t get near the attention that it should, and I’m as guilty as anybody for this. On Sunday, for instance, I had to decide between writing about Tiger Woods, who won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando for his first PGA Tour victory in 30 months, by five shots, or Yani Tseng, who won the Kia Classic across the country in Carlsbad, Calif., by six shots. It was the number one ranked Tseng’s third win in five tournaments this season.
I went with Woods, figuring that not doing so would be to ignore golf’s biggest story of the day, especially with the Masters coming up. But I knew that I was ignoring Tseng, who deserves much more attention and credit than she’s getting. Here she is, only 23, the youngest player, male or female, to win five majors. She’s the favourite going into this week’s Kraft Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, Calif., the first LPGA major of 2012. She’s dominating women’s golf. Maybe her accomplishments should also be dominating media coverage, or, certainly, getting far more play.
But that won’t happen. No chance. Tseng knows that. She’s never met Tiger, but has said she’d like to. She lives in Orlando, two and a half hours up the road from where he lives in Jupiter, Fla. Maybe they will meet. It would be fun to watch them tee it up together in a casual round, or some sort of exhibition.
Meanwhile, Tseng knew what would happen in the media.
“If he’s going to win, he’s probably going to be on the cover,” Tseng said of Tiger. He did win, and he was on the covers of Golf World Monday and Global Golf Post when they arrived in my inbox the morning after each of their wins. Tiger was also featured in sports sections everywhere. Tseng was an afterthought. She was given very little space.
In a way, there’s nothing new about this. Women’s golf doesn’t get much coverage anywhere. Just this morning, I received an e-mail from Ralph Bauer, the gifted Canadian swing coach who works with Stephanie Sherlock. The Barrie, Ont. golfer splits her time down south between Tampa and Orlando. She holds conditional status on the LPGA Tour and tied for 30th at the Kia Classic. Sherlock has a lot of game and could break through anytime.
Bauer, who works with David Hearn, Canada’s leading player on the PGA Tour last year and this, was e-mailing me, and my colleague Bob Weeks of SCOREGolf Magazine, to point out a few of his observations about Sherlock. Here’s what he wrote.
“I have known her for about 10 years. She has more fun golfing than any professional (or really anybody) that I have ever met. Has a really good attitude.”
He added these facts:
Sherlock finished 101 on money list (top 100 keep card). She finished one shot out of full card at Q-School (after calling penalty on herself coming in last day). I was there. She was playing well. Conditions were tough.
Had two flights cancelled going to Australia and didn't get to Royal Melbourne until Wed. at 4 (for the Australian Open).
Was first alternate two weeks ago and didn't get in.
Is 81st on the money list and you guessed it top 80 get into Kraft.
She hasn't mentioned any of this to me but I can see how it would be frustrating, typical of her though she is happy with the state of the game and the progress we are making etc. and hasn't even brought any of that up.”
Finally, Bauer wrote, “Obviously the women's game doesn't get the coverage of the men's but I think if the public got a chance to get to know Steph they would be interested.”
The public would indeed be interested. We could all do a better job of covering women’s golf. Tseng deserves it, worldwide. Sherlock deserves it, at least in Canada for now.
Women’s golf everywhere deserves it. With its first major about to start, maybe women’s golf will get more attention this week. Maybe.
Lorne Rubenstein has written a golf column for The Globe and Mail since 1980. He has played golf since the early 1960s and was the Royal Canadian Golf Association’s first curator of its museum and library at the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario and the first editor of Score, Canada’s Golf Magazine, where he continues to write a column and features. He has won four first-place awards from the Golf Writers Association of America, one National Magazine Award in Canada, and he won the award for the best feature in 2009 from the Golf Journalists Association of Canada. Lorne has written 12 books, including Mike Weir: The Road to the Masters (2003); A Disorderly Compendium of Golf, with Jeff Neuman (2006); This Round’s on Me (2009); and the latest . He is a member of the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. Lorne can be reached at . You can now follow him on Twitter