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  • Alistair Tait

Let players settle Popov problem

That noise you hear from LPGA headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida is the sound of a can being kicked down the road. It has Sophia Popov’s name on it.

Commissioner Mike Whan refused to bow to mounting pressure to grant Popov the five-year exemption she deserves following her AIG Women’s Open. Since she wasn’t an LPGA member, the German is only granted the rest of this season and a one year LPGA pass for next year.

Tommy Fleetwood called Popov’s treatment “stupid.” Ian Poulter said it was…

“absolutely embarrassing to the LPGA and the game of golf.”

Whan isn’t budging, but he’s left himself some wiggle room. He released a video in which he said the tour’s policy will be looked at more closely in the off season. He said:

“You may not like the regulation. I’m going to think about that in the off season when we really assess all of our regulations. What I won’t do is change regulations in the middle of the season. What I won’t do is change the regulation on the Monday after an emotional win.
“I will look at that regulation long term because I think that’s a fair question. But I’m not going to do that in the middle of the year. I’m not going to do that on the Monday after. That’s not the right way to run a sport. And quite frankly not the fairest way to treat your athletes. When they tee it up on Monday they ought to know what those wins earn.”

Surely the fairest way to treat this situation is to poll his members right now rather than let the issue fester? There’s nothing to stop him from doing just that. In this day and age of instant communication, it isn’t hard to get the immediate views of LPGA members and act accordingly.

The LPGA is a members’ organisation. Poll the players and sort this problem out now.


Oh, for Cameron Champ’s common sense

It not easy to find voices of reason when it comes to racial inequality. Thank goodness for Cameron Champ.

The PGA Tour player is wearing one white and one black shoe in this week’s BMW Championship to highlight an issue that continues to plague our world.

Hard to believe this is still a major problem in the 21st century. It doesn’t seem too long ago that PGA Tour events were still being held at white only clubs. Remember Shoal Creek, Hall Thompson and the 1990 PGA Championship? That seemed to mark a watershed moment in the fight for racial equality. Augusta National quickly went out of its way to change its membership policy, while the PGA Tour changed its rules by refusing to go to clubs that practised discriminatory policies.

Yet here we are 30 years later and our game still needs a serious conversation about diversity. Let’s listen to Champ as a starting point.

“Until equality in our country means everyone is treated with the same level of dignity & respect & afforded the same level of opportunity, freedom & justice in all things as human beings, we will never be able to truly live up to our ideals or reach our full potential as a nation.
“I join my fellow athletes in continuing to use my voice for positive change that will move our country forward as one.”

Our world would be a far better place if our leaders shared Champ’s view.

Toy–ing with history

Emily Toy can make history today with two good rounds at wonderful West Lancs Golf Club. Toy needs to win two matches to become the first player since Sweden’s Louise Stahle in 2005 to successfully defend the Women’s Amateur Championship.

Stahle is one of eight players to win back-to-back titles in a list that includes notables such as Mickey Walker, Joyce Wethered and Cecilia Leitch. Not a bad club to belong to.

#JustSaying: “To put everything in balance is good, to put everything in harmony is better.” Victor Hugo

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