Van de Velde plays it straight
The sports news was today full of the story that PGA European Tour golfer Jean Van de Velde is looking to apply for a place in the Women’s Open on the grounds that “If women enter our tournaments it applies that men can play with women.” You may recall Van de Velde as the golfer who squandered a 3 shot lead on the final hole of the 1999 British Open by taking seven shots.
From a golfing perspective his intentions will fall on deaf ears, the Ladies Golfing Union Gender Policy states that “It shall be a condition of any competition organised by the Ladies Golf Union that players must be of the female gender.” The rules are pretty explicit in that respect, but Van de Velde is attempting to use the recent allowing of female players into a small number of men’s compeitions to enter intop the female golfing sphere.
From a sport business perspective it isn’t going to happen either. Adding a female to a men’s competition creates a real buzz, a sense of the underdog taking on the behemoth, David vs Goliath, great for TV, great for sponsors, great for the players.
I don’t really see the value of entering a male into a female tournament.
Perhaps Van de Velde wants us to forget what really happened at the Open in ’99, I get the feeling that many will have a lesser opinion of him than they already do after reading this story.
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