The LPGA Commissioner missed an enormous alternative by not discovering a strategy to get Ladies’s Open champion Sophia Popov within the discipline for the ANA Inspiration (regardless of technically being proper) then compounded the error with the debacle that was the wall behind the 18th inexperienced at Mission Hills.
Outrage isn’t laborious to search out on social media and in equity it’s typically misplaced, however from the second the primary photos of the 18th gap appeared final week there have been considerations concerning the placement of the sponsor hoardings.
Whereas for a number of years there have been company skyboxes creating an efficient backstop on the island inexperienced, the hoardings with out the accompanying marquees might hardly have been a worse or extra awkward look.
Going for the island inexperienced from an iffy lie late within the remaining spherical of one of the crucial prestigious occasions within the sport must be compelling stuff for participant and spectator alike.
However because of the presence of the wall, what may need in any other case been a momentous choice for a few of the finest gamers within the sport grew to become, as an alternative, a alternative with a safety blanket.
With the hazard behind the outlet all however assured to be out of play, the ‘momentous choice’ merely turns into one in every of execution: carry the water on the entrance of the inexperienced and also you’re all good.
“Because of the presence of the wall, what may need in any other case been a momentous choice for a few of the finest gamers within the sport grew to become, as an alternative, a alternative with a safety blanket.”
No one can say whether or not the end result of the match would have been totally different had the course setup staff not determined to place the wall in place. However there isn’t a doubt it performed an element within the remaining end result.
Eventual champion Mirim Lee’s second in regulation received an help from the wall and the query should be requested whether or not Brooke Henderson would have taken on the water carry for her second shot in regulation had there not been a backstop behind the inexperienced?
There is no such thing as a query the shot the Canadian ultimately determined to hit – a fairway wooden from an iffy lie late within the remaining spherical of one of the crucial prestigious occasions within the sport – would have discovered the water had there been no obstruction.
Gabi Ruffels, too, is likely to be questioning whether or not Rose Zhang – who bested the Australian by one shot for low newbie honours – would have hit her second throughout the water had there been clear floor behind the inexperienced.
Because it occurred Lee, Henderson and Zhang had been all assisted by the presence of the wall, possible as a lot within the decision-making course of because the precise interference of the barrier itself.
The gamers placed on an enthralling battle over the 4 days in California regardless of troublesome situations and minus the crowds and ambiance usually anticipated at this occasion.
Sunday was notably entertaining with the lead altering fingers a number of occasions and a 3 means playoff to ultimately resolve the title.
However for a lot of, the enduring reminiscence might be of the wall and the position it performed in proceedings.
What a disgrace.
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