There’s no doubt players at the top of the sport have done very nicely out of the spat but the game itself – and fans in particular – are yet to see anything of value.
With the latest reported exodus from the PGA Tour – one that especially impacts the International Team for the upcoming Presidents Cup – comes an opportunity for the establishment to do something genuinely interesting.
It is, of course, something they should have done long ago (like so many other things they should have done but didn’t which is how we ended up here).
But ‘better late than never’ is a cliché for a reason so let’s just get on with switching the Presidents Cup from its current tired format to something genuinely innovative by inviting the game’s top women to be part of it.
Not because it’s the right thing to do (it is) but because – should they accept – it would actually create something better. Much better, in fact.
The addition of players like Minjee Lee would revolutionise the Presidents Cup format. PHOTO: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images.
Since its inception in the mid 1990s, the Presidents Cup has been viewed as Ryder Cup lite and the lopsided nature of the competition in the 13 matches since has done little to change that perception.
On the women’s side, the Solheim Cup is akin to the Ryder Cup in that it is one of golf’s great spectacles, yet it excludes a significant majority of the world’s best players because they are not from the U.S. or Europe.
A mixed Presidents Cup would solve both problems.
If it were possible to pull this off in time for the matches in three weeks, below is a list of the 12 women who would be added to the competition.
Internationals: Jin Young Ko, Minjee Lee, Lydia Ko, Brooke Henderson, Atthaya Thitikul, Hyo Joo Kim
US: Nelly Corda, Lexi Thompson, Jennifer Kupcho, Jessica Corda, Danielle Kang, Mina Harigae
“But ‘better late than never’ is a cliché for a reason so let’s just get on with switching the Presidents Cup from its current tired format to something genuinely innovative by inviting the game’s top women to be part of it.” – Rod Morri.
All six on the International side are from the top-10 of the Rolex Rankings. In fact, they are six of the top eight players in the world.
Could anybody deny that makes for a much stronger international team and hence a more compelling competition?
If the PGA Tour/DP World Tour alliance is serious about competing with the confronting sums of money LIV Golf have at their disposal, they need to do more than just compensate top male golfers.
Creating an event that has a genuine point of difference yet retains integrity by involving the very best talent the sport has to offer should be, as our American friends like to say, a no brainer.
In fact, that such an event could be considered innovative and doesn’t already exist is both absurd and a rare opportunity.
If the women are up for it, the top brass in charge of men’s golf could do something of benefit for the game beyond just a financial windfall for the already ludicrously wealthy.
They could be part of creating something truly worthwhile which would actually promote and – dare I say it – possibly even grow the game.
© Golf Australia. All rights reserved.