Wendy’s Round 1 afternoon report

mulligan, 25 August 2005, Comments Off on Wendy’s Round 1 afternoon report
Categories: Uncategorized

I was able to get out to the Wendy’s Tournament for a few hours this afternoon, and it confirmed my view that attending an LPGA event is even more interesting and fun than attending a PGA event. I followed for a few holes the defending champion Catriona Matthew — who hits the ball really long and is already putting up a spirited defense by being tied for the lead after round 1 (leaderboard here). I also had a chance to see the fascinating threesome of Laura Davies, Natalie Gulbis and Meg Mallon play their final two holes. Here are some random highlights from my afternoon:

1. Natalie’s game is so unorthodox — a lunge in her swing, a split hand putting stroke — but her ball striking is pure and she gets in the hole. She made a strong birdie from the sand on her final hole (the par 5 ninth) to card a 1-under 71. Also, I was amazed at how much stuff she wears while playing: big earrings, a bracelet, an anklet, a big bow in her hair….

2. Unlike PGA pros, who all look pretty much the same with only a few exceptions, the LPGA pros come in many, many shapes and sizes. With lots of foreign players, lots of small and tall players, lots of lean and not-so-lean players, and nearly everyone sporting a different look, it is often fun to just take in the aesthetic of all the players (especially because, even as a follower of women’s golf, I recognize less than half the players by name).

3. Most of the women must be playing for the love of the game, because the money to be made as a female professional golfer is really paltry except for the very top players. Consider that, going into this week, the number 113 player on the PGA money list has already made over half a million dollars. Take a guess at what #113 has made on the LPGA tour…. only $37,000! (Or, to view this from another angle, what Vijay has made already this year alone on the PGA tour would vault him to #4 on the all-time LPGA career money list.)

4. I believe Tartan Fields, which is a lovely Palmer-designed course with a number of challenging holes, is set up a bit too easy. The fairways are generous, so driver is the club on every tee, and that means an approach shot of under 130 yards on many holes given where the tees are set (especially for longer hitters like Catriona Matthew). The course’s challenge is around the greens, but players who have their short irons working take a lot of that challenge out of play. I’d like to see the tees back about 15 to 20 yards on each hole; the scores would be 2-4 strokes higher and par would be an achievement. (I do not like it when shooting par the first day leaves you six shots back and in 70th place.).


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