Talk about thinking out of the box, for the LPGA tour this defines it. It is so crazy and unlikely to occur it is just worth debating in the abstract.
With the 2014 U.S. Open for both the men and women coming to Pinehurst #2 in succession, it becomes a legitimate conversation to stage major men’s and women’s events on the same course. Putting the tees and pins in the right place for each group will result in an equally compelling competition with the same riveting factors capturing our attention.
So how cool would it be to see Suzann Pettersen and Yani Tseng agonizing over club selection on #12 or the decision to carry a second shot over Rae’s Creek into #13 while playing Amen Corner.
As Paula says in an intriguing article by Tommy Hicks on AL.com, “Are you kidding me? Of course that would be something. That’s when we’d know we had really made it, if something like that happened.”
You can take all the talk of Augusta being an all men’s club out of the conversation, it would clearly have to have changed for this to happen at all. Once that occurred any objection on the part of the LPGA players playing there would dissipate in a heartbeat.
The more difficult question is whether the green jacketed decision makers at Augusta would consider giving their course away for another two-week period and whether they thought such an annual event might diminish some of the luster from “the grand daddy of em all” in April. My suggestion is go to Pink Blazers and couple the event with proceeds supporting breast cancer research. Talk about a win-win-win situation.
Equally problematic would be how much such an annual event might take away from the Kraft-Nabisco (a.k.a. Dinah Shore) which is the closest thing the ladies tour has to a major event that returns to the same venue every year. But if you kept enough separation between them on the schedule I think that could be managed with proper PR.
This is not going anywhere but I think it will make for lively conversation among enlightened regular Saturday foursomes.
Who would a thunk we would get to the moon in a decade so this could be…….one small step for Augusta National….one giant leap for the LPGA.
(Click to read Tommy Hicks article on AL.com)