How does women’s golf look to you now? Girls, are you dying to learn a game where you get to spend 6 hours waiting around to hack away at thigh-high grass?
The suspicion here is that the USGA and the TV networks (they’re in cahoots, you know) did our game no favors, with a brutal course setup on Saturday that set back the U.S. Women’s Open field for at least an hour. NBC had to move to ESPN in the end, and none but one player looked all too skilled.
At least they showed the end, which was hardly compelling with Na Yeon Choi already off the course and interviewed with a 6-shot lead. The big mystery on Sunday: Could the leaders finish in 5 hours and thus make the television cutoff?
Yes, yes and more. There were even a few moments of drama as Choi made a snowwoman, triple-bogey 8 on 10 — and more drama as she made birdie on the next and snuffed out any of the field’s fantasies. It was a statement victory by a major-caliber player.
Here, a few final thoughts about the elite championship in women’s golf:
- For the first two days on ESPN2, it was fantastic the way the announcers let us hear the caddies and players — we actually knew why Yani Tseng broke into raucous laughter on one tee. ( Her caddie observed that Suzann Pettersen was 7 or 8 yards short of the hole, so Yani certainly could blow it by.) Then there was the fascinating deduction by Cristie Kerr, turning to her caddie to say, “It must be 7. It’s not 6 and it’s not 8.”
- Having Dottie Pepper and Judy Rankin in the booth together those first two days: priceless! They have both studied the players and know their backgrounds, and most delightful were their critiques of outfits and, in one case, caddie hair.
- Saturday and Sunday, Annika Sorenstam replaced Rankin. OW! Annika, who has many pots on her brand burner, obviously does not know the players’ stories the way Judy does. Her strength: breaking down a swing or stroke. And she did not get to do enough of that.
- Cristie Kerr needs to learn to say “please” when ordering her golf ball around. Wouldn’t a little sweet talk, even, be preferable to, “GO, GO, SIT, TURN, STOP, STOOOOOPPPPP.” How would you like to be one of her pets?
- Stacy Lewis needs to get a grip. Her pounding and punishing of golf clubs when things don’t go well is far beyond the behavior for which one Tiger Woods has been publicly flogged.
- The TV people are not nearly critical enough of six-hour rounds. They don’t want to sound self-serving. But, six-hour rounds are not good for any of us. Especially the girls who might be watching.