Thi year’s CME Group Tour Championship will provide the biggest LPGA purse yet.
Equal pay for equal work is an argument for social equity and economic equality. The “pink tax” (also known as the “tampon tax”) has been an example of women working for less pay on the job (many times the same exact position) and paying more for consumer products. It also includes a higher degree of markup in costs for certain consumer products targeted towards women, items men do not have to even consider like tampons, pantyhose, and makeup.. This has been played out across the board in corporate America as well as among K-12 educators and higher ed institutions.
Sports are a totally different ball game when it comes to the gender pay gap.
Originally hitting the mainstream through the the lawsuit filed for equal pay by U.S. Women’s Soccer team in 2019. Despite winning back-to-back titles, the FIFA World Cup prize money for the women and men has a gap of 114.89%. In terms of dollars, that boils down to $360,000 difference.
What we’re seeing being done through the LPGA and CME Group Tour Championship is literally a move in the right direction to close the gender pay gap.
Prior Attempts at Gender Pay Equality
The U.S. Open made efforts to close the gender pay equality gap this season. With such a wide gap in pay between women and men professional golfers, the tournament’s move to raise the prize money this season has been seen as a sign and gesture of both good faith and a step in the right direction. This stemmed from a newly-established partnership reported in January of this year where the USGA secured a major sponsorship from ProMedica in order to provide top a record $10 million purse for the U.S. Open. The 2022 U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles included a winner’s share of $1.8 million.
Rising LPGA Prize Money Not Resulting in Equality
In March of 2021 by BBC Sport shared research reports that showed an ‘overwhelming majority’ of sports offering ‘equal prize money’ to both men and women at the top level. Given the rise in LPGA prize money, the gender pay gap has yet to arrive at a point of closure. LPGA golfers still run the risk of losing money after making the cut for certain tournaments and in certain situations.
As Kikue Higuchi reports for the LPGA, the top 60 women professional golfers of the LPGA Tour will compete for a $2 million winner’s purse at the CME Group Tour Championship, the final event for the 2022 season. This represents “the largest purse of any non-major tournament,” a total purse of $7 million for the tournament prize money. The prize money for the tournament winner of the CME Group Tour Championship is 28.57 percent of the overall purse. In comparison to average LPGA Tour events, 28 percent is 13 percent higher than the average percent of the overall purse to the winner.
These are major shifts towards closing the gender pay gap. Golf seems to be doing its part to bring more attention to the women who are playing on the course. The LPGA has established partnerships and sponsorships to push forward with making headway in this area.
The gap has yet to see widespread moves towards closure throughout sports.
Back in August, I talked about some thoughts on LIV Golf vs the PGA Tour. It’s still raging as a firestorm and causing a divide in the golf community as well as among the tour pros.
I cannot expect this thing to end any day soon.
Both parties just seemed entrenched in it.
Messy Media Coverage Doesn’t Help
The Wall Street Journal is known for its business and financial coverage. It also covers the business aspects of sports. Its latest article on PGA Tour executive jet usage as a sign of potential corporate corruption has a sensationalized title that will definitely draw in readers with some interest.
When the media coverage from even the top level journalism platforms seem to drift into the mess, it can get really messy.
The media spin on this rivalry is the makings of a reality TV fiasco before production has even launched. It most probably won’t be played out on the Golf Channel. It most assuredly will continue for a while and with no immediate end in sight.
Bunch of Noise = Big Distraction
“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”Winston S. Churchill
LIV Golf came onto the scene in a whirlwind of controversy. That might be an understatement.
It seemed to really pick up steam once Lefty opened his mouth back in February. Basically, Phil Mickelson called the Saudi Arabian backers of LIV Golf “scary” and spoke on how they have a “horrible record on human rights.” He was also critical of the PGA Tour using what he called “manipulative, coercive, strong-arm tactics.” It is all documented with his quotes and other details.
Phil got all of the criticism and backlash, but LIV Golf got plenty of press coverage and social media buzz. It gave way to a widespread recruitment of top golfers from the PGA in a style that resembles what many would consider poaching. The big ticket offers to play and party-style jets and events for LIV Golf attracted some big names like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Pat Perez, and others.
The PGA Tour and its commissioner Jay Monahan have not been sitting back watching things go down quietly. The latest developments have led to a court case that seems hinge upon the PGA’s authority to suspend players for defecting to the LIV side. It’s an antitrust lawsuit with a 105-page complaint against the PGA Tour.
So far, we’ve seen a lot of mud slinging and muscle moves from both LIV Golf and the PGA Tour.
Fans Want to Pros Play Golf
The classic golf reporting of Bubba Watson disregarding a spectator’s advice and working his magic on a recovery shot is the type of stuff true golf fans live for these days. It speaks to the golf fan’s desire to see the pros play their game in plain view. Golf fans want to be in the gallery in person or sitting on the couch watching Golf Channel to see the best doing it facing tough course designs and unfathomable pin placements.
Most golf fans could care less about whoever promotes, sponsors or hosts the tournament. They just want to see the pros play golf.
That’s the big deal.
Don’t Buy into the Nonsense
I think we can honestly say that the disruption has led to a major distraction. In fact, LIV Golf’s biggest critic at the onset was Lefty, and now he’s going to join the LIV Golf Tour. Conversely, some of the initial defectors from the PGA Tour have reportedly backed out of their commitment to the LIV Golf Tour. These types of changes are o be expected and will most probably continue as “developments” in the process of such a disruptive and divisive time period in the world of golf.
Don’t give it much attention.
If you love watching golf, Brooke Henderson is doing some amazing stuff within the ranks of the LPGA. She’s 6th in world ranking and #3 on the money list. Her latest victories have been stunning displays of golf to witness. The televised PGA Tour might be missing some big names, but it still has some exciting play. If you really want that good ol’ days feeling, then watch the Champions Tour.
If you love playing golf, play an extra round or hit the driving range more often as this LIV-PGA business gets sorted out. At the end of the day, it’s not helping your handicap much. It’s not a major factor for your own golf game. It’s just another ounce of small talk to discuss while awaiting the other foursome to tee off since the starter has groups backed up at the first tee due to the great resignation and supply chain issues.
Just play more golf and carry on.
Looking back at my blog posts, it has been nearly a year since I was last actively posting. That was a post on Cantlay’s hot streak. My, oh, my, how things have changed since then. Undoubtedly, I have been actively keeping an eye on things in the world of golf. yet, I have yet to get back to full swing yet.
At the end of July, I got a chance to go to the driving range with a good friend and show him a few things. It also gave me a chance to get back into the swing of things with golf.
I felt like I was ready to tackle the course, but I know that I need a few more driving range sessions and a round or two on a par 3 course before I play a round of 18 at a par 72 course again. But I’m feeling that itch and I’m back to swinging the clubs like a winner.
I’m looking forward to getting back on track and back to swinging the club on a regular basis. Until then, check out the video and enjoy.
Winning the FedEx Cup Plus More
ESPN entitled its coverage of his latest victory like this: Patrick Cantlay posts ‘a huge win,’ capturing FedEx Cup in dramatic fashion at the Tour Championship. Yes, in bold print!!
You cannot doubt that Patrick Cantlay has been on a run of late.
- FedEx Cup ranked 1st
- Ryder Cup slot with latest victory
- Tour Championship win
- BMW Championship win
- Memorial Tournament (Nationwide) win
Aside from everything else that has been going on in the golf world to take away our attention from solid, consistent play, let’s say that 2021 has shaped up to be a banner year for Patrick Cantlay. He’s got more top PGA wins this year than any year of his career. He’s making a name for himself as he delivers time and time again, even in playoff situations.
What’s Next for Cantlay to Conquer?
Next up has got to be a major championship. Cantlay has not won one yet. And that seems to remain a point of contention for many observers without Cantlay having to say much about it himself.
Patrick Cantlay has a record in the majors that no one but the golf press really would write home about. Missing the cut at 2 majors stands out. Not even ranking for a top 10 position in any 2021 major stands out as well. In fact, He ended up tied for 15th place at the U.S. Open. His best performance in a major event left him tied for third at the 2019 PGA Championship. With dismal numbers like that, it’s hard to imagine Patrick Cantlay bringing home some PGA major event hardware home any time soon.
Kyle Porter just dropped an article on CBS Sports regarding Cantlay and his failure to win a major. In Porter’s own words, he was sure to say: “This is not a criticism of Cantlay’s game.” However, no matter how you question it or pose it as a wondering, even an inquisitive inquiry, it boils down to the inability of Cantlay to claim a victory in any of the 4 major championships.
The Future Odds on Cantlay
Despite his latest victories, Cantlay is not a favored pick for a major with some oddsmakers. It’s a toss-up when you consider his past record in majors and his recent victories on the PGA Tour.
Golfodds.com has names like Dustin Johnson (16/1) and Jon Rahm (10/1) ahead of Cantlay at 20-to-1 odds of winning the 2022 Masters. Vegas Insider has Rory McIlroy as a top pick for the 2022 PGA Championship with Cantlay somewhere in the midst of the fray behind Brooks and Xander. The Sports Geek points out: “Patrick Cantlay is a +550 betting favorite at BetMGM to win a golf major in 2022.”
But did fantasy golf experts have Cantlay on their top picks for this one? Do oddsmakers have the final say through the final round? Or, are all of these predictions just throwing caution at the wind when we just have to have it played out in reality?
Fan favorite or not, Cantlay has a bright future ahead of him if he stays on this type of streak. His putting is spot on and he’s seemingly directing the ball at the right angles for the perfect setup shots. Most fans would hope for him to keep marking pars and birdies on the scorecard on the way to more victories. Yet, if 2022 comes without a major championship win for him, we’re left to wonder where does that leave Cantlay in the golf history books.
Will a major championship make that big of a difference?
I’ll get back to playing in a week or so. Nagging wrist injury from applying for jobs online. LOL
Not since the the storied playoff of 2008 has there been so much fervor over the U.S. Open in Southern California. The U.S. Open is being hosted in San Diego at Torrey Pines again. No, there will not be a rematch of Tiger and Rocco again, especially since Tiger is recovering from major health setbacks due to an accident earlier this year. This year’s tourney has plenty of other drama to keep it buzzing.
The Brooks versus Bryson Feud
Whether you follow golf closely or you just peep in occasionally during the golf season, you have most probably heard of both Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau. If you have been keeping up with the latest golf news, you know things have gotten ugly between both golfers, especially if you follow the headlines and digs dished out via social media. In essence, it’s a full blown feud in the eyes of sports media and other media outlets.
What it means so far is that the pair have not been set up to tee off with one another as many had anticipated. What it looks like is that DeChambeau has taken to video to deliver one of his latest blows, and Koepka has utilized the opportunity to shift the focus and spin the narrative in another direction during the U.S. Open Championship. At this point, in the final round, DeChambeau remains 2 strokes off the lead and tied for fourth, while Koepka is stuck somewhere in the middle of the pack tied for fourteenth place. The final numbers have yet to come in, but from the looks of it, DeChambeau appears to be the only one of the two in the running, and the feud can pick up where it left off until the next tourney comes around.
Hometown Favorites Schauffele and Mickelson
Any pro golf tournament that hits the West Coast, especially anything close or within the San Diego area, seems to stir up two hometown favorites. No matter what is at stake and where things stand, Lefty (Phil Mickelson) and Xander Schauffele always seem to come up in discussion and debate.
After struggling to scramble for make the cut, Lefty finds himself currently tied for 63rd place at +8 through six holes. That might sound like an issue, but I am sure that he has enough scrambling left in his game to inch up a few spots on the leaderboard before it’s all said and done. After all, he’s one of those players that will let loose like never before on the last day.
Schauffele is another story. He has demonstrated an uncanny ability to stay in the hunt for many tournaments recently. The 27 year old golfer is poised to play a promising round today and just might surprise us all with where he ends finishing this final round. We have yet to see and golf usually rewards its fans with some final round surprises.
Current Three-way Tie for First Place
Usually, you can expect some tough competitors to brave the heavy morning fog on the coastal course of Torrey Pines, but this year has us all a little thrown off. Not many off us expected to enter the final round of the U.S. Open this Sunday with three players tied for first place. The course will continue to test each player’s grit and mettle. There’s bound to be some final round falloff. Someone will lose their nerve and in turn lose their place in the running for taking home that grand prize. Or, perhaps we could witness some form of link to the past greatness of the Open at Torrey Pines like the playoff between Rocco and Tiger ages ago.
No matter how you see it. It is good to see the U.S. Open Championship back in San Diego and at Torrey Pines. All that is left is for us to see who comes out on top and what other thrills we will witness along the way to hoisting of that trophy. Hell, with just a few strokes off the lead, Rory McIlroy might be able to work his way into a fight for the lead throughout the day. That would make for a daring finish right there.
A few years ago I read a book on the Grateful Dead by Phil Lesh, a long-time member of the band. Lesh described the band in terms of a gathering of musical souls in search of that ultimate high of jam sessions with other musicians, searching for kindred spirits as they got into rhythm. It was entitled Searching for the Sound, and I loved reading it.
Returning to golf is like that search. You keep trying to find that rhythm. You keep trying to get your mind in synch with your body, whether it is the setup with your feet aligned to the target or gauging if your approach shot requires a 6 or 7 iron given the current course conditions and potential hazards. You struggle at first, then you strike that Callaway or Titleist on the sweet spot and its a mystery unveiled.
I returned to the driving range and accepted the changes. You know it’s a totally different place when you have to read 2 to 3 pages of health ordinances just to walk into the pro shop. You know things are different when you not only have to speak through a face covering and staff has to do the same while a plexiglass barrier separates the two of you. And surely must be different if the pro shop doesn’t do cash, just credit or debit.
I rolled with it and took my shot at working on my swing in preparation for an upcoming tournament. I accepted that things had changed and I went with it. I complied with the changes and got out there to get back into rhythm.
My game was in need of some tweaking in prep for this golf tourney. Listen here. There is no shame in showing up rusty. Nope, not one bit at all. But you can’t show up that day and not have even touched your clubs other than to just load them into the trunk or cargo section of your vehicle that morning. That is an outright no-no. I had to get back out there again and find some kind of rhythm and feel.
I took along my GoPro and caught myself on video and a few photos. I am being totally transparent. Two days before I turn 50 years old, I plan on facing my first par 72 golf course in nearly a year. I welcomed the chance to test my skills on Barona’s links styled driving range with plenty of dirt and few trees.
In a word, I was satisfied. I worked on a laddered sequence of irons leading to the making of a pyramid. First, I went with the odd irons by warming up with a 7 iron and following that up with 5 iron and back to my 7 iron, then varied stances and swing lengths with my 9 iron. I topped off the pyramid with hybrid and driver swinging, feeling that driver meet the ball and send it sailing airborne further and higher than expected on the first time back. I worked my way down again from the 5 iron down to the 9 iron, then I tossed in the gap wedge, pitch wedge and the lob wedge.
After that session, I hit the putting surface and practiced some drills that test my eye and feel. My eye was off, but the good thing was that I could see it. Approximately 80% of my putts curled towards the hole as they lost gas to go any further. I knew I was on track.
Wait to see what happens when I get out there again today.
Breaking 90 is my goal. That’s a given.
But beyond play, golf has a unique style of its own.
Whether it’s Callaway, Titleist or Under Armour, I enjoy golf style both on and off the links. Nike and Adidas golf gear rank up there, too. Greg Norman has a style that I have always loved. Ashworth used to be among my go-to brands, but things change over time.
I prefer a blend of both classic and bold styles. I am not so much for all of the modern styles offered, but I definitely have dabbled with a few since I discovered golf subscription boxes like Short Par 4, Swing Society, Birdie Bundle and Swinger Box. For bigger guys like me, some styles do not fit.
I love LinkSoul and all that it has to offer from hats to tee shirts and shorts. Asher Golf and LinksStyle Golf are among some of the brands I came to love through Swing Society and Birdie Bundle. Travis Matthews and Matte Grey are a few of my favorites, too.
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