Retief Goosen, I hardly knew ye
Retief Goosen has officially broken my heart.
MSNBC reports that he has joined the ranks of Vijay Singh and Greg Norman in decrying sponsor exemptions from PGA Tour events for women.
He?s quoted as saying, ?If they qualify for the tournament, they go through qualifying school…then it?s fine. But just to keep giving invites away is probably not the right thing.?
Hold on a second. Retief, are you saying that sponsors shouldn?t give away ANY exemptions?
No one had any problem with sponsor exemptions before they started handing them out to women. Unless Retief, Vijay, and Greg (jeez, I really hate putting those three in the same sentence) want to start coming out against sponsor exemptions in general, they shouldn?t care who they go to, whether it?s a man or a woman.
What exactly is a sponsor exemption? It?s an opportunity to market and publicize the event, is it not? Retief and his ilk may not believe this, but putting Annika or Michelle in a men?s tournament generates a tremendous amount of public interest that might not have been there otherwise. Increased public interest = more ticket sales = larger purses and bigger fan base. How can this be bad?
I already have my Tivo set to catch the John Deere Classic coming up in July. Think I would’ve done that if Michelle Wie weren’t playing in it? Not a chance.
I really like Goosen, maybe just because he?s so puppy-dog cute, I don?t know. One look at those baby blues and I?m ready to stand in line for autographs with the 12-year-olds.
But now, I just have to say, you broke my heart, Retief. You broke my heart!
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In the spirit of fairness, last year there were quite a few US women golfers also who also complained bitterly about Michelle Wie's exemption in the LPGA events.
Apparently poor sportsmanship is shared by both genders and older professional golfers.
Thanks for your blog.
After all, it's the sponsors' privileges to offer exemptions because they want the publicity and buzz.