Where, oh where, can I find the John Q Hammons Hotel Classic?
Annika?s battling to keep the title of the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Tulsa, OK. She?s currently the leader at seven under. Breathing down her neck is birdie girl and recent Solheim Cup teammate Maria Hjorth; Paula Creamer?s still in the game at T3, four strokes off the lead.
It?s Sunday afternoon, time to watch some LPGA final-round action. Right? Wrong.
ESPN?s busy with billiards, ESPN2, to its credit, is actually showing a sporting event, soccer. And The Golf Channel, the LPGA?s last hope, the network contracted to air this thing, is tied up with the Champions Tour Constellation Energy Classic. TGC will, instead, air a few hours of today?s round tonight at 8.
I realize this is no British Open or anything, it?s just a run-of-the-mill smallish-purse event at the end of the season. But still, it?s got Annika. And Paula. It?d be nice to catch a live shot or two.
Will Annika be hefting another one of these today?
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The purse size is a leading indicator of the commercial/marketable value of the tournament. A large purse means lots of people will pay to see the play. Smaller purse means the opposite. Size of audience drives TV coverage, of course. And so you see the connection.
Yet another reason that those who claim Wie "hurts" women's golf, like Frank DeFord in his article this summer, are missing the point. ANYTHING that drives viewership is a major plus on this circuit. And Wie does drive viewership...
All that said, still a sad state of affairs for those of us who like to watch quality golf, a.k.a. the LPGA events.