Here’s an unthinkable scenario. A young Australian player in just their second year on Tour holds the 54-hole lead at one of the game’s majors.
Said player has never won on Tour, let alone contended in a major, but thanks to some outstanding golf has held top spot on the leaderboard since day one.
Because of weather concerns, tee times for the final round are moved up meaning the leaders will tee off at 3.30am Sydney time instead of the scheduled 5am.
Inconvenient, yes, but what true golf fan wouldn’t sacrifice an hour or two of sleep for the chance to see – potentially – one of Australian golf’s finest historical moments?
Imagine being that fan, setting that alarm, jumping out of bed and turning the TV on only to find that there has been a decision made – either locally or overseas – not to change the broadcast window.
Instead, you – the dedicated, hard core fan who pays good money each month to ensure you don’t miss moments like these – is left to comb Twitter and swirl in that awful world of refreshing the online leaderboard to try to keep up with what’s happening.
Were this scenario to unfold, one can only imagine the reaction. Surely social media would be buzzing with complaints, disgruntled golf fans everywhere registering their protest at the lack of respect shown to both golfer and viewer alike? Of course it would.
If it were men’s golf.
If the player was Cameron Davis or Curtis Luck and the tournament was the PGA Championship and all the details were exactly as outlined above there would be an outcry, and rightly so.
“Being treated as second-class citizens week in and week out is bad enough but when the disrespect extends to the most important tournaments in the game? Somebody should be held accountable.”
But this is exactly what unfolded for Hannah Green at the Women’s PGA Championship over the weekend. And there was barely a whimper.
After the indignity of the third round coverage being cut short with two holes remaining (two holes which saw a two-shot swing, by the way, Green’s lead cut from three to one) the American host broadcaster NBC should be ashamed.
That is a scenario that would NEVER unfold at a men’s major yet is seen as perfectly acceptable for the women’s game.
Being treated as second-class citizens week in and week out is bad enough but when the disrespect extends to the most important tournaments in the game? Somebody should be held accountable.
In an age where there are almost more TV channels available than viewers to watch them it is unforgivable that the coverage was cut short on day three and started late on day four.
Golf fans worldwide were done a disservice and for no good reason. And because women’s golf doesn’t attract the same viewing numbers as men’s doesn’t make that OK, especially when the tournament is one of the five most important in the game.
There are a lot of golfers who aren’t interested in the women’s game (which is their loss, frankly) but there are also an awful lot who are.
And they, like the players, deserve a little more respect.
Rod Morri is founder of the TalkinGolf Podcast Network, home of the State of the Game, iSeekGolf, TalkinGolf History and Feed The Ball podcasts.
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