One bare-legged leap caused a sporting stooshie … but golf can’t afford to be short-sighted
the searing temperatures of a Western Open.
Players on the PGA circuit were finally permitted to wear shorts in practice and during pro-ams in February of this year and even the R&A unveiled in the summer that competitors at The Open could limber up for the championship in shorts if they desired.
On the women’s circuit, meanwhile, the good ladies have long been allowed to wear shorts during events. Do they lack professionalism? Absolutely not.
Pablo Larrazabal, the Spaniard who won in South Africa at the weekend, defied the heat and played all four rounds in his troosers.
“I don’t feel I’m ready to go in shorts,” he said. “It’s ok when I chill out with my friends, but for a competitive round it just doesn’t feel right.”
Each to their own, but at least players now have the choice instead of having to toe some archaic line grimly chiselled into a tablet of stone. Golf, as we all know, can ill afford to be, well, short-sighted.
BY all accounts, the proposed merger between the LPGA Tour and the struggling Ladies European Tour (LET) has been warmly received.
The actual detail of this alliance remains sketchy at this early stage but given the struggles and the uncertainty the LET players have endured in recent years, any news which features phrases like “creating opportunities” and “expanding the game in Europe” will not just be music to their ears, it will be a full-blown concert.
The LPGA had its own crisis of confidence a decade ago. In 2020, the tour’s total purse will be a record-busting $75,1m and inching towards double what it was in 2010.
Under the thrusting stewardship of Mike Whan, the LPGA has prospered. Let’s hope that dynamism can help rejuvenate an LET that has plenty of potential.
The late Brian Barnes was handed numerous fines for wearing shorts back in the day