Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Can Someone Wake up Mike Whan?
As you probably heard, a 16-year-old named Lexi Thompson won her first LPGA event over the weekend, becoming the youngest player by two years to win on the LPGA Tour.
And this is great news to just about everyone it seems, except the suits with the LPGA. Why? Because they still haven't granted Thompson full status on the LPGA Tour. Yep. A current winner in 2011 isn't a full-time member, and won't be, because she's too young and has to go through Q-School.
Again, let me repeat that - a winner on the LPGA Tour that is 16 is being asked to go through Q-School after beating all the big names in a competitive tournament last weekend.
Now, I've met Mike Whan, and I really enjoy him. He's a super nice guy that has done some great things for the LPGA and continues to move the tour forward in the right direction, but even Albert Pujos strikes out, and it seems Whan is with this decision.
I understand the age requirements (well, not really ... the LPGA can use any boost they can get, so why wouldn't they just let anyone try to be a full-time member no matter their age? Isn't any coverage good coverage?), but Lexi won. She won! And she's really, really talented! And despite the numerous examples of young people flaming out, it seems Lexi is the real deal, as real a talent as we've seen at a young age since Michelle Wie (who took much longer to win her first event).
Whan needs to change this. Golf has always been performance based. If you win, you're in, no matter what. Look at Jason Gore. Look at "Tin Cup." Look at just about anyone that has played themselves into a competitive position and succeeded. Lexi might have to go to Q-School after proving herself at the most elite level in women's golf. What more do you want, Mike? For her to make a cut with the boys? I'm pretty sure if you keep shunning her away, that'll be the next place you see her, and all that does is help the image of Lexi Thompson and hurt the image of the LPGA.
Change this, please. I have enough stuff giving me headaches these days.