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Inbee Park: 1 more leg for Grand Slam, or is it 2?
Question of the Day
The LPGA Tour now has eight majors in its official history, including the du Maurier Classic, the Titleholders and the Western Open. Babe Zaharias is the last player to win three straight majors on the calendar, but that was in 1950 when that’s all there were. There was a five-year stretch in the 1970s when there were only two LPGA majors.
And now there are five?
Women’s golf is not as steeped in tradition. More importantly, its pockets have never been very deep. That’s why the LPGA Championship, which dates to 1955, essentially took over what had been a regular tour event in Rochester, N.Y. The PGA of America doesn’t have a women’s version of a major because, among other reasons, the LPGA Tour has its own teaching and club professional division.
Tradition is the Kraft Nabisco, the only major played on the same course (Rancho Mirage) where the winner jumps into the pond. But it was a regular LPGA Tour event for 11 years before it was designated a major. The Women’s British Open was first played in 1976, became part of the LPGA schedule in 1994 and did not become a major until 2001.
And now the LPGA has The Evian Championship, which only started in 2000 and now is supposed to be a major, right up there with the U.S. Women's Open. Oddly enough, Park is the defending champion. The field will be similar. The course is the same. And now it’s a major.
“Sometimes it’s hard to fit into the box how we compare history,” Whan said. “I stopped seeing asterisks in LeBron James from playing in the 3-pointer era. You could talk about no-hitters and the DH. I lived in the hockey world, and they make small rules changes. Sports moves forward. The asterisk doesn’t last. It’s the new normal.
“If Inbee wins the British Open and it’s 2011, the media writes a bunch of stories and for the next seven months, `See you guys next season.’ Now if she wins, there will be more attention on The Evian Championship than even Evian could ever have fathomed,” he said. “It could be good or it could be bad.”
But at least they’re talking. And for women’s golf, that’s never a bad thing.
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