Who are these people?

If you haven’t heard about it, Annika Sörenstam will next week play on the PGA Tour’s Colonial event (golf). The other day Vijay Singh made some comments about it and said he would withdraw if he was paired with her. That’s not so surprising, rather weak by Vijay I thought but not very surprising. Then I went here:
http://forums.prospero.com/gc-golf

I am SHOCKED and AWED by a lot of these people, the vitriol spewed at that place is so out there. Talk about conservative :/

Especially that so many are sure that Vijay’s opinion is shared by “most of the players”.

For those of us who don’t follow golf, what’s the problem between those two?

I think the problem is that she doesn’t have a wee-wee in between her legs and she wants to play with boys.

Shocking. Shocking I say!

Wow. I’ve always like Vijay…up until now. I’ve respected his play and his conduct on and off the course. But…wow. I can’t believe how idiotic and hypocritical his stance is.

“It’s just different for ladies to play on the men’s tour. It’s like getting the Williams sisters to play against a man, and they’re far better athletes than she (Sorenstam) is.”

Do I even need to mention the King/Riggs match? The Williams sisters are an especially bad comparison because either one of them could probably beat most men.

“She’s taking a spot from someone in the field.” The Colonial is an invitational with a limited field. Sorenstam received one of eight sponsor’s exemptions.

Come on, Vijay, like you never got a sponsor’s exemption? The whole point of sponsor’s exemptions is so that the sponsors can invite someone who wouldn’t normally qualify. Sometimes it’s for a hometown player, sometimes it’s to allow a handicapped player, sometimes it’s to fill the gallery.

“We have our tour for men, and they have their tour.”

Seperate but equal, Vijay? I may be mistaken, but I believe Vijay was barred from playing at a tournament early in his career because of his skin color. If he wasn’t actually barred, it was a major issue at at least one tournament (I heard about it and at the time I wasn’t a golf fan.) For him to suggest that Sorenstam shouldn’t even be allowed to play is depressingly similar to race segregation.

Keep it up Vijay, and I might actuallly start liking Tiger.

As far as I know, there is no bad blood between Vijay and Annika. Vijay’s just being a male chauvinist.

I hope she kicks his ass on the links. Then maybe he’ll shut his yap.

–Dave

Amazing. I always liked Vijay too, but this sort of thinking is what always pisses me off about golf. There’s only one thing seperating the men from the women in golf. Driver power. But I’ve got some bad news for him, there’s a 13 year old right now who can hit a drive 50 yards farther than Tiger Woods could at that age. Accurate too. Hits to the 250 yard marker consistently. Ahem… she’s already getting lots of attention.

Btw, Is Annika in Tiger Woods 2003? If so I’m using her to kick Vijay’s ass as soon as I can boot it up.

Personally, the King/Riggs match doesn’t really settle the matter. Billie Jean was near the peak of her career, Riggs had been a champion before she was born. She beat him soundly, but he won a few games in each set too.

And of course the Williams sisters could beat most men, but it’s meaningless to compare two of the best female players of all time against an average male. A more relevant question would be how would an average female pro do against an average male pro?

Eliminating the separate but equal leagues and competitions would just eliminate a lot of women’s sports. Should colleges be allowed to eliminate women’s teams and just say the coeds are allowed to try out for the varsity football, basketball, baseball, and track teams? Frankly, I’m sure many would love to do that - before they were required to offer ‘equal’ sports opportunites exclusively for women, that’s basically how it worked. I don’t think you’ll find many women athletes who would advocate returning to an unsegregated environment.

I’m afraid there really may be some physical differences between men and women.

[size=2]Edited to correct my game/set/match terminology in the first paragraph.[/size]

Sure, but I guess the question is if those differences matter in this particular sport. Unless male golf tournaments require longer distances than female ones there shouldn’t be a problem. There are also mixed doubles in tennis, another sport where the greater average male size and strength doesn’t matter much.

This exact same logic was used to argue against integrating black atheletes.* I don’t see how allowing qualified female atheletes the opportunity to play College level or pro ball, meaning the one’s who can physically pass the try-outs and compete, automatically means you’re going to scrap female leagues entirely.

*I’m not calling Tim racist or sexist here, just noting that.

Do I even need to mention the King/Riggs match? The Williams sisters are an especially bad comparison because either one of them could probably beat most men.

Keep in mind Riggs was about 55 when he played King, and she was about 30. (Riggs’ big achievement was winning Wimbledon in 1939.) Also, earlier that year he had defeated Margaret Court – herself one of the top players of the time who had won the Grand Slam in 1970 – in a similar exhibition.

I doubt the Williamses could beat a man in the top 100, though it would be an interesting match. I’d love to watch a Serena/Agassi matchup, for instance.

Way I see it is this: if women want to compete against men on the same field with the same rules, they are welcome to try, and the results will take care of themselves. Particularly in something like golf or tennis, where there is no chance of bodily harm. I would still prefer to keep them out of men’s pro football and men’s heavyweight boxing, though. Call me a chauvinist pig. :?

The Williams sisters would probably be ranked about #100 on the Men’s Tour after maybe 6 months of adjustment.

Sorenstam I bet would be ranked much higher on the Men’s Tour… maybe 45th or so.

The physical requirements of golf aren’t very strength-oriented… a lot of flexibility requirements… coordination.

Integration will never happen on a wide scale while the current pay structure exists… why would Sorenstam want to be 45th and get diddly in cash when she can be 1st and get truckloads of cash?

And if things integrated and there wasn’t a seperate women’s tour there wouldn’t be very many women pros… you anti-integrationists need not fear.

By the way… women develop physically earlier than men so the 13-year-old comparisons are idiotic. I promise you she won’t ever be hitting the ball 50 yards farther than Tiger does now.

The Williams sisters both got smoked by #203 Braasch after he warmed up by a) playing golf b) having a few beers c) smoking a lot. While they are better players now, they are not that much better. Braasch says he wasn’t even playing hard. I think they’d be hard pressed to beat a #100 player, especially at a 5 set format.

http://www.s-t.com/daily/01-98/01-28-98/d05sp210.htm

I knew the King/Riggs match was pretty lopsided in favor of King, but everyone brings it up during these kinds of discussions. While I don’t follow tennis, I’m surprised that past efforts show the Williams sisters performed so poorly. I guess I must just listen to too much network sports anchors trying to build up interest in the Williamses.

As for golf, I’m a little more well versed.

Currently atop the LPGA money list:
1 Se Ri Pak $562,900

Currently 45th in the PGA money list:
45 John Huston $676,703

In fact, even Jonathan Byrd at 56th has more with $567,453. And no, I haven’t heard of either one of them either.

I broke out the Excel-fu and determined that over the last 8 tournaments:
PGA course length: 7,234 yards
PGA winning scoring: -16
LPGA course length 6,370 yards
LPGA winning scoring: -14

That is to say, the men have had about 14% more yardage, yet shot 2 strokes better in relation to par than the women. On a raw score, men and women are both right at 68 strokes per round, even though the men are hitting 900 yards/round further.

There can’t really be an apple to apple comparison though, since men’s greens are notoriously well maintained, and their rough is usually cut thicker. This will come into play for Annika. She’ll be hitting long irons and fairway woods (ie little backspin to hold the green) into greens that are as fast as linoleum. She’ll also be dealing with a thicker rough (ie harder to get out of and to hit far from) than she’s used to. Also, I’m not sure what tees the LPGA usually plays from, but I believe they don’t use the furthest back tees that PGA players use. Course makers usually make the championship tees extra devious, making the players hit a further carry over water, put a hazard right where a good hitter would normally hit to, or force a stronger draw or fade.

Annika’s going to have a rough time at the Colonial (which at 7,080 yards, is one of the shorter PGA layouts), but she as deservers her sponsor’s exemption as does any other player playing thanks to the sponsor.

If she plays well (which is a big question mark, even Tiger has off tournaments), I think she’ll make the cut, but not contend for the lead. I foresee early morning weekend tee times for her. If she doesn’t play well, the cut will be quick. No matter how bad she does, I’ll bet that at least some guys finish behind her.

I fully agree with Singh on this, and think it’s absolutely insane to compare this to racism. Even if you want to be wildly generous, and somehow argue that women could compete with men in major sports, you’d have to at least concede that only a few women could do this. The average female athlete couldn’t do it, that much is obvious. So you’d get only an elite few leaving the women’s leagues and organizations. Which of course means that you’d be depriving women’s sports of their star players. In this case, try and think of one other top, current player on the LPGA tour. Any luck? I’m guessing no. So why deprive the LPGA of its biggest, arguably only, marquee name, just to generate publicity and sponsorship endorsement deals for the individual (Sorenstam got into the Colonial based on a sponsor’s exemption)? We’ve seen the same sort of controversy in Canada this past winter with Hayley Wickenheiser, who left women’s hockey to play with a second-tier Finnish pro team.

And there’s a lot, lot, lot more to golf than driving distance. More than basic physical strength separates the men’s game from the women’s. There was an AP article in today’s Toronto Star about this whole controversy, and it noted how even a big hitter like Laura Davies finished 39 shots back of Singh in a 1998 series event matching men’s and women’s scorecards, because, according to Singh “she still had to hit good irons.” Just because golf isn’t as strength-centric a sport as football doesn’t mean that it’s easy for women to compete on a level playing surface with men.

Apparently only a little (2002 numbers)…

1 Tiger Woods 18 $6,912,625
2 Phil Mickelson 26 4,311,971
3 Vijay Singh 28 3,756,563
4 David Toms 27 3,461,794
5 Ernie Els 18 3,291,895
6 Jerry Kelly 29 2,946,889
7 Rich Beem 30 2,938,365
8 Justin Leonard 26 2,738,235
9 Charles Howell III 32 2,702,747
10 Retief Goosen 15 2,617,004
11 Chris DiMarco 29 2,606,430
12 Sergio Garcia 21 2,401,993
13 Fred Funk 29 2,383,071
14 Jim Furyk 25 2,363,250
15 Jeff Sluman 32 2,250,187
16 Shigeki Maruyama 24 2,214,794
17 K.J. Choi 27 2,204,907
18 Len Mattiace 28 2,194,327
19 Nick Price 18 2,170,912
20 Robert Allenby 27 2,115,771
21 Davis Love III 26 2,056,160
22 Rocco Mediate 23 2,040,676
23 Chris Riley 28 2,032,979
24 Jose Maria Olazabal 20 1,987,027
25 John Rollins 34 1,956,565
26 Bob Estes 26 1,934,600
27 Kenny Perry 27 1,928,598
28 Loren Roberts 25 1,919,047
29 Scott McCarron 28 1,896,714
30 Steve Lowery 28 1,882,553
31 Brad Faxon 25 1,814,672
32 Stuart Appleby 28 1,729,459
33 Phil Tataurangi 25 1,643,686
34 Craig Perks 28 1,632,042
35 John Cook 25 1,624,095
36 Kevin Sutherland 28 1,569,529
37 Craig Parry 21 1,466,235
38 Scott Hoch 21 1,465,173
39 Jonathan Byrd 32 1,462,713
40 Pat Perez 30 1,451,726
41 Peter Lonard 24 1,413,113
42 Billy Andrade 31 1,365,707
43 Chris Smith 30 1,361,963
44 Dan Forsman 25 1,305,790
45 John Huston 26 1,299,053
46 Stephen Ames 28 1,278,301
47 Ian Leggatt 29 1,245,048
48 David Peoples 30 1,243,774
49 Matt Kucher 27 1,237,725
50 Scott Verplank 26 1,217,022

1 Annika Sorenstam 23 $2,863,904
2 Se Ri Pak 24 1,722,281
3 Juli Inkster 20 1,154,349
4 Mi Hyun Kim 28 1,049,993
5 Karrie Webb 21 1,009,760
6 Grace Park 28 861,943
7 Laura Diaz 25 843,790
8 Carin Koch 25 785,817
9 Rachel Teske 27 779,329
10 Rosie Jones 24 722,412
11 Lorie Kane 26 685,520
12 Cristie Kerr 26 685,393
13 Michele Redman 25 666,849
14 Hee-Won Han 27 612,747
15 Catriona Matthew 28 567,394
16 Kelly Robbins 21 540,146
17 Mhairi McKay 23 489,384
18 Beth Bauer 27 480,909
19 Beth Daniel 20 480,618
20 Meg Mallon 19 463,731
21 Gloria Park 27 460,630
22 Janice Moodie 25 424,238
23 Kelli Kuehne 24 405,799
24 Danielle Ammaccapane 23 396,280
25 Michelle Ellis 19 367,843
26 Maria Hjorth 22 359,194
27 Shani Waugh 19 356,918
28 Patricia Meunier-Lebouc 23 354,175
29 Laura Davies 18 344,232
30 Jenny Rosales 26 342,887
31 Dorothy Delasin 25 309,885
32 Liselotte Neumann 19 295,225
33 Vicki Goetze-Ackerman 24 278,166
34 Jeong Jang 26 276,820
35 Emilee Klein 27 272,036
36 Candie Kung 22 261,044
37 Heather Bowie 24 259,995
38 Kate Golden 24 259,143
39 Natalie Gulbis 26 257,310
40 Leta Lindley 23 252,051
41 Wendy Doolan 21 250,838
42 Akiko Fukushima 15 243,528
43 Pat Hurst 22 237,682
44 Donna Andrews 21 229,825
45 Angela Stanford 19 221,857
46 Karen Stupples 22 214,760
47 Kris Tschetter 22 213,935
48 Joanne Morley 23 210,643
49 Jill McGill 26 202,375
50 Jackie Gallagher-Smith 25 187,180

Even though I’m sure you know this (being well versed and all) the women have a lot of off weeks early in the year. There have been 8 LPGA and 20 PGA tournaments thus far in 2003. By year’s end that gap narrows (and the ratio greatly narrows).

Also note that only SEVEN male golfers made more than Sorenstam did last year on the tour. She made over $1.5 Million more than #45 John Huston.

Also note that Tiger Woods averaged nearly $400,000 per PGA tournament last year… that’s just fucking SILLY.

As far as women in sports goes, my theory is that they should get a shot, assuming they can qualify using whatever qualifications are used for the men. If the woman’s performance is better than 5 of the men in a 50-person tournament, hell, let her in in the 45 slot. Why not? What’s wrong with that? Heck, if a woman kicks field goals with incredible accuracy, let her onto a pro football team. Why the hell not?

I’m game for women to come into men’s sports, as long as they meet the same qualifications as the men. No changes, no handicaps. If men excel because they’re stronger, so be it. But if a woman can qualify on the same terms as a guy, I see no reason not to let her in.

Good lord, I feel like the NOW represenative on this board nowadays. :)

(Yeah, there are women’s teams and women’s tournaments, but in reality, nobody gives a damn about women’s leagues…)

Hmm… is that so?

On Bob and Tom’s morning show about a year ago or so they had a report of a Rugby player who would cop a feel and sometimes insert a finger (loose Rugby shorts you know) during tackles. The funny thing was that this is not a penalty in Rugby. NOR in football, apparently… although with all the padding its not as much of an issue (stroking an ass is about all that is possible). If Wrestling was integrated in high school I would have been on the team.

So by the same rules (granted, Rugby and Football are not the sports most likely to be heavily integrated) a guy can cop a feel or even more during a tackle of a female player.

When women call foul, DennyA will come to the defense of Justice as he sees it and say…

“Now ladies, LADIES… No changes, No handicaps”.

Something tells me DennyA’s NOW ambitions will be quickly squashed after that. No problem, I’ll take his place.

Oh, okay, Brian, because there are neanderthal fuckheads in sports, we need to protect the ladies from them. Gotcha.

Hmm… is that so?

On Bob and Tom’s morning show about a year ago or so they had a report of a Rugby player who would cop a feel and sometimes insert a finger (loose Rugby shorts you know) during tackles. The funny thing was that this is not a penalty in Rugby. NOR in football, apparently… although with all the padding its not as much of an issue (stroking an ass is about all that is possible). If Wrestling was integrated in high school I would have been on the team.
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Actually that fellow with the “finger in the a*&” problem was heavily disciplined by the international rugby governing body. I forget the details but he was suspended and I believe his team was also penalized. I played rugby for several years and I can tell you that although many players did try to get away with dirty behavior of various sorts, the ref WAS watching for it and disciplining it when necessary. Of course rugby is a sport with 30 players on the field vs 1 ref and no instant replay so the officiating is much sloppier than in football. However, NOBODY thinks sticking fingers in peoples asses is a proper way to play the game :0.

My take on the women’s sports issue is easy: in theory all of the top men’s professional leagues like the PGA, MLB, NFL and so forth are the top, highest, most competitive leagues “in the world” and they are open leagues. Most of these leagues sponsor world championships and so forth indicating that the winner is the best in the whole world. Some have lesser affiliated leagues for lower caliber players like triple A ball in baseball or like the Seniors tour in golf. In cases where there are lower leagues, a member of the lower league who is GOOD ENOUGH to compete in the top pro league is welcome to do so. For example, it is my understanding that an older golfer who would qualify for the Seniors tour may choose to keep playing in the PGA if hes competitive enough.

In other words, the top leagues are leagues open to the best in the world. If a woman makes a cut in that league, fine. If Annika can compete, great.

The converse is NOT true however: just as you wouldn’t let a young golfer into the Seniors tour, I wouldnt let men into women’s leagues.

Now if you had a specific lower league for men only, like a juniors or seniors, I could see keeping women out b/c of the special requirements of the league.

But when leagues profess to have the best competition in the world, then they should be open to whoever can compete.

There’s a lot of griping going on now about the Annika thing, most of it onthe idea that “its not fair - shes not qualified and is taking a spot from a man”. I can’t really understand that: given that she’s not yet been given a chance to compete vs men. Of course if she flops miserably, you could argue that future women contenders should come up through the ranks to prove they deserve a shot. But Annika is, as I understand, at the top of the women’s golf game. Give her a shot.

Dan

Not really, just having the addition of penalties for that sort of thing, at least when the referee can see (voyeuristic bastards). The point was to show that your words cannot be supported. Bear in mind that’s just what I happened to think of… I bet there are a few other cases I’m NOT thinking of.

The biggest changes I can think of off the top of my head are the modification to stadiums to introduce a second pair of locker rooms and the interesting effect on team chemistry of adding women (or adding men to a previously all-women team).

I’m not sure how big of an issue new, other-gendered uniforms would be.

NOW isn’t going to push integration in sports currently for the reason I’ve already specified and with this added detail… they’ve spent decades fighting for “equal pay” for women’s and men’s leagues. They’d have to be in the insanely ironic position of after all of that to then turn around and integrate… thus losing everything they’ve worked for.

Gotta love politics. Integration in sports will have to be a populist issue. Grassroots, baby! Defeat the evil coalition of NOW and chauvinist pigs!

My Official Position (since its virtually impossible to ever tell from my posts and people are often curious) is that Integration should be treated experimentally for a while. Ease into it although give it a legitimate chance regardless of what happens. See how it goes.

My guess is that players will go where the money is. I’ve found that to always be a safe bet.