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Annika Sorenstam – The Battle to Promote Female Athletes

 Although some women enjoy the sport and even play professionally, they have been mostly confined to the LPGA – Ladies’ Professional Golfing Association.

That is beginning to change, however, with the emergence of bright young female athletes like Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie, who have the skill, the talent, and the drive, to challenge the world of men’s golf on their own turf.

The History of Ladies’ Golf
Professional golfing events for women got their start in the 1950’s with the foundation of the LPGA. The LPGA NFL online was a labor of love at the beginning, with many of the competitions on the tour offering no prize money whatsoever. At the end of the decade, the total prize money for the 21 events on the tour finally reached $200,000 – still a paltry amount compared to the rewards offered to male golfing pros.

In the 1960’s, corporations began to take note of the women’s golf movement, and began offering sponsorships and prize money. The first television broadcast of a woman’s golfing event took place in 1964, and the accomplishments of LPGA member Mickey Wright, who dominated the sport in her time, began to capture the imagination of the American public. By the end of the decade, there were 34 events offering prize rewards of $600,000.

In the 1970’s, the LPGA becomes big business. A number of hot stars enter the women’s golfing world, cheap jerseys including Judy Rankin, who was the first LPGA member to break the $100,000 earnings mark in a season and Nancy Lopez, who broke record after record with her wins. At the end of the decade, prizes for winners topped $4.4 million.

By the ‘80’s, female golfing has hit its stride. LPGA members break the $1 million earnings mark, prizes soar to $14 million, and LPGA events are regularly televised. The LPGA starts a retirement fund, colleges and high schools begin to offer programs for women golfers. Throughout the 1990’s, cheap nfl nike elte Saints jerseys this popularity continues to grow. The LPGA is now a multi-million organization, with several million-dollar events on its roster.

Women Cause Controversy in the PGA
With the event of better-trained and more enthusiastic professional female golfers comes the question of whether competing in a woman’s league is satisfying enough. World-class LPGA member Annika Sorenstam shocked the world of golfing when she accepted an invitation to play in a PGA tournament. Vijay Singh, a male golfer from Fiji who was ranked number seven in the world at the time, stated that Annika Sorenstam did not belong in a PGA tournament, and he would refuse to play if paired with her. Although he issued an apology for the statement, he did withdraw from the tournament.

Although Singh and many others believed that women should stay in the LPGA, there are cheap nfl nike elte Lions jerseys no gender restrictions for playing in the PGA. Proponents of gender neutrality in the PGA say that the tournaments should feature the best of the best, no matter who they are.

Although Annika Sorenstam was the first to play in a PGA event, she surely won’t be the last. The world of golfing currently has its eye on Michelle Wie, a professional golfer from Hawaii who was regularly hitting 300-yard drives in competition when she was only 13 years old. At 14, Michelle Wie missed the cut at the 2004 PGA Tour Sony Open by just one shot. Suzy Whaley and Se Ri Pak are also female golfers who stand a strong chance at playing cheap nfl nike elte Cardinals jerseys in PGA events.
Are Women in the PGA detrimental to the LPGA?
An argument against women playing in the regular PGA tour is that it will detract star power from the LPGA. If the LPGA loses its audience and its sponsors, there will be no training grounds for female golfers and no source of income for professional women. A counterargument is that women playing in the PGA increase awareness and of the female side of the sport, and promote popular interest. 

 

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