Van de Velde, Women and the Open Championship

Jean Van de Velde’s remarks about wanting to play in the Women’s Open if women can play in the Open (British) Championship got me thinking.

On the one hand, I can see where some people might think that it’s discriminatory to allow women into the one, but not men into the other.

But I think they’re missing the point.

The Open Championship and the US Open seek to identify the champion golfer of the year. Period. And if the best golfer happens to be a woman, a senior, a junior, an amateur, or a professional, then so be it.

The women’s championships on the other hand, seeks to identify the champion FEMALE golfer. In the same manner, the amateurs seek to identify the champion amateurs, the senior opens, the champion seniors, and so on.

I don’t see any problem with this at all. No one seriously thinks that professionals should be allowed to play in the US Amateur just because amateurs are permitted in the US Open. Tiger doesn’t demand a place in the Senior Open because Tom Watson is playing in the Open Championship.

Further, no sane person believes that opening the championship to women threatens the status of the best male golfers. If a woman—Wie, or Sorenstam, perhaps—gets into the Open Championship, they will not be taking the spot from Jean Van de Velde, or any other man who actually has a chance of winning.

Van De Velde—and Singh, for that matter—should just get over it. In the future, there are going to be some women who get to play in men’s tournaments. Some will play their way into it; others will get a sponsor’s exemption.

But they are in no way threatened by that.

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2 thoughts on “Van de Velde, Women and the Open Championship”

  1. Sponser exemptions take away a spot from someone who qualified for the tournament.  When someone like Michelle Wie gets one she bumps out a person who has worked their butt off to get where they are at.  Sure Singh or Van de Velde have no worries, however the individual who has finally made it in and gets bumped gets cheated out of their chance to play just so the world can feel like they are being PC.

  2. Ah, but the sponsors exemption is not there just so the next guy on the list can get in. If that was the case, why have a sponsors exemption? Jsut have the PGA Rout rankings determine the full field. The sponsors exemption is so the sponsors can offer a slot to someone who will benefit their attendance and/or bottom line—whether that be a local pro, an over-the-hill pro with local ties, a local celebrity—or a female golfer.


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