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.