Women’s golf deserves to have bigger exposure here

Caroline Masson teeing off in the final hoping the trophy would be hers.
Caroline Masson teeing off in the final hoping the trophy would be hers.

I HAVE to admit, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, that prior to Thursday my knowledge of women’s golf wasn’t probably as big as it should have been.

Names such as Laura Davies, Catriona Matthew and maybe Michelle Wie were the only ones I could link to the sport.

But after spending Saturday and Sunday reporting from the Ricoh Women’s Open at Carnoustie, I realised just how much I was missing out!

In this country it seems to be that it is only the male golfers that matter but from what I saw over the weekend, and the scores that the ladies were racking up, it is probably time we were paying more attention to the girls.

All the players that I came across whilst at Carnoustie over the two days were friendly, polite and took time to make sure all the children who were looking for an autograph got their signature.

And the dedication that these sportswomen put into their game was also astonishing to see as there were always various players out on the practice green or driving range.

Even on Saturday morning, players who didn’t make the cut were out honing their skills or players just finishing a round were back out as soon as possible to work on aspects of their game that maybe hadn’t gone to plan.

And after seeing how hard these women work on their sport and just how happy they are to be playing, I think it really is a shame that in this country we probably don’t give women’s golf the coverage it deserves.

In the field of players there were countless Americans including the likes of runner-up Brittany Lang, Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr, and I’m led to believe there is quite a big following for women’s golf in the US.

But you just have to look at the final leaderboard to realise just how massive the game is in the Far East.

Four out of the top 10 finishers were Korean, with winner Yani Tseng hailing from Taiwan and fellow countrywoman Candie Kung finishing joint 14th.

Whenever any of these girls took to the course the coverage of them from their national media seemed to grow as home interest was obviously peaking as they progressed through the tournament.

Home hopes for the tournament lay with Carnoustie Country ambassador Catriona Matthew who finished a commendable fifth.

But wouldn’t it have been great to see more Scots or Brits in the running near the end?

Maybe we need to take a leaf out of the Asian countries’ book and hope more UK media coverage persuades more homegrown girls to take up the sport.

And fingers crossed there will then be more of them challenging for the major titles.