Just five of the world's top 50 will tee it up in the LPGA Tour's mixed Vic Open after the LET was dropped from the event

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Big LPGA Tour Names To Skip Mixed Equal Pay Vic Open

There has been plenty of talk about golf’s gender pay gap on social media over the past week, but one great example of it closing is the Vic Open in Australia.

The tournament features both men and women competing for the same prize money, and this year’s event features the European Tour men for the first time.

It has, in the past, been a Ladies European Tour event although that was dropped from this year’s tournament and replaced with the LPGA Tour.

However, as it stands, the field will only contain five of the world’s top 50 ladies with many of the biggest names choosing to skip the tournament.

That has angered some including two-time LET winner Becky Brewerton who wrote on Twitter that “myself and many other LET pros are so desperate to play in an event that used to be ours.”

The $1.1 million prize fund is the smallest of the LPGA Tour season, with Majors offering $3.25m – $5m. The LET Tour prize funds range from 150,000 AUD (£82,500) to €1.5m for the Scottish Open.

It is understandable that the LPGA Tour pros aren’t willing to go to Australia for the smallest prize fund of the season.

However, the event as a whole could do wonders for the game if the biggest stars were there and would show an intent from the ladies to make a stand for equal pay.

It’s also the start of an Australian/Asian swing with the Women’s Australian Open, Honda LPGA Thailand and HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore all following.

In a time where the golf gender pay gap is coming under intense scrutiny, the lack of appearances from the world’s best is worrying.

It’s also worrying for the LET players who were likely gutted that the event was taken off of their schedule.

Becky Brewerton tweeted, “Not sure what’s sadder. The fact this event is insignificant to so many LPGA pros. Or the fact that myself and many other LET pros are so desperate to play in an event that used to be ours we’d pretty much be willing to sell out granny’s to get in.

“Either way what a waste.”

Meg MacLaren, who sparked intense debate last week regarding golf’s gender pay gap, wrote: “Opportunities for females to show the world what can happen when given an equal footing don’t come around too often.

“It’s a shame not everyone sees the importance in taking advantage of them.”

As it stands, five of the world’s top 50 will be teeing it up. They are Georgia Hall, Charley Hull, Brooke Henderson, Minjee Lee and Pernilla Lindberg.

Other big names set to play include Paula Creamer, Laura Davies, Catriona Matthew, Karrie Webb and Morgan Pressell.

Of course, Australia is an awful long way to travel for many of the LPGA Tour stars who are already earning big bucks compared to their European counterparts, however it is understandable to see the disappointment caused by their lack of attendance.

Let us know your thoughts on this issue on our social media channels – should more of the world’s best players be playing in the Vic Open?

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