We ask whether there should be a professional women's tournament at Augusta National.
Should There Be A Women’s Masters?
Another year has gone by and once again this question continues to be asked, and if I may be so frank, yes, it is about time there is a Women’s Masters tournament.
Unlike years gone by we have physical proof that women can and do play to an incredibly high standard at Augusta National with the introduction of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur which took place last week.
The event has proven to be a massive success and Jennifer Kupcho proved to be a worthy winner, playing the last six holes in five-under including an eagle on 13.
However, whilst that was an undeniable step forward in the right direction, the incredible lauding of Augusta for the move to introduce the tournament is a stretch.
The club has in the past few years been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century and I am concerned that the event is mere lip service to what should be issues at the forefront of everyone’s minds – growing the game in all forms and showing the women’s game the respect it deserves.
I cannot think of a better way to achieve both of those things than introducing a Women’s Masters.
The Masters and Augusta National is almost a fantasy location with its perfectly manicured fairways and stunning scenery. To literally every single golfer in the world, to play there is an absolute dream so why close it off to female professional golfers?
There are those who say that the introduction of a women’s event would detract from the history and tradition of the men’s tournament which is a way of thinking that dumbfounds me.
Do the US Women’s Open or Women’s Open Championships detract from the men’s events? Not one bit.
So the idea a Woman’s Masters would damage the men’s tournament is an argument based on no evidence. Just look at the success of the 2014 US Open where the ladies played a week after the men at Pinehurst No.2.
Others complain that women already have five Majors. So would the LPGA drop one and replace it with the Masters or would they simply add it to the schedule so there were six Majors?
Whilst that complaint has its merits, it is not for me to guess what the powers that be would do to solve it.
It doesn’t feel like that much of an issue though considering the inevitable draw and prestige a tournament at Augusta would bring.
Finally there are others who cite the logistical issue of when to play the tournament.
Many say the course is essentially dug up and closed for half a year to get prepared for next year’s Masters. But I struggle to believe that is a legitimate reason not to host a tournament there.
Paula Creamer said a few years ago “They’ve only got one tournament a year. I understand that a lot goes into it, that one week and planning. The golf course is shut down. But I think it can handle two weeks at a time, whether it’s a week apart or back to back.”
Yes, it most definitely can.
Whether the club decides to introduce a tournament in the next few years is probably unlikely.
However, what I believe to be a good thing is that the club is changing and starting to realise its power and influence over the rest of golf, and the potential impact it could have over all aspects of the game.
Let’s hope more positive change comes in the future because quite frankly the more golf we get to see at Augusta the better. There are quite literally no negatives to having a women’s professional tournament.
The course and jacket would still be green, the azaleas pink, Amen Corner would be the same, and the best players in the world would be competing.
The only difference is the winner would be a woman.
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