Monday, July 04, 2005

Ward Wins Conso Bracket at LPGA Match Play

Wendy Ward, a graduate of San Antonio's Churchill High School, scored one for the Texas natives at the LPGA's World Match Play Championship. Ward made it to the final four, then beat Candie Kung for the consolation championship (third place overall).

So good for Ward. But I wonder how the LPGA is feeling today about its inaugural match play championship. This was a big tournament for the LPGA, coming a week after the attention-getting U.S. Women's Open, featuring a huge (by LPGA standards) payday, and garnering some rare network television coverage.

And it bombed. I don't know what the ratings were for CBS' weekend broadcasts, but I'm guessing they barely registered. No Sorenstam. No Gulbis or Creamer or Grace Park or Rosales or Kerr. The finals: Marisa Baena vs. Meena Lee. Wake me when it's over.

That's just a built-in risk with match play, and the men's event has suffered the same fate in the World Match Play Championships. Steve Stricker and Kevin Sutherland (yawn) have won that tournament.

The LPGA made one mistake prior to the event by not figuring out a way to get Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel into the field. But mostly, there's nothing the LPGA could have done to spruce up this event. Who knew Annika's putting woes from Cherry Hills would carry into a second week?

Better luck next year, LPGA.

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