LPGA Tour legend not keen on LIV Golf for women

An LPGA Tour star has added her thoughts to the LIV Golf women's league discussions. 

Lara Kuipers's picture
Tue, 9 May 2023
LPGA Tour legend not keen on LIV Golf for women

Five-time LPGA Tour winner Michelle Wie West said she believes the idea of a women's LIV Golf circuit is a "complicated" one, while speaking to reporters earlier this week. 

Wie West, one of the biggest LPGA Tour stars from the past decade, spoke to reporters for the Mizuho Americas Open media day, a new LPGA Tour tournament she hosts. 

The inaugural event is set for the beginning of June at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey and will have a purse of $2.75m.

Just a few weeks ago in Australia for the LIV Golf Adelaide event, LIV CEO Greg Norman spoke about the idea of creating a new women's league. 

He told reporters:

"That is a discussion we have internally on a regular basis. I have personally had discussions with individual LPGA Tour players, LET Tour players, Ladies European Tour. They love what our product is showcasing. They ask all the time, how can we get involved, we'd love to see a LIV ladies series."

Related: Greg Norman discusses plans for ANOTHER rival golf tour

Now, at the media day for the Mizuho Americas Open, Wie West spoke about the same idea, however, the 33-year-old does not appear sold. 

She told reporters:

"I always think competition is great. I think unfortunately the situation - the source of where the money is coming from, it’s a completely different ball game in terms of men and women. 
"I think that inherently us being a tour of females, comes with its extra set of complications when dealing with a tour that is funded by a certain corporation or country. It’s a very complicated answer but we are a tour founded by women, led by women, and I would love for us to keep growing."

 She also added:

“If the money is there, if it creates great opportunities for the women on our tour, who am I to stop anyone from gaining financial stability in the way that we all deserve? 
"But it is a complicated scenario as we all know. There is no one right or wrong or good versus evil. It’s very complicated and it gets even more so complicated when it’s about women.”

A big aspect of LIV Golf, and why many players have chosen to leave the PGA Tour for the league, is due to the financial compensation LIV Golf provides. 

Each LIV Golf tournament has a purse of $25m with $4m alone going to the individual winner. 

And when it comes to the financial aspect of working as a professional athlete, Wie West pointed out that LPGA Tour players are not earning the same compensations as many players in other leagues do.

“We watch the NBA, the NFL, the PGA Tour, and how luxe their lives are, riding in private planes and staying in five-star hotels every week — and that’s not the life of an LPGA Tour player,” she said. 
“We’re lugging our golf bag, trying to find really good deals on hotels, because, what people don’t realize with golfers is we pay for everything. We pay for our caddies, our [physical therapy], our hotel - you don’t make the cut, you’re down however much that is.”

Ultimately, the American said that she would engage in a conversation about a LIV Golf women's league, but reiterated that it's a complicated concept. 

She said:

“I would engage in a conversation if it would achieve our aim of promoting women’s golf, but there needs to be input from players and sponsors. There’s a lot of factors to consider before we do business with LIV.” 

This week, the LPGA Tour is at Upper Montclair Country Club, also in New Jersey, for the Cognizant Founders Cup where Minjee Lee is the defending champion. 

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