Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gender set-asides

Suzy Whaley shot a one-under-par 71 on Tuesday to win a PGA Section Championship and become the first woman ever to qualify for a PGA Tour event.

ALa's post about FreeMasonry and her comment that "First (of course) any group that denies women membership can't be a group worth belonging to IMO... " started me thinking about Suzy Whaley and PGA rules.

There are quite a few sports that have separate leagues for men and women. This makes sense. If all the spots were openly competitive, very few women could win a spot.

However, is it fair that women are eligible for all of the LPGA spots and, in addition, can win PGA spots while men can only compete for the PGA spots?

Let's say there are 50 PGA and 50 LPGA spots. Let's say that the top 150 golfers in the world are men and number 151 is a woman. All 50 PGA spots go to men and all 50 LPGA spots go to women. The number 51 man and the number 51 women are out of luck.

Now, let's say that the best woman golfer in the world is better than the number 50 man. She get's the number 50 PGA slot and the number 50 man, who is better than any woman golfer in the world, goes home. The number 51 woman now gets the bottom LPGA spot.

What if there were 50 women who earned the 50 PGA spots. Then there were 500 men who were better than any other women in the world. Too bad, go home. Those LPGA spots are set-asides.

I am not advocating that men should be eligible for LPGA. That would, for the most part, put women out of professional golf.

But ladies, you shouldn't get it both ways.

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