HUGGAN: Maclaren a voice for women & # 039; s wave

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Meghan Maclaren. Image: Getty

For those with some interest in women's sports and the inner workings of an intelligent mind consumed by all aspects of this eternally maddening game, is the place to find both. At the still relatively young age of 24 and only three years in a professional career that saw her a first win at the 2018 Women's NSW Open, Meghan Maclaren has established herself as one of the more thought-provoking voices in a female game desperate in need of erudite spokespersons. Her (albeit irregular) blog is always a fascinating read.

Maclaren will play in the Vic Open this week, an event that she sees as the model for future collaborations with herentour tours. Indeed, the multiple and wide inequalities that exist between the male and female games is something that this former Curtis Cup player has long activated. Here is what she had to say about the simultaneous play of the Lalla Meryem Cup (Ladies European Tour) and the Hassan II Golf Trophy of the European Tour in Morocco last year:

"If you're a fan of golf, chances are you've probably seen a couple of men's golf when they played in Morocco, and four days of full coverage gives you plenty of opportunities, but the women, how many fans know it culminated in a play. off between three great players (and great people)?

"Giving a glimpse of that would have been a bit trickier, given that there was no live coverage, maybe the idealist in me, but there was no better chance to give a normal European event for women, audience would literally be there already.

"The camera crews were already there. Would moving a few of them 100 yards from the men's class to the women's course really be that difficult? I know it's far from easy: contracts, money, logistics, companies, rights, and so on. But for all the talk about supporting women's golf, to make it grow, it seems like a good place to start taking advantage of the opportunities that stare you in the face. "

Strong things. And difficult to dispute. But Maclaren is not someone who decays in lazy debate. Take this week. On the 13th beach, this long-suffering Newcastle United fan – there is no other kind – talked about her argument.

"I hear people say that the men are just better and therefore want to look more," she said. "And yes, I understand we should play better, but we need more events, I see more and more exciting players coming out of the ATP LPGA Tour, but if there are only ten or so events, it's hard to get better. In addition, people who say that our product is inferior have often never been to a women's event, and the media attention is so different, if you see a woman's tour and it was done in exactly the same way as a men's event. , more people would enjoy it.

"When I watch a European Tour event on television, they have the sky-cart for interviews after it, they have experts in the studio who comment on what we see, they have on-course interviews. tracer showing the shape of the photo's, all of which makes the event a bit more interesting.

"Last year we were all engaged by whether Sergio Garcia would be chosen for the Ryder Cup, because we all know his history, he is a great Ryder Cup player and we knew he was struggling last season. for a woman, you do not necessarily have to know much about her because she has not attracted the same level of coverage. "

That situation has obviously been the case for a long time. Despite offering a game of which the vast majority of men can learn a lot about how to circumvent a golf course, women's tours have never reached a level of publicity that can begin to compete with male equivalents.

"The skill level in women's golf is incredibly high.", Maclaren continued. "So if it got more attention and media attention, the fans would enjoy it a lot more than it does now, and for the vast majority of golfers, the game we play is more relevant.The male pro & # 39; s play a game that is so far removed from the average male amateur, which is why we should get more TV time If people only watch golf and ignore the fact that we are women, they can not but impression, but there are so many pre-conceptions

"I had someone tell me that if women played from the same T-pieces as men, we would adjust over time, but that's nonsense, it betrays a complete lack of understanding about the science and biology of men and Men are generally larger and stronger, and if a man and a woman follow the same training regimen, the man becomes stronger than the woman, it is no different, but it does not make the wave that we play less proficient. you might argue that we must be more skilled because we are not so strong, we play with a little more imagination. "

Yet everything is no doom and gloom. The Vic Open seems like a beacon between darkness and discrimination. Not surprisingly, Maclaren is impressed. And, as always, she argues for more equality – or at least a poet facsimile of that ideal – with a motivated logic.

"I did not explicitly say that we should get the same money as the men," she emphasizes. "I'm not sure if we'll ever get on the podium where that can happen, because of the way business and golf worlds have worked for so long. If you get more money for sponsors, it makes sense that you get paid more. you bring everything back to the most basic level, we do the same things as the men.

"We play the game as best we can, which makes me think that there is no reason why we should not start with equal pay, but it has never happened, and the gap is so great. It should not be as wide as it is, and that is not necessary.

"That's why the Vic Open is huge, we get the chance to play for the same prize money as the men, which is great, nowhere else in the world is this going on, and it's been very successful, and I'd like to see a repeat of what the USGA did with the two US Opens at Pinehurst in 2014. We have seen that there are so many different ways to play the same course in those two weeks.This week we will end with two different winners – and they will complete the completed courses. have played differently

"We should play with and alongside the men more often, they have to do things differently from time to time, and we have an event in Jordan later that year, in addition to the (European Senior) Staysure Tour players and the Challenge Tour. boys, but it's different for the men, for them it's fun to try something different every once in a while, something that is not just 72-hole stroke, but for us it would be nice to have just more events . "

And more like the Vic Open too.

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