'Everybody today has said, "How could you possibly not play? Of course you have to play, from a woman's standpoint." ' Suzy Whaley, the first woman to qualify for a PGA Tour event.
No sport is more wrapped up in tradition than golf. Suzy Whaley, who teaches the royal and ancient game, must now decide whether to challenge one of those traditions.
Whaley, a head pro at a Connecticut golf course, on Tuesday became the first woman to qualify for a men's PGA Tour event. She earned an exemption to next year's Greater Hartford Open tournament with a come-from-behind victory in a PGA section championship.
The organizers of the tournament say she's welcome. Tour players said Wednesday they thought having Whaley compete would be "cool."
But would it be good for the game? Whaley, who competed on the LPGA tour in 1990 and 1993, said Wednesday she has a lot of thinking to do.
"It would be history. Along with that comes a lot of responsibility," she said. Dates for the 2003 tournament are not yet set. It is usually played in late June. Whaley said she didn't know when she would decide whether to play. She has until a week before the tournament, but said she wouldn't wait that long since another player could take the spot if she doesn't.
World No. 1 tennis player Serena Williams could become untouchable in the next few years, according to her new doubles partner, Martina Navratilova.
Navratilova, who has teamed up with Williams at this week's Toyota Princess Cup in Tokyo, said that even big sister Venus will need to step up a level to dislodge Serena from the top of the rankings.
"I always thought Serena would be better because she was the better athlete. Not that Venus is a shabby athlete, but Serena covers the court so well," Navratilova said. "Serena has cut down on the unforced errors. She's serious and more focused this year."
Navratilova has won 18 grand slam singles titles and amassed over $20 million in prize money since joining the WTA tour in 1975.
Associated Press and Reuters