The Shoprite LPGA Classic will award it’s final sponsor exemption based on a fan vote. The voting will come down to Blair O’Neal, Sharmila Nicollet, Carly Booth and Susana Benavides.
The LPGA have picked four candidates for the final sponsor exemption and they all look, well, incredibly attractive. The LPGA Tour turned to social media in an earnest effort to leverage the huge social following held by these four women, but the resulting backlash has been severe.
— ShopRiteLPGAClassic (@ShopRiteLPGA) May 1, 2017
“This is completely bullshit, and the LPGA should be ashamed that they are allowing this to happen. Exemptions should be granted based on merit, and in reasonable cases sponsorship. Having fans vote for four less-deserving players is nuts.”
Indeed, this is true. From a rankings perspective, Mariah Stackhouse, Madeleine Sheils, Dottie Ardina, Nicole Larsen and Bronte Law, are all far more deserving of a place. But as one fan counters: “sport is part showbiz. Genius marketing by the sponsor to award their spot. These girls CAN play. Haters gonna hate.”
The Four Choices:
Have you noticed one big name missing from the list? Paige Spiranac, the social media Goliath with one million Instagram followers, is the obvious omission. Whether this was deliberate or she simply didn’t want to involve herself, we’ll never know. The four women do have some noteworthy credentials, but they also share another thing in common, good looks.
So what are we to think, that a women’s career is intrinsically linked to how pleasing her Instagram page appears? The irony of course is that the LPGA were attempting to be progressive with this innovative approach, instead they’ve confirmed the reality that looks are still important for the aspiring female golfer.