LIV Golf for women? LPGA superstars Nelly Korda and Lexi Thompson offer thoughts

LPGA Tour superstars Nelly Korda and Lexi Thompson have spoken about the potential of a LIV Golf for women and whether it would receive the same scrutiny.

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 13 Oct 2022
LIV Golf for women? LPGA superstars Nelly Korda and Lexi Thompson offer thoughts

LPGA Tour superstars Nelly Korda and Lexi Thompson refused to be drawn into entertaining the idea of playing in a LIV Golf for women or whether or not it would receive the same level as scrutiny as Greg Norman's enterprise. 

Both Thompson, 27 and the younger Korda sister, 24, are in New York at Glen Oaks Club for the forthcoming Aramco Team Series event. 

A few weeks ago the aforementioned Norman hinted that despite being focused on the $405m LIV Golf League in 2023, he was still heavily interested in launching a LIV Golf for women. 

Related: Nine players who changed their mind about LIV Golf

LPGA Tour commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan said in July she would "engage in a conversation" with the LIV chief if would "achieve our aim of promoting women's golf." 

She also added: "But there needs to be input from players and sponsors. There's a lot of factors to consider before we do business with LIV Golf." 

England's Charley Hull has addressed this topic after her recent win at The Ascendant, claiming that "you'd be mad" not to consider an offer from LIV. 

Now Thompson and Korda, both one-time major champions, have offered their thoughts. 

They were asked if a LIV Golf for women would receive the same level as scrutiny as the men. Throughout LIV's inaugural season, the players have had to face questions accusing them of being complicit in the practice of sportswashing. 

Thompson said: "I would say that without the support of Aramco, LET would not be as strong as it is today.

"And I think they are growing the game of golf in women's golf, and I think that if you speak to any of the Ladies European Tour players, they are extremely grateful for this opportunity, and I think that's what Aramco is trying to do. They are trying to grow the women's game, and I support that fully." 

Korda nodded in agreement. 

Related: Danielle Kang was furious with "s***" greens at last LPGA event

Would each player entertain the idea of playing in LIV Golf for women? 

"I mean, right now that's kind of speculation. As a player I don't really know and that is not in my hands. That's for the Tour commissioner," said Korda. 

Thompson said: "Yeah, exactly. I mean, the talks is out there that that might happen but hasn't been brought to us. We are just doing what we can and that's playing the LPGA and there's not much else. We are just growing the game. There's not much else we can do." 

Korda continued: "I can only speak for myself but my eyes are set on the LPGA. That's all speculation to me. I'm focusing on the LPGA Tour and what's in front of me and with all the LIV stuff going on, that's all speculation and I don't focus on speculations." 

Their comments came in the same week a Saudi activist wrote to commissioner Samaan, the LPGA Tour board of directors and players urging them not to get in bed with LIV. 

Lina Alhathloul outlined the alleged treatment of her sister at the hands of the Saudi Arabian government, adding: "The general situation for women in Saudi Arabia has not improved, as the Saudi narrative suggests."

Related: LIV golfers urged to help Saudi man on death row

She added: "I understand that you might believe that your involvement with such a country could positively impact their fate but, given the present context, your participation in events hosted by the Crown Prince will only help rehabilitate him and cover up all the violations.

"In fact, I am sounding the alarm on the consequences of such actions.

"I urge you to consider the human rights aspect of your potential involvement with LIV Golf and use your influence to positively raise the situation of women in the country and to publicly distance yourself from the Saudi regime."

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