Solheim Cup star Mel Reid blasts golf's TV return over gender inequality
Solheim Cup star Mel Reid has slammed golf for a missed opportunity, claiming the sport's live return after a two-month lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis should have included representatives from the women's game.
The English player took to the Twitter to express her frustration over the TaylorMade Driving Relief skins game at Seminole Golf Club in Florida involving four men - Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff.
The quartet, all picked due to a combination of being TaylorMade ambassadors and living close to the venue, competed over 18 holes behind closed doors but in front of a massive live TV audience to win money for two charities leading the coronavirus relief efforts in the US - the CDC Foundation team and the American Nurses Foundation.
Supported by UnitedHealth Group, the total amount raised from the skins match, relief partner donations and fan contributions as of the conclusion of the match exceeded $5.5 million, but it was called out by Reid for involving male players only.
In a post captioned "Is golf really back?", the 32-year-old, one of Catriona Matthew's vice captain at last year's Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, wrote: "I know right now is a tough time for most so I can only speak for the world I am involved in.
"Yet again, today we show the disparity between men's and women's golf. Today's charity event should showcase 'golf' not just men's golf. What an opportunity has let slip, once again, to represent equality.
"I would love to have witnessed women athletes/golfers be invited to showcase the wonderful game as well as these incredible male golfers. Respect us as athletes. I look forward to the day for us to be included."
Reid's views were later echoed by Henni Zuel, the former Sky Sports broadcaster who now works for GOLFTV in the US.
"Not taking away anything from the great job done by all but next time round I would LOVE to see more diversity both on the course and in the commentary team," she wrote in reply to Reid's tweet.
Scottish star Gemma Dryburgh also backed Reid, writing in a post: "Couldn't agree more. Would have been great to see mixed teams play today."
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