Meghan MacLaren backs Reid over Driving Relief equality criticism

Meghan Mac Laren

Ladies European Tour winner Meghan MacLaren has echoed compatriot Mel Reid’s criticism of the lack of female involvement in last weekend’s TaylorMade Driving Relief fundraiser.

Solheim Cup star Reid was heavily criticised on social media for saying that Sunday’s COVID-19 charity event in Florida showed “once again the disparity between men's and women's golf”.

Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff were the four players picked to take part in the tournament, which featured an all-male broadcasting team.

Reid has subsequently tweeted to say that she felt her comments were taken out of context but fellow English pro MacLaren believes she had a valid point.

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Speaking on Sky Sports Golf’s “Golf Show” today, the 26-year-old said that it “almost normal” now for those kind of events to take place without any female participation.

“It’s just difficult in our position that that’s still the norm,” said MacLaren, “that we still have to talk about this, that it still has to be discussed and that you still have to look at the comments on social media with people telling Mel that she’s completely out of order, or that she’s got the argument all wrong, that it’s a matter of supply and demand.

“I think those of us in the industry know that this has so many layers to it and you can’t just put the supply and demand argument forward without looking at all of the steps that have to come before that, or the investment that goes into junior golf, or media coverage of events.

“There’s such a global picture to this issue that it can’t just be fixed overnight. We are making progress of course but it would be nice if an event like that could have an equal number of men and women without it being questioned.

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The Driving Relief event was organised by golf equipment manufacturer TaylorMade whose director of consumer engagement, Ryan Lauder, explained that the four TaylorMade ambassadors chosen to take part were picked based on "proximity to the venue".

"We didn't feel it was right to ask anyone to travel unnecessarily when this was coming together based on restrictions in place," he tweeted.

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