Pamela Asher hopes Michelle Wie gives LET much-needed boost

Pamela Asher

Pamela Asher has welcomed the news that Michelle Wie is to play the 2018 Ladies Scottish Open, after admitting that she has never seen the Ladies European Tour schedule as bad as it is this year.

So far this year, there have been only six LET events – four in Australia and one each in South Africa and Morocco – with just seven more scheduled between now and the end of the year.

Of those, two are majors (the RICOH Women’s British Open and the Evian Championship) with another, the European Golf Championships forming part of a new multi-sport event in Glasgow and Berlin this year.

That leaves only four ‘regular’ LET events between now and the end of the year, one being the Ladies Scottish Open at Gullane in July.

Former US Women’s Open champion Wie today confirmed that she will play in the event, which, for the second year running, will be co-sanctioned with the LPGA.

Wie made her debut in the tournament at Dundonald Links last year and Asher says it is great for the event and, by extension, the tour that the 28-year-old is coming back.

“It’s fantastic news,” said the Lanark-born golfer. “It makes it a bigger event having players like Michelle taking part, especially for the crowds who can get to see her somebody that they’re more used to seeing on TV up close.

“For a lot of us, the Ladies Scottish Open is a bit like a LET major because of its LPGA tie-in and the doors that a good week there can open for you, so it makes it extra special when you have some of the best players in the world playing, and Michelle definitely fits that description. It’s a huge week for us. It can make your season.”

Michelle Wie

The LET is currently in the throes of arguably the most tumultuous period in its 40-year history.

As recently as 2016, there were 21 ranking events in 15 different countries, with a combined prize fund of just over €14m. This year, the picture is much bleaker, with only 13 events in seven countries and marginally more than €10m up for grabs across the board.

A successor to former CEO Ivan Khodabakhsh – who stepped down last August – has yet to be named, with Mark Lichtenstein combining his role as tour chairman with that of acting CEO in the interim.

The subsequent knock-on effects, and reduced schedule, have led to some players taking second jobs to supplement their incomes.

“I think everyone’s a bit frustrated – this is our job, at the end of the day – but there’s not much we can do about it,” added Asher.

“It’s strange because I actually think the standard of players on the tour now is better than at any other time in the five or six years I’ve been playing but the scores don’t really reflect that, which is probably because there aren’t as many opportunities to play and keep your game sharp. “

Asher added that some players have even been forced to go to the USA to play on the Symetra Tour – the feeder circuit to the LPGA – just to stay competitive.

“I really don’t think it can get much worse,” she continued. “At least, I hope it can’t. We need good leadership, first and foremost. When we get that, hopefully things will start to improve because we’ve got great players and a great product.”

Share this Article

twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
I TEST JON RAHM’S NEW IRONS! – Callaway Apex TCB review
play button
Top 5 tips to help you conquer the MENTAL game
mental game
play button
PUTTER BATTLE! – Three of the best 2021 models compared
taylormade putters 2021
play button
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

It's official! US PGA to be played on longest course in major history
US PGA Championship: The 2021 field in full
WATCH: Yobs smash car window at popular driving range
R&A planning for "significant number" of fans at The Open

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods: Inside his $41million Florida mansion
The very best pubs in St Andrews
The Scottish Golf Course Emoji Quiz!
24 lies every bad golfer tells
Doug Sanders: The extraordinary life of golf's original playboy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
Denis Pugh gives pro Stephen McCarthy a whirlwind lesson
play button
Don’t slap the ball
play button
Increase your stability for more consistency
play button
Get your takeaway on the correct plane
See all videos right arrow