Solheim star calls out TV fundraiser over gender inequality

Driving Relief

Live golf returned to TV screens this weekend for the first time in more than two months - but not everybody was completely happy with it.

Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff joined forces for a COVID-19 fundraiser at Seminole Golf Club in Florida.

Organised by equipment behemoth TaylorMade, the 18-hole skins match saw the four players compete to win money for two charities leading the coronavirus relief efforts in the USA: the CDC Foundation team and the American Nurses Foundation.

A noble cause - but one that England's Mel Reid felt missed an important trick. 

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The six-time Ladies European Tour winner took to Twitter to call out the event for featuring male professional golfers only.

In a post captioned "Is golf really back?", the three-time Solheim Cup star 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 golf 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."

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Whilst not directing replying to Reid's comment, TaylorMade's director of consumer engagement Ryan Lauder explained that the four TaylorMade ambassadors who 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.

At the time of publishing, the event had raised over $5.5m for its two nominated charities through both partner and individual donations.

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