LIV Golf cloud hangs over women's event at Trump Ferry Point

LIV Golf cloud hangs over women’s event at Trump Ferry Point

Some of the best players in women’s golf will be playing in New York City this week when the Aramco Team Series begins Thursday at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the shadow of the Whitestone Bridge.

Among the top players in the game competing are Nelly Korda and her sister Jessica, Lexi Thompson, Charley Hull from England, Brooke Henderson from Canada, Anna Nordqvist from Sweden, Carlota Ciganda from Spain and Ireland’s Leona Maguire.

The three-day tournament, which concludes on Saturday, is comprised of both individual and team elements — similar to the way the LIV Golf events are formatted.

The elephant in the room with the event is that, like LIV Golf, it’s backed by Saudi money, as are a number of other Ladies European Tour tournaments.

Jessica Korda hits a shot while her sister Nelly Korda looks on at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational on July 14, 2022.
Getty Images

Greg Norman, the CEO and face of LIV Golf, has stated that there are plans to add a women’s golf element to LIV.

LPGA Tour commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan has been on record saying she would “engage in a conversation” with LIV about aligning with it.

“Right now, that’s only speculation and as players we don’t really know — it’s in the hands of the (LPGA) tour commissioner,” Nelly Korda said Wednesday ahead of the Aramco event. “It hasn’t been brought up to us on the LPGA Tour.”

Thompson said, “There is talk about it and it’s out there that it might happen, but all we’re doing is focusing on the LPGA Tour. No opportunities have been brought up to us or the tour. It’s not in our control.”

Greg Norman during a LIV Golf event in Thailand on Oct. 9, 2022.
Greg Norman during a LIV Golf event in Thailand on Oct. 9, 2022.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Maguire added, “Golf is in a very evolving place right now, so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes. It is an exciting time to be a female in sport.”

Asked if she is cognizant of the criticism the men have received for their involvement with LIV Golf, Henderson said, “You definitely hear a bit, but for us this week we’re just enjoying the tournament here. This is life-changing money for a lot of the (Ladies) European Tour players, so it’s nice to be a part of this event this week.”

For Henderson, this is her first time in New York City, which she’s relishing.

“I’ve never experienced the city and I was able to walk around Central Park a little bit a couple days ago,” she said. “I’m enjoying the hustle and bustle and craziness.”

Maguire said she’s only been to the city once, when she was in college.

A view of Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point with the Manhattan skyline in the background on May 4, 2021.
A view of Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point with the Manhattan skyline in the background on May 4, 2021.
PA

“It’s fun to play so close to the city,” Maguire said. I’ve only been once, in college after Thanksgiving with all the Christmas lights so it was kind of like going around to all the ‘Home Alone’ spots.

“This is my first time playing in New York, so I’m looking forward to that, There are a bunch of Irish people in New York, so I’m looking forward to some home support this week.”

The tournament, which is under contract to be played at Ferry Point for three years, will be televised on the Golf Channel from 1 pm to 4 pm Thursday and Friday and from noon to 4 pm Saturday.

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