The most glaring omission from the U.S. Golf Association's championship program? A U.S. Women's Senior Open. (Senior Women's Open? Not sure the adjective order.)
If Jane Blalock has her way, that won't be true for much longer. The former LPGA Tour player, who made a record 299 consecutive cuts, is now CEO of the Legends Tour, the women's golf equivalent of the Champions Tour. She has been pressing the USGA for years to create an open for "senior" women, and she appears to finally be getting somewhere.
Blalock and other Legends Tour players had two meetings with USGA president Tom O'Toole, one at Pinehurst resort and another in Phoenix, Ariz. LPGA commissioner Mike Whan has challenged Blalock to provide more information that could bolster the case for creating the event, which Blalock hopes happens while Nancy Lopez is still playing competitive golf.
With the annual $93 million the USGA will receive from Fox Sports as part of their 12-year broadcast rights deal, the budget to put on the event is there. The public support seems to be.
But would there be a full field? Blalock promises at least 100 women could compete in the first Senior Women's Open. Given that the first U.S. Senior Open in 1980 allowed amateurs with as high as an 8 handicap index to compete and 631 players entered, that seems easy for the women to match.
There no longer seems to be a good excuse not to do this, and that buoys Blalock.