The juxtaposition of Trump, who has alienated ladies’s rights activists together with his insurance policies, cupboard picks and public posturing, and the premier ladies’s golf occasion within the nation over which he presides has positioned individuals this week in a clumsy place.
How do they reconcile their ambitions as robust, completed ladies with the expectations thrust upon them by robust, completed ladies whose expertise with the president could be very totally different from their very own?
And the way do the gamers reconcile the surface outrage over the sexist tradition that Trump’s tweets and actions appear to mirror with their private expertise with him as a respectful supporter of girls’s golf?
The golfer Lizette Salas, an American of Mexican ancestry, has by no means met the president, and doesn’t notably care to. After he was elected, she despatched out a tweet expressing her disappointment.
Since Salas was a toddler, she has dreamed of profitable the Open and representing the USA in worldwide competitors. With a victory this week, she might set herself up properly for a 3rd look within the Solheim Cup, the highest staff competitors in ladies’s golf.
Due to her background, Salas has turn out to be a goal, as her Twitter feed can attest, for teams protesting the president’s ties to golf. She stated she sought the recommendation of her mother and father on what to do about this Open. They informed her she completely needed to play, and Salas agreed.
“Ladies’s golf is in such a essential place proper now that with a view to make a distinction we now have to maintain enjoying,” she stated.
“I get each side, I truthfully do,” she added. “I’ve type of been put on this place the place I’m type of caught within the center. I can take the excessive street or I couldn’t take the excessive street and actually converse truthfully and never make everybody glad. The one win-win for me is I get to play golf.”
The United States Open traditionally options probably the most difficult setup in championship golf, however the terrain this week presents an particularly tough check for all the ladies competing for a bit of the $5 million purse, the most important in L.P.G.A. historical past. The golfers should even be cautious of offending the game’s elitist white male fan base and the ladies’s activist teams anticipated to make their presence felt. Regardless of who wins, the victor is more likely to be overshadowed by Trump, who is predicted to be on the grounds sooner or later in the course of the weekend rounds.
“I’m positive it’s going to be a circus,” stated Juli Inkster, a two-time Open winner and member of the World Golf Corridor of Fame, who’s a part of the Fox Sports activities broadcasting workforce for the occasion.
She added: “However when push involves shove, it ought to be concerning the gamers and the ladies’s recreation. It ought to be about applauding us as an alternative of bashing us.”
When Kerr gained the 2015 Tour Championship for her 18th L.P.G.A. victory, she acquired two handwritten messages of congratulations. One was from Arnold Palmer, a prolific notice author whose correspondence was typically held up as proof of his grace and generosity. The opposite was from Trump, who stated he was pleased with her.
In his life earlier than politics as an actual property mogul, Trump practiced inclusivity, inviting gamers, together with Kerr, to his programs for casual rounds throughout which he allotted enterprise recommendation. For a couple of years, he hosted the gamers at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Seashore, Fla., through the L.P.G.A. Tour’s season-ending ADT Championship at Trump Worldwide Golf Membership. In 2006, the event turned the primary ladies’s occasion to supply a $1 million first-place prize.
The staunch supporter of girls’s golf — and her personal profession — is the Trump that Kerr is aware of. She stated she didn’t acknowledge or condone the conduct of the commander in chief who posts on Twitter disparaging feedback about ladies and who has been accused of harassing ladies.
In his tweets, Trump has described a magnificence queen as a pig and described Mika Brzezinski, co-host of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, as “a neurotic and never very vibrant mess.”
Kerr, 39, is aware of about merciless feedback, having performed on her highschool’s boys’ golf staff in Miami as a result of there was no women’ squad. In a 1994 article in The South Florida Solar-Sentinel, she dismissed the hostility she encountered by saying: “You understand the male ego. No one likes to be crushed by a woman.”
Twenty-three years later, Kerr is the very best-incomes American feminine golfer, and but she continues to be coping with delicate sexism that demonstrates some males’s lack of ability to acknowledge, a lot much less respect, her expertise and talent degree.
Throughout event weeks, she routinely encounters males in her teams at professional-am occasions who insist on hitting a minimum of one membership lower than her into the inexperienced as a result of they will’t settle for that they could hit the identical distance, or much less, than top-of-the-line feminine golfers on the planet. She registers the stunned appears on her professional-am companions’ faces once they come up in need of the inexperienced or when she outdrives them. She bites her tongue once they say, “You’re fairly good, you’ll be able to play,” as if this have been a revelation.
“All of us say silly issues,” Kerr stated.
Politics, sports activities and gender have grow to be hopelessly tangled this week due to Trump’s connection to golf. Whereas ready out a rain suspension through the second spherical at Thornberry Creek final week, Kerr stated she wished individuals might “sit back” and never politicize every part.
She was about to say extra, however was distracted by the person who had provided his residence close to the ninth gap to Kerr, her caddie, her husband, different gamers and caddies and me as a refuge from an electrical storm that suspended play.
The person and his spouse, who have been internet hosting one other participant for the week, gave Kerr and the others drinks and snacks, however the couple’s kitchen, the place Kerr had made herself snug, was not a protected harbor. The primary warning signal got here once I requested Kerr concerning the ladies’s teams calling for her and different gamers to boycott the Open.
The spouse was postpone by the query and was not mollified by Kerr’s rationalization that she had agreed to the interview. The spouse left, however her husband stayed. He took out his smartphone and began filming Kerr, who stopped in midsentence when she realized what he was doing. She informed him she wasn’t snug with the recording and requested him to cease.
He put down his telephone however continued to take heed to the interview, interrupting once more after Kerr’s “sit back” comment to tell her that he didn’t respect her angle, provided that he had offered her with meals, drinks and shelter. Kerr apologized to the person and stated she would go away. On Kerr’s method out, the spouse stated the couple have been very conservative.
Again on the clubhouse, Kerr expressed dismay at what she thought-about the newest occasion of a person’s micro-aggression. “That is why ladies are so offended by Trump’s feedback about ladies,” she stated. “It empowers the bullies and makes ladies really feel small.”
Kerr is aware of one approach to stand tall — to face above all of it. The winner on Sunday can settle for the trophy and, by means of her instance, characterize robust, empowered ladies all over the place.