Lewis: ‘Massive missed opportunity’ in connecting cups

Lewis: ‘Massive missed opportunity’ in connecting cups
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For the first time, the Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup are both being contested in Europe in the same year – in back-to-back weeks, no less.

U.S. Solheim Cup captain Stacy Lewis felt like this was a good opportunity to tie in the two competitions and further promote the game. Wednesday in Spain, she said that didn’t happen as she had hoped.

“I thought this could have been marketed together as two weeks in Europe, two cups for play,” Lewis said. “I think it was a missed opportunity for the sport of golf. I wish people could get the sponsorship things out of their head and figure out how we can work together. This may not ever happen again, the two cups being played in the same year. So, I thought it was a massive missed opportunity.”

“We tried to do a little bit with the guys and just weren’t really able to move things along the way I would have liked,” Lewis continued. “I tried. I tried really hard, actually. I probably spent more time on it than I should have. But whether it was timing or it was too late in the process, I don’t know. To really market it correctly this probably had to happen two years ago. So, it’s something that, going forward, golf needs to get on the same page and do better with. I just would like to see it for the good of the game. It’s not to further women’s golf. Let’s further the game of golf, in general.”

The Solheim Cup is run by the LPGA and Ladies European Tour. The Ryder Cup is run by the PGA of America and the DP World Tour.

This is the third time, overall, that the matches have been held in the same year. The first occasion was 2002, when the Ryder Cup was postponed a year because of the 9/11 attacks. The Solheim Cup was then contested the following year as well, to get it back on an opposite-year schedule.

The second time was two years ago, when the 2020 Ryder Cup was rescheduled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ryder Cup is continuing with odd-numbered years, while the Solheim Cup will get back to an even-numbered schedule when it is held next year in Virginia.

(Also being played in even-numbered years is the Presidents Cup, which is run by the PGA Tour, pitting U.S. players vs. Internationals (non-Europeans). It’s a different combination than the Ryder and Solheim Cups (both U.S. vs. Europe) and the Presidents Cup is on a different home-and-away schedule than the Solheim.)

Lewis understands the desire for the women’s premiere team event to have its own spotlight. But she also sees the benefit of having it contested in back-to-back weeks with the men’s biggest team competition.

“I actually think for the good of the game, for the game of golf, I think two weeks like this could be really cool, if we could continue it for the future,” she said.

“I actually really liked them in the same year, if we can get some common ground and do it together.”

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