Q School - A Real Reality Show
December 4, 2012
by William Szczepanek
I have no idea why Q School is not on TV. With all of the crappy reality shows that we have you would think that a real reality show would have tremendous interest. After all, many take the NFL so seriously that they have parties just to watch the NFL Draft. Why wouldn't there be interest in a tournament where many of the players have their working lives on the line. While I am writing primarily about the LPGA, the content applies just as well to the PGA. Until I started to watch up-and-coming golfers I had no idea of the pressure of Q School and I bet many other casual golf watchers don't either.
I follow a number of golfers who play on the Symetra Tour and I have a real interest in their success. For those who didn't finish in the top ten on the Symetra Tour, Q School is likely the only chance left for them to get their LPGA card. For some others who have played on the LPGA this past year, but didn't fare so well, it is their chance to retain their card.
Just watching the players rise and fall in the standings over five days of checking results on a computer is enough to give anyone a heart attack. At least if the tournament were televised many of the players who will never have another chance could have the moment recorded for posterity on the tube.
No Pressure - I Don't Believe It
This experience has to be one of the most pressure filled possible in a golfer's life ─ (LPGA Qualifier) 5 days, 90 holes and very little room for mistakes. Many who were in the top 20 on day 2 or 3 eventually missed the mark by the end of day 5. Some who started poorly managed to recover. For many the experience is invaluable. For some who miss by a shot or 2 the memories will haunt them unless they can make it right in the future. Many won't get another opportunity.
My congratulations go out to those who did well in the tournament and have been successful in getting their LPGA card, in particular Rebecca Lee-Bentham of Toronto, Canada (top) and Moriya Jutanugarn of Bangkok, Thailand (bottom) who shared first place honors. My condolences go out to those who didn't make it. For some it was their first chance and many of them will not have another chance. For some it is the end of the line, either due to age, lack of money, lack of sponsorships or lack of stamina to keep driving for such an elusive goal. It is particularly hard for those who have experienced play in the LPGA and are now on the outside looking in.
A Reality Check
Golf is a mean game. For duffers like myself an accidental good shot can make their day. For many of these gals, one bad shot can mean the end of a possible career. But, let's face it. These people are playing golf for a living. Other people lose their jobs, lose their health care benefits and lose their lives in countless ways in the everyday world. For those who do make it to the LPGA, please cherish every day you get to play. You are privileged to have the opportunity to use a talent that escapes most and is jealously coveted by many. For those who didn't make it, life goes on and you will always cherish the opportunity you had to compete at doing what you love. Many people don't ever get that chance.
Q School is a lot like life for most other people. It's just crammed into 5 drama-filled days for these golfers.
"These Girls Do Rock"