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It was almost the end of one of sport’s most enduring runs. Laura Davies will tee up at the Women’s British Open on Thursday morning for the 37th consecutive time. However, only a week ago, the sequence looked like stopping at 36; Davies had to Daniel Norris Authentic Jersey progress through final qualifying on Monday, earning a spot in the Kingsbarns field.
Davies, now 53, has long since assumed regal status in the sport. Her roll of honour includes 84 worldwide wins and a place in golf’s hall of fame. Her results may have tailed off – she is without a victory on the main tours since winning five in 2010 – but she remains an instantly recognisable figure.
Davies has been a flag-bearer for women’s golf for decades. To her credit she was not of a mind to seek an invitation to the Women’s British Open; just as she is admirably blunt about what an 18-hole shootout entailed in Fife. “I hadn’t played well http://www.authentictigershop.com/authentic-3-ian-kinsler-jersey.html enough to qualify any other way and there are quite a few ways of getting into this tournament,” Davies admits. “My last resort was Monday qualifying. I didn’t enjoy it much but that was all that was left for me.
“I felt a bit embarrassed, really, that my performances over the past year weren’t good enough to get me in without having to go through that. I’ve always prided myself on being good enough to be in the big championships. But time goes on and you are not as good as you used to be, I suppose.
“I remember the first time I missed a US Open after something like 25 years. It is a horrible feeling because you know how good you used to be and you wouldn’t even think about not being exempt for tournaments.”
Davies and this event throw up one of golf’s great debates. She won the Women’s British Open 31 years ago. The tournament assumed major status only in 2001. Can she legitimately add this to her major haul of four? “It wasn’t a major when I won it, that’s the fact of the matter,” she says.
“The one thing that really does annoy me is that past champions of the men’s Open Championship Authentic Alexander Radulov Youth Jersey always get back in. I don’t understand why past champions don’t get in the Women’s Open. I think it’s ridiculous but I don’t set the criteria.
“You can only beat what’s in front of you in your era. It is one of the finest victories I’ve ever had, winning round Birkdale at 16 under by five shots. It was one of the best weeks of my career and only in my second year as a pro. Although it doesn’t have the major tag, it was still major in my career.”
Having been there, seen and done it all, Davies is well placed to analyse changes in top-level women’s golf. “A hundred players every week have a really good chance of winning,” she says. “The top players of yesteryear were http://www.authenticcanadiensonline.com/Authentic-Andrei-Markov-Jersey every bit as good as now. There are just more of them now.”
The ominous element relates to the Ladies European Tour’s struggles to retain, let alone add, tournaments which render a full-time schedule viable for all players.
“Hopefully we will turn the corner and weeks like this should help,” Davies says. “It is a work in progress but you would have thought by now we would have established ourselves a lot better than we have.
“It is incredibly hard. I was so fortunate to turn professional and have 23 or 24 tournaments to play in. Over the years that got stronger until the economic downturn. The Ladies European Tour has really struggled.
“It’s nothing that the players have done wrong, not even that the officials have done wrong. It is just hard. We need support from the corporate world and they are not being kind to us; I’ve no idea why because all I ever hear about is what great value we are in pro-ams, how the girls are more approachable than the guys and stuff like that. Yet the corporate world doesn’t get behind us so shame on them, really.”