Georgia Hall was omitted from the shortlist for the main award of this year's Sports Personality of the Year, raising questions about the state of women's golf.
You could say it's been a tale of two steps forward, one step back for women's golf this year. Months of positive discussions about growing the game, the Women in Golf Charter and country-wide campaigns all culminated in what can only be described as a total kick in the teeth on Sunday evening.
Francesco Molinari, Tiger Woods, Europe's Ryder Cup team and Georgia Hall were all in the frame for recognition at this year's Sports Personality of the Year awards, arguably the biggest award ceremony in sport. But whilst Molinari walked away with the BBC's World Sports Star of the Year trophy after a public ballot, Georgia Hall got nothing more than a 10-second mention.
At 22, the Bournemouth star became Britain’s youngest-ever female major winner after her spectacular victory at the Ricoh Women's British Open this year. Hall is only the third British winner since the championship became a Major and is the only player to ever win the British Girls, British Amateur and British Open. Oh - and she recently won the LET order of merit for a second consecutive year to enter her name in the history books and steal the title away from the legendary Dame Laura Davies as the youngest player to have ever done so.
Even still, Hall was deemed unworthy of a shortlist place for the main award. It's outrageous, but more than that it poses a lot of questions for women's golf.
Catriona Matthew and Karen Stupples both faced similar SPOTY battles in the past, but these are supposedly better times. As female athletes and women's sport in general gains more recognition, golf seems to have got stuck decades ago; women's golf is missing the boat time and time again while other sports are thriving in this new, enlightened and empowered era.
Situations like this don't just leave a bad taste in the mouths of angry golfers though, they have real consequences for the game and the industry. Just this week we heard again how, for the second year in a row, the Ladies European Tour still hasn't announced their 2019 schedule. Women are playing in Q School this week (and paying a significant amount of money to do so) with no idea of how many tournaments they will be able to play in next year or where. Dame Laura Davies called on the LET to up its game.
“It’s not good, is it? We’ve not got enough tournaments to play, and I feel sorry for all the young girls.”
How can you expect to secure sponsorship to keep the tour afloat when time and time again the game is ranked so far down the ladder of importance?
What do we have to do for women’s golf to get truly recognised? Before we wail in despair and start kicking our legs, it's about time golf took a hard look at itself and really found ways to shake off this outdated stigma.