PGA Tour Still Lacking Diversity

PGA Tour Still Lacking Diversity

LOS ANGELES – Sixteen years have passed since Tiger Woods flattened Augusta National and sent most of the Masters record book back to the printer.

In those 16 years Woods has fulfilled, or surpassed, every outlandish projection except one.

In 1988, there were more African-American contestants (2) on the PGA Tour than there are now (0).

There are more black players in the Anaheim Ducks organization than on the PGA Tour, also by a 2-0 margin.

There are more black drivers in the NHRA. There are more black members of the U.S. Senate.

The fact that Woods became the richest and most recognizable athlete in the world by swinging a golf club has influenced that situation not one bit. His tide carried no boats.

"It is hard to get involved early, " Jeremiah Wooding, 24, said Saturday. "Getting started, getting club fittings, traveling to junior tournaments, that all costs money. If you can't get fitted properly you'll have a hard time.

"Sometimes it's easier to pick up a basketball. You can get a basketball for $12.99 at the store. That might not even buy a sleeve of golf balls. But we're trying to get after it. We're trying to make it known that we're part of the industry."

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