The LPGA’s Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions featured a thrilling playoff conclusion, a final group featuring three of the brightest young American stars, and a somewhat rare Sunday coverage window on network NBC.

It was up against an NFL conference title game, sure, but that’s still an incredible opportunity for the women’s game to be featured, especially with the men’s tournament ending in the later window. It’s rare that women’s golf has the stage to itself within the sport, and you couldn’t ask for a more appealing setup.

Except for this: the Tournament of Champions, a 25-player field featuring only women who won events last season on the LPGA Tour, is a pro-am. And while men’s events like the annual Pebble Beach Pro-Am are cutting out the amateurs and celebrity golfers that populate it each year, the LPGA event did not.

That meant in addition to the 25 LPGA champs, there was a field of 52 celebs. 50 were men. That meant during a prime window for women’s golf coverage, two hours on NBC, viewers were treated to nearly as many shots from men who aren’t professionals as they were some of the best women’s players in the world.

Here’s the breakdown from one viewer, who deserves all the credit in the world for this slog catalogue:

That’s absolutely brutal, and aside from friends and relatives of former tennis pro Mardy Fish, no one seemed to enjoy it:

Mike Flaskey, by the way: CEO of tournament sponsor Diamond Resorts. At least he had a good time!

Back to viewer complaints/critiques:

There’s plenty more out there, too. This probably sums it up best:

Again, this was despite the event itself featuring three hugely talented, hugely popular young American women playing in the final group. Of course, about that: there were plenty of stretches during the final round (again, of a real tournament) where they were forced to wait on the group ahead of them. That group: Josh Scobee, Aaron Hicks, and Mardy Fish.

As Will Knights of The Fried Egg pointed out (with an illustrative screenshot), the final group waited nearly fifteen minutes to tee off on the thirteenth hole. Think about that! These are actual pros competing, and they’re standing around while male athletes from other sports hack it around.

A similar scene happened on the 18th hole, which also featured a DJ blaring music for some reason:

Again, that’s a tournament issue, not an NBC issue, but when NBC is eagerly showing the male ams, what does that say? It really was a shame, because the golf itself was awesome. Nelly Korda shot a final round 64, best in the group, but came up two shots shy of catching her sister Jessica and Danielle Kang who finished tied. On the first playoff hole, Jessica Korda did this:

That’s a hell of a finish.

It would have been nice if viewers hadn’t had to work so hard to get to it. Remember this if the ratings come out low, because it’s not an indictment on the product of women’s golf, or how marketable their stars are. It’s instead a justified indictment of the presentation; this was essentially treated as a men’s celebrity golf tournament for a huge portion of the broadcast, and that should be unacceptable.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.