Dame Laura Davies credits Justin Rose as British female professionals prepare for return
Eight-strong Rose Ladies Series begins on Thursday at Brokenhurst Manor, with highlights on Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 17/06/20 12:32pm
Dame Laura Davies has praised Justin Rose for taking the "initiative" to support the women’s game amid the coronavirus pandemic, ahead of a return to competitive action for British professionals.
The eight-strong Rose Ladies Series begins on Thursday at Brokenhurst Manor, with Davies set to be joined by Georgia Hall, Charley Hull and Bronte Law among others at the behind-closed-doors one-day events.
Davies said the women's game was "really hurt" by the coronavirus shutdown, but that Britain's top women golfers had now been given the platform to showcase their game, with the LPGA Tour due to restart next month and uncertainty over when the Ladies European Tour will resume.
Asked how important the support from Rose, who along with his wife Kate have put in £35,000 as prize money, was to the women's game, Davies told Sky Sports News: "It is just nice that Justin and Kate realise that the girls deserve a bit of help and need a bit of help.
"Because of what has happened with the Ladies European Tour, it was just looking like we were getting going and then COVID-19 happens. There are a lot more important things happening regarding COVID-19.
"But it has really hurt the women's game and it is nice that Justin and Kate took the initiative to say 'OK, we have heard about this series, let's put in a few quid so that the girls [can play]'."
Support for the series, which originated from an initiative by LET board member Liz Young and Brokenhurst Manor head professional Jason MacNiven has grown, with further investment received towards the events.
Former world No 1 Rose told Telegraph Sport earlier this month the "opportunity and the platform" for female golfers was "skewed".
The LET and LPGA Tour announced a joint venture at the end of last year to support the growth of women's professional golf and Davies is aware of the continued need to ensure players can excel in Europe.
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"To think that we have now been playing on the LPGA Tour especially for, I think this year the biggest purse is £4.5 million, maybe even £5 million at the US Open.
"But the European side of it is where Justin and Kate have put in a bit of help to us.
"That is the bit that needs to get stronger and bigger because these girls are really good players and they are going to be really top players on the LPGA one day - as long as they get the chance to play in Europe to begin with."
The Ladies European Tour has been limited to three tournaments so far in 2020 but Davies said there is genuine excitement among players for the schedule when the calendar can resume.
Asked for her hopes for the women's game in the next 20-30 years, Davies replied: "I don't think we will ever be playing for the same money and I don't think that is what we want.
"We just want top women athletes to be able to be professionals, not have to get winter jobs and stuff like that. That is not what professional sport is about.
"The really good players should be earning a lot of money and that is what could happen and that is what we want to happen.
"In 30 years', time, I will be 86! Hopefully, I will be seeing the top winner on the European Tour clear five euro to win the money list. That would be the ultimate dream."
Sky Sports will have highlights throughout the Rose Ladies Series.