Watson quits European Tour to pursue business studies

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams September 11, 2017 11:45

A professional golfer has quit the Ladies European Tour (LET) citing concerns about gender pay gap issues and instead will study business at university.

Scotland’s Sally Watson, 26, has been on the LET for the last four years and has twice been a member of the Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup team. She is leaving the professional game after being accepted into the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business where she will start a degree this autumn. Watson already has a degree from Stanford University in international relations – where her academic advisor was Condoleezza Rice.

As she quit the LET she stated that female golfers do not get the same support from sponsors as male golfers do.

“There’s been a lot in the media recently about the gender pay gap and I think one of the biggest challenges for female amateurs starting out in Scotland and the UK is getting that financial support from corporate sponsors,” she said.

“When you see some of the men on the Challenge Tour, whatever else, they’ve got a decent amount of financial support, whereas here you’ve got players in the top 30 of the LET Money List that are struggling to get the financial support to invest in themselves and progress their game.

“Playing golf isn’t the least stressful of careers you can choose. You have to go and earn your living every week – a specific amount doesn’t go into your bank account every month, like it does for my sister – so I hope whatever career I choose will offer a bit more financial stability.

“At the same time, I want to continue to do something that I’m passionate about. I want to be able to live and personal fulfilment is definitely my number one thing.

“I never necessarily saw golf as something I wanted to do forever, and I think I missed the intellectual environment of university. I really enjoyed my time at Stanford, the opportunities to challenge yourself I was given there, so I always knew I wanted to go back to school at some point of time.

“I talked to Condoleeza about my decision. Having got to know me at Stanford, she knew school was something I wanted to go back to at some point.

“She also recognised golf has given me a number of experiences and opportunities, and I can continue to use them outside golf, to apply them to other areas of my life.

“She wrote me a letter of recommendation to Chicago, and she said, ‘I’ll give you the first year off and then I’ll come out looking for a game with you’.”

European Tour golfer drives taxi to subsidise income

Two years ago we reported on male European Tour golfer Callum Macaulay, who was driving a taxi to subsidise his income – even though some of the world’s best paid sportsmen are golfers.




Emma Williams
By Emma Williams September 11, 2017 11:45
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