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Power couple: Kate Rose has quickly become an important ally to the women's game

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Kate Rose had, admittedly, not thought much about women’s golf. She’s not a golfer herself. Her husband Justin is, of course, a world-class player. But the men’s and women’s golf worlds so rarely collide these days that Kate hadn’t given much thought to the landscape on the Ladies European Tour or LPGA.

But as the delightful Kate walked around Augusta National on a Friday in April, keeping somewhat of an eye on Justin as he contended in the 85th Masters, she couldn’t stop talking about women’s golf. And that was before a reporter approached her for an interview on the subject.

The Rose Ladies series got started last year after Kate read an article in the Telegraph about an event LET player Liz Young and Jason MacNiven, a head professional and custom-fitter at Brokenhurst Manor, decided to put together at the club for English professionals. Kate found the lack of opportunities available to women in the U.K. during the COVID-19 pandemic outrageous. Later that same evening, Rose’s management company called Young to offer support.

“You don’t know what you don’t know,” said Kate. “Everyone is living your life and you’re in your own bubble, and sometimes you don’t see outside the bubble.

“I always think if someone opens your eyes to something, you can’t unsee it. That’s a very different thing … if you know something and you don’t try and help, that doesn’t sit so well.”

The second edition of the Rose Ladies Series is currently underway, with the series’ second event set to take place May 6 at Woburn Golf Club on the Duchess Course. Fans can watch the action from week one at West Lancs, won by Gabriella Cowley, on Sky Mix and Sky Golf as well as the SkySportsGolf YouTube channel.

The Roses wanted female professionals to not only have an opportunity to compete during gaps on the LET schedule but to also be seen. The first LET event of the season is slated for mid-May.

There are 11 events on the Rose Ladies Series schedule this year (three more than 2020) with 10 offering a first-place prize of 10,000 pounds (double last year’s pot) and a finale worth 20,000 pounds, as more sponsors have signed on to support.

One venue in particular – Royal Birkdale – means a great deal to the Rose family as 17-year-old Justin’s incredible hole-out on the 72nd hole at the 1998 British Open became an instant classic as he finished tied for fourth.

Charley Hull receives the winner’s trophy from Kate Rose, wife of Justin Rose, after a playoff victory over Liz Young in The Rose Ladies Series at Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club on June 18, 2020, in Brockenhurst, England. (Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Justin is a global ambassador for Slync, a Dallas-based logistics software company. Slync co-founder and CEO Christopher Kirchner was eager to get behind the Rose Ladies Series this year because he’s been around strong women all his life, having been raised by a single mom who worked all day as a teacher and went to night school for a principal’s certificate.

“This isn’t an optics thing for us,” said Kirchner. “I just want to be able to help where I can.”

Last summer, Kate said her husband couldn’t get over the number of PGA Tour players who mentioned the Rose Ladies Series to him at tournaments. The women had become part of the conversation.

“We definitely tried to not be expecting or asking anybody to do anything else,” said Kate. “We’re not preachy. We’re not perfect. We don’t want to be seen as telling anyone else what to do. But it has been a nice surprise to see that it has caught people’s attention.”

So much so that it can’t be unseen.

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original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/05/05/womens-golf-rose-series-lpga-kate-rose-justin-rose/

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