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Giving away invitations 'not the right thing'

BEIJING -- U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen fanned the flames of the debate on women entering men's golf events on Wednesday by saying female players should be forced to qualify.

"I think in general the players feel it's not the right
thing," said the South African, who played a charity skins event
with South Korea's Grace Park in Thailand last weekend.

"If they qualify for the tournament, they go through
qualifying school ... then it's fine. But just to keep giving
invites away is probably not the right thing."

Goosen, ranked fifth in the world, shared the Tiger Skins title with
Denmark's Thomas Bjorn. Park was playing against men for
the first time in Phuket.

Goosen, who was speaking in the buildup to this week's $2.3
million Johnnie Walker Classic in Beijing, nonetheless added:
"It was good to get Grace to play.

"In a way, people want to see the ladies play with the men.
(In) small events like that for charity, I think it's a good
idea."

Annika Sorenstam, the top-ranked women's player, and 15-year-old prodigy Michelle Wie are among those to have competed against the men. Wie has accepted an exemption to play in the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic in July.

Se-Ri Pak became the first woman to make the cut in a men's
event when she finished 10th in her native South Korea two years
ago.

Several leading men's players, including Vijay Singh and
Greg Norman, have also been critical of women playing on the PGA Tour.