Santa Monica was buzzing as Pier City served as an excellent host for the Men's Championship. The tournament was a four-round event, and as the competition headed into the final day, the four remaining golfers included Lala Yeon Park.
The buzz about Yeon Park possibly winning a men's championship brought back memories of Billie Jean King's historic tennis match with Bobby Riggs. A very young Billie Jean King dreamed of playing professional baseball, but at the young age of ten, she realized that baseball had no place for women. Therefore she decided to pick up the tennis racket. By the age of 29, she won five Wimbledon championships and was heralded as one of the best tennis players in the world. That is when the 55-year-old Bobby Riggs challenged King to a match in 1973 that became known as the "Battle of the Sexes." King won the match in three straight sets. After the victory, many pundits claimed King's victory was less about gender equality but more about Riggs aging body.
King wanted the match to be about social change. She thought the event might change the hearts and minds of people to match the legislation created a year before the match. Title IX, the 1972 law mandating equal opportunity in universities receiving public funds, has boosted women's access to sports. Nevertheless, outside of collegiate funding, sports remain a separate and unequal endeavor. Women's games are customarily shorter and the courses are less demanding on the body.
The low viewpoint of women's sports is why some women decide to compete against men, at least where men are willing. Nonetheless, there are numerous instances where women competed against men in sports and have emerged victorious.