Ryder Cup stars hit out at LPGA Tour’s treatment of Troon hero Sophia Popov

However, the 27-year-old is a member of the Symetra Tour, the LPGA ‘development’ circuit, leading almost everyone to question the point of the pyramid.

As Paul McGinley, another former Ryder Cup captain, said: “These are times for sensitivity and adaptability in a crazy world. Come on, find a way to compromise here. She did so much for your Tour and for ladies golf last week.”

Meanwhile, on the LPGA Tour, Sweden’s Solheim Cup star Anna Nordqvist shared the early clubhouse lead in the Walmart Classic alongside American Jackie Stoelting on seven-under. England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff was three behind after a first-round 67 in Arkansas.

On the European Tour, South Africa’s Justin Walters shot a 71 in the ISPS Hands UK Championship at the Belfry to reach nine-under and stand one clear of France’s Benjamin Hebert, with Liverpool’s Paul Waring a shot further back.

At the Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale, five Englishmen are within three steps of earning spots at next year’s Masters, Open and US Open. Bristol’s Joe Harvey, Lytham’s Callan Barrow, Sheffield’s Barclay Brown, Bath’s Joe Long and Marlborough’s Jake Bolton have all advanced to the quarter-finals, with the 36-hole final taking pace at the famous Open venue on Sunday.

In the Women’s Amateur, Emily Toy, the 22-year-old from Cornwall, has the chance to become the first player in 15 years to defend successfully the championship. Toy plays German’s Aline Krauter in Saturday morning’s semi-final with fellow Englishwomen Annabell Fuller taking on Italian Emilie Alba Paltrinieri in the other law four match at West Lancs. The 18-hole final is on Saturday afternoon.

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