6/20/11 – Golf is A-Changin

Tiger Woods is ailing. Phil Mickelson is 41 and fading. Lee Westwood doesn’t win enough. Luke Donald is bland. Sergio Garcia never fulfilled his promise. Steve Stricker is 44. So why is the outlook for professional golf so bright?

Rory McIlroy’s U.S. Open victory means all four majors are held by players in their 20s, albeit internationals. Charl Schwartzel, Martin Kaymer and Louis Oosthuiizen are the others. Most of the USA’s most promising players – Dustin Johnson, Ricky Fowler, Anthony Kim, Hunter Mahan and Gary Woodland – are under 30. The international group is loaded with 20somethings knocking on the door to stardom. Aussie Jason Day is 23 and has finished second in both of this year’s majors. Ryo Ishikawa of Japan and Italy’s Matteo Manassero are still teenagers.

The media make much of the dominance of international players, but seldom do you hear complaints or concerns from golf fans. The sport is truly global and the appeal of its stars doesn’t have geographical boundaries. Many live in the USA.

If Tiger doesn’t get back soon he won’t be missed.



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