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‘America First’ advocate questions foreign wave in college golf

NCAA women’s championship match between Ole Miss and Oklahoma State features only 2 U.S. players, reader notes

The team rosters during the recent women’s NCAA final match startled me. Only two of the 10 starters from the Ole Miss-Oklahoma State championship match were U.S. citizens. Players from Australia, Denmark, England, Mexico, Sweden, Switzerland and Thailand composed the rest. One player from Texas and another from Louisiana, both of whom played for Ole Miss. All 10, of course, attend U.S. universities.

Surveying the top names on the pro tours reveals a similar trend, which has been ongoing for decades: from relative newcomers Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland to veterans such as Paul Casey and Luke Donald, with perhaps hundreds in between. The LPGA is permeated with student-athletes hailing from Pacific Rim countries but “studying” at American universities.

I’m not sure what bothers me most. Perhaps it’s an invasion of my “America First” sensibilities. Maybe U.S. universities favoring (and recruiting) non-citizens doesn’t feel right. Could be a superior determination — or lack thereof — to excel and succeed at a challenging game on the part of U.S. youth.

Or maybe it’s the competitive, capitalist, meritocracy that is the nature of big-league golf here that the rest of the world likes to criticize, yet embraces with their young athletes to one day claim fame and fortune that they say they detest.

Instead, I’ll take pride that it’s only in the U.S. where this level of excellence can be found. Spread that thought.

Gary Stauffenberg

Baba Booey! Mashed potatoes! Get in the hole!
Having spectators at golf tournaments makes me realize how much I miss not having spectators at golf tournaments.

Tom O’Donnell
Loveland, Ohio

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