Taking a world view of the game
John Hawkins' attempt at banter and points scoring before the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Friday’s Morning Read is so wide of the mark that it would need a Tiger Woods drop ruling of classic PGA Tour leniency to go unanswered (“Euro Tour plays games amid bleak reality,” May 24).
Firstly, let's discuss dates. The old European Tour (Europe only) spanned April to October, for climate reasons more than anything else. That, apart from major championships and WGC events in America, is still the case (all fixtures are still in Europe, apart from one Chinese WGC date during the last week in October). The only reason Europe has majors and WGCs on its schedule is because so many of our players are good enough to play in, and win, them.
Correct, that sponsors over here aren't interested in backing tournaments unless at least a handful of the top players show up, but from what I've seen of the PGA Tour in recent years, that also applies to some of your less popular stop-offs.
For Hawkins' information, 22 of the 72 individual WGC tournaments that have taken place to date have been held outside of the United States (including two of the four annual events currently), 29 won by non-Americans and only 24 by Americans whose surname isn't Woods. Five actually have been held in Europe: two at Mount Juliet in Ireland, two at Valderrama in southern Spain and one at The Grove just outside London.
There are dozens of other courses around Europe with the infrastructure and willingness to handle such events. Just watch how many top Americans make their way over to our tour once the FedEx Cup nonsense finishes in August. Hopefully, they will report back to Jay Monahan and the Fourth Estate that there is actually a golfing world beyond U.S. borders.
The 2018-19 PGA Tour schedule, when I last looked, had three tournaments in the Far East, two in Mexico and one each in Canada, the Dominican Republic and Northern Ireland – hardly good old US of A. And as for esports, if it's good enough to be put forward by the IOC as an Olympic demonstration sport, it would be a bit shortsighted of the PGA Tour to poo-poo it.
(Trow is a senior writer for Arnold Palmer’s Kingdom magazine.)
What’s wrong with American women on LPGA?
Why are so few of the LPGA’s top players from the U.S.? The LPGA tour is loaded with Americans, but so few are winning. Why?
One American in the top 10 of the Race to the CME Globe standings, and one more in the top 20.
In the recent Kingsmill event, there were 59 Americans in the field of 144. Thirty made the cut, but none contended for the title. Half of the Americans failed to make the cut in an LPGA tour event on a course that plays fairly easily. I am not meaning to take this one event out of context, but the reality is that is the norm for LPGA events: Americans full of potential but weak on results.
The South Koreans dominate, with the rest of the world tossing in their best, and it’s better than our best. Why are the Americans on the tour struggling and not prolific winners? Do the other nations have better training? Do they cater more to their potential stars and give them something we don't? Do they teach them better? It might just be attitude/approach to the game that American women lack over the rest of the world, but it is dramatic and not getting better.
Once our American women reach a certain level, they stop improving. They seem to peak and then fall.
I root for great golf and great story lines, and recent Kingsmill winner Bronte Law is just one of those: a fighter with immense determination to improve. I am waiting for the next American to do this. Who will step up?
Boca Raton, Fla.
Spieth’s latest finish hardly looks like progress
Now, Jordan Spieth says “the hole just started to look a little smaller” after he shot 72 on Sunday at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas.
Really? I can't believe the number of excuses he comes up with every week. I am aware that he is near the top of the field, in general, but that is not the standard by which he judges himself.
Spieth finished eight shots back and shot over par in the final round, making only one birdie, on No. 18. That is not progress.
Oddly, I thought he was in trouble on Friday when he shot 70 with five birdies and five bogeys, totaling 307 feet of made putts through two rounds. Will the real Jordan Spieth please stand up? Spieth, a lifelong Dallas resident who made his PGA Tour debut at Colonial as a 16-year-old amateur in 2010, has played there plenty of times and knows the course.
I'm actually pulling for him. However, someone has to intervene to get him back on track. It's so obvious that whatever he is working on is not working.
The Villages, Fla.
Daly doesn’t warrant use of a cart in British Open
Though the Americans with Disabilities Act is the right idea in this country, in competitive money sports, if you can't play the game in the same manner as everyone else, that’s kind of tough luck. It should not have any bearing on the R&A allowing John Daly to use a cart in the British Open (“In the news,” May 27).
Daly argues that he is still competitive, but that is false. He is not able to play to the best of his abilities due to his knee issues. Just as Michelle Wie decided to forgo this week’s U.S. Women’s Open due to injury, Daly should forgo his attempt to play in the British Open.
I see it as kind of a joke that he would even request such a thing. He is taking a spot away from someone who actually might be able to win.
Tinley Park, Ill.
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