Europe dominating the world of golf

By Randall MellJanuary 19, 2012, 7:46 pm

It’s wrong to say there is not a dominant force in the men’s game today.

Europe is it.

With the 2012 season under way, this is Europe’s world now, the Americans are just living in it.

The trending makes you wonder if the PGA Tour money title will soon be decided by euros rather than dollars.

Look at most every meaningful measure of excellence, and Europe is leading the way.

The Euros have planted their flag deep in the Official World Golf Ranking with the new season under way.

The top four players are all from across the Atlantic.

Three different Europeans have held the top spot since Tiger Woods surrendered his post. They have monopolized the No. 1 ranking for more than a year now (64 consecutive weeks). In that regard, a record Euro run might be in the making. If they continue to hold the top spot through May 20, it will mark Europe’s longest hold on No. 1 since the world rankings were created in 1986. It would give the Euros 82 consecutive weeks at the top of the rankings.

This week, there are more Europeans than Americans in the top 10 of the world rankings (Euros, 4; USA, 3), more in the top 20 (Euros, 9; USA, 7) and more in the top 50 (Euros, 21; USA, 17).

What’s that? You don’t like world rankings as a measure of excellence? How about money titles? Europe’s Luke Donald won both the PGA Tour and European Tour money crowns last year.

Sure, you say, but major championships are the ultimate measure of success.

OK, the Euros are establishing a strong entrenchment in major championship turf, too.

If a European wins the Masters this spring, it will be the continent’s fifth major championship triumph in the last eight majors played. In 78 years of the modern major setup, Europe has never won that many titles in an eight-major run. Even in Europe’s golden era, with Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam winning majors, Europe never did that.

Just two Americans have won the last eight majors.

Of course, there is also the Ryder Cup to examine, the most direct head-to-head competition between Europe and the United States. When the matches are played at Medinah in the fall, Europe will be going for its fifth victory in the last six Ryder Cups, its seventh in the last nine.

With Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy joining Donald as PGA Tour members this year, Europe has a chance to plant its flag on PGA Tour turf like it has never done before.

We’ll see a lot more of Westwood and McIlroy with Donald in American events. There’s also Graeme Mcdowell, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and Robert Karlsson to watch as part of a European contingent looking to win its first FedEx Cup jackpot.

These things go in cycles, and there are some important factors in looking to see if Europe will show staying power with the youth coming up in its ranks.

The most dominant Americans of the recent past are getting older. Tiger Woods is 36, Phil Mickelson 41 and Steve Stricker 44. Europe’s most dominant aren’t so old. Luke Donald is 34, Lee Westwood 38, Martin Kaymer 27 and Rory McIlroy 22.

Among the players under 30 in the European ranks, McIlroy, Kaymer, Alvaro Quiros, Francesco Molinari, Matteo Manassero and Tom Lewis offer possibilities for sustaining future runs.

Among players under 30 in the American ranks, there are Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson, Hunter Mahan, Bill Haas, Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler and Bud Cauley offering possibilities for starting something new.

As for now, though, Europe is setting the pace in nearly every way.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

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Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

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Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


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Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm