Now that Team USA has beaten up on the Internationals in the President's Cup as badly as they did the Europeans in the Ryder Cup, it's time to revisit a back-and-forth between Vince Spence (the 1 and only One-Eyed Golfer) and I last month over my claim that the "globalization of men's golf is about a decade behind the world of women's golf." Vince pointed to the concentration of the world's top female players on 1 tour as evidence of the reverse. In my response, I distinguished globalization from both internationalization and regionalization to support my point. But now, there's a quicker way. Consider what might happen if the Lexus Cup (the women's game's now-defunct equivalent to the President's Cup) were being played this season.
If everyone eligible to play teed it up, the Internationals would look like:
Lorena Ochoa (Rolex Rankings #1, LPGA money list #5)
Ji-Yai Shin (RR #2, $ #1)
Ya Ni Tseng (RR #5, $ #8)
Karrie Webb (RR #8, $ #11)
Ai Miyazato (RR #9, $ #2)
In-Kyung Kim (RR #10, $ #6)
Song-Hee Kim (RR #11, $ #13)
Na Yeon Choi (RR #12, $ #10)
Eun-Hee Ji (RR #15, $ #12)
Sakura Yokomine (RR #18, JLPGA money list #2, enough to be in 4th on the LPGA list)
Let me pause there and note that only Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, Angela Stanford, and Michelle Wie have records in the same league as these 9 players. Team USA's mid-level players--Kristy McPherson, Morgan Pressel, Brittany Lincicome, and Brittany Lang--would have to hope for captain's picks onto their competitors' squad. Would you really take any of them over Shinobu Moromizato (RR #20, ￥ #1), Lindsey Wright (RR #21, $ #17), Seon Hwa Lee (RR #24, $ #27), Mi-Jeong Jeon (RR #25, ￥ #4), Momoko Ueda (RR #26, winnings of over $650K on the LPGA and JLPGA combined), Katherine Hull (RR #27, $ #28), Candie Kung (RR #29, $ #23), Yuri Fudoh (RR #30, the JLPGA's only Billion-Yen Woman), Sun Young Yoo (RR #31, $ #21), Ji-Hee Lee (RR #32, ￥ #6), or Chie Arimura (RR #33, ￥ #3)? These 11 players are all ranked higher than Lang.
With players from Korea (9), Japan (6), Australia (3), Taiwan (2), and Mexico (1) among the contenders to take on Team USA (whose 3rd foursome would probably include Christina Kim, Juli Inkster, Stacy Lewis, and Natalie Gulbis or Pat Hurst), is there any doubt who would have the advantage in such a competition?
[Update 1 (10/13/09, 12:13 am): Jay Busbee indirectly supports my point with a small correction to his title--adding "male" before "golfers." If the U.S. still dominates the world, your game isn't as globalized as you think it is, PGA.]
[Update 2 (12:21 am): Geoff Shackelford misses a chance to point out that Tim Finchem is following a trail the Brand Lady blazed.]