Among the few reports I've seen in the golfy media that deal with the LPGA, most of them focus on the brewing showdown between the 2 3-time winners on tour this season, world #1 Lorena Ochoa and rising star and Rookie of the Year lock Ji-Yai Shin. All well and good, but consider this. The top 5 players on tour this season all hail from different countries. And 4 of them will have home-country advantage for 1 of the 4 remaining events on the 2009 schedule.
Ji-Yai Shin gets it 1st in late October in the Hana Bank/KOLON Championship. Then she gets to defend her title in the Mizuno Classic on Ai Miyazato's home turf. Lorena Ochoa follows in her own invitational. And then Cristie Kerr gets to make one last charge in Houston's LPGA Tour Championship. Poor Suzann Pettersen is the odd woman out--plus she's dealing with a stress fracture in her foot.
If Ya Ni Tseng and Karrie Webb fight their way into contention for Player of the Year, that's 7 countries represented. The LPGA is a global tour with global stars. They should start acting proud of that and make a huge public relations push the second they name their new commissioner.
[Update 1 (10/9/09, 2:36 am): Remember Mark Twain's aphorism about language that involved a contrast between lightning and a lightning bug? Well, no disrespect to Randall Mell, who's probably the best professional golf writer in the States on the women's game, but his recent post on the Player of the Year race has the same information as mine, but is missing more than a little spark.]
[Update 2 (11:58 am): The good news for golf in the Olympics is something the LPGA needs to figure out how to capitalize upon, immediately!]
[Update 3 (10/10/09, 4:00 am): Speaking of the Olympics, Brent Kelley figured out how the field would look if it were based on the most recent Rolex Ranking.]