Last week on the LET/ALPG, it was Laura Davies who got her 73rd worldwide win in New Zealand; this week, it was Karrie Webb who got her 46th overall and 7th at the ANZ Ladies Masters on the strength of a 64-61 weekend performance that brought her to -26 and beat Katherine Hull and Bo-Mee Lee by 6 shots.
With the current top 2 players on the KLPGA, Hee Kyung Seo and So Yeon Ryu, finishing 4th and 5th, respectively, and former top pair Sun Ju Ahn and Ji-Yai Shin finishing 1-2 on the JLPGA this week, Korea and the KLPGA has reaffirmed their reputation for nurturing the best female players in the world. But with Nikki Campbell snagging a top 10 on the JLPGA and Tamie Durdin and Lindsey Wright getting top 10s in a field with many visiting LPGAers, Australia and the ALPG can take comfort in their graduates' success this week. There's even hope for the future of American golf, what with Amanda Blumenherst, Stacy Lewis, and Vicky Hurst playing so well this week (and Mina Harigae closing with a fine 66 to notch a T25 finish).
But there's no clearer evidence the rest of the world is catching up to the U.S. and that other tours are catching up to the LPGA than the results from the other side of the globe this week. Sure, LPGAers made up 6 of the top 10 in Australia, but they were only 3 of the top 10 in Okinawa, where Seon Hwa Lee WDed, Teresa Lu MCed, Young Kim barely made the top 50, and Momoko Ueda could only manage a T25. Meanwhile, with the exception of Ya Ni Tseng (T11), Eun-Hee Ji (13th), Hee Young Park (T19), and Jeong Jang (T25), most of the LPGAers playing in Australia were American or European, and while they did make up the vast majority of the players who finished between 11th and 50th, they didn't monopolize the top of the leaderboard. The LPGA remains the deepest women's tour in the world, not least because so many from the JLPGA, KLPGA, and LET join it, but the numbers of non-dual LPGA members at the top of the women's game are dwindling--only 8 in the top 50. I wonder what the consequences will be for putting together a worldwide women's professional golf schedule in 2011 and beyond.
[Update 1 (12:34 pm): Bill Jempty has more on Webb's win.]
[Update 2 (3/8/10, 10:54 am): Here's Jeff Skinner, too.]
[Update 3 (3/11/10, 5:40 am): Here's Happy Fan's overview of the JLPGA and LET/ALPG action!]