When we posted our story Tuesday about Lee Westwood taking over the No. 2 spot in the world, the hue and cry from stateside golf fans began almost immediately. Westwood has only won two PGA Tour events in his career, and he's been, shall we say, less than sharp in closing out majors, three of which take place right here in the United States. So how could a guy who's a study in failure in America possibly be No. 2?
Well, as it turns out, they do play golf in other locations in the world. Matter of fact, the Official World Golf Rankings are determined by a player's performance on six major and four lesser tours that cover the entire globe. And both the PGA Tour and the European Tour have tournaments on multiple continents.
So are we headed toward a golf "World Tour"? PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem believes it's an inevitability. As he told the AP, "I think that at some point in time, men’s professional golf will become integrated globally. Now, what form that takes, whether it’s a total integration, whether it’s a FIFA-type, I don’t know. One question is how the competition is organized. Another question is how the organizational structure behind it is organized. The first one is the key thing."
Oh boy. If there's one word that could kill this entire enterprise dead, it's "organization." Combining tours -- or encroaching on one another's territory -- means that certain people gain power and certain other people lose power. And that generally doesn't sit well with those certain other people.
As the AP notes, the majority of stateside golf is over, so now players head to places like Malaysia and Australia for additional play, as well as Dubai for the European contingent. The groundwork is already there; it's now just a matter of getting everyone marching in the same direction at the same speed.
Globalism is the way of the world now. We've wondered for decades what the fifth major might be; it's entirely possible it will one day take place on the other side of the globe from Augusta.