When Darren Clarke put the finishing touches on his first British Open in July, American golf was decidedly in a drought. No Tiger, barely any Phil and a host of young names that looked great but didn't produce consistent results (and victories), it wasn't looking good for the boys sporting the red, white and blue.
But then came a kid named Keegan Bradley. And another named Dustin Johnson. And now, two weeks into the FedEx Cup playoffs, it's the rest of the world doing whatever they can to keep up with the rather impressive boys from the United States.
Webb Simpson winning on Monday showed yet again that this country has some young talent that keeps improving, but it isn't just the guys that are taking home the trophies. Chez Reavie made it to the playoff at TPC Boston. Jason Dufner was in the mix at the PGA. Brandt Snedeker, Hunter Mahan and Kyle Stanley were all making noise, and if you look at this week's leaderboard, you'll see a lot more American flags than anything else.
Why the bombardment late in the season of great American golf? The reason is rather simple, yet it might have shocked you a couple of months ago. This country has really good players, and there are a lot of them. If it isn't Dustin or Nick Watney, it might just be Bubba or Zach Johnson, and although those are the names you're used to seeing, there are still a lot of good players out there capable of winning big events on any given week.
In the post-Tiger era on the PGA Tour, things are going to be cyclical, and Americans struggling in the majors wasn't as much a problem as it was other people playing great golf. Now, with the Bradley win and the great play so far in these playoffs, it might just be time for the Americans to make a run and start putting up big victories.
There is a lot of good things coming up right now for American golf, and that is always a good thing for the sport.