It’s a great time to be an emerging international golfer, even in the age of Jordan Spieth. While golf used to be dominated by Tiger Woods and the young American guns, it’s becoming an increasingly global game. British players, Australian players, and even South African players are finding themselves at the top of leaderboards with much more consistency. Today’s game is dominated by players like Rory Mcilroy, Jason Day, and even Danny Willet, the surprising Englishman who took home the green jacket at Augusta National.
The movement toward non-American success in golf has undoubtedly been pushed forward by the success of the Europeans in the Ryder Cup. Over the last decade or so, when the Europeans and Americans have battled in Ryder Cup battles, European players had made big putts over and over. This has helped win respect for those players, and it’s signaled to the rest of the golfing world that international players are here to stay.
Part of the reason for this trend is the ability of international players to find favor on the PGA Tour. Paul Casey, Lee Westwood, Branden Grace, and many others have been able to find their way onto the PGA Tour with consistency, giving them an audience with American golf fans and allowing sponsors to support them along the way. More than that, these players have had the chance to sharpen their skills against the best players in the world, playing some of the most difficult courses in the world at the same time. This is producing a spike in international involvement in major championships, as many golfers have been able to qualify for the majors through their play on the PGA Tour.
It looks more and more like international players will continue to have a major impact on golf. As long as Rory Mcilroy is out there running away with tournaments and Danny Willet is charging from behind to win green jackets, golf fans around the world will have to take notice that the times are changing. No longer is it Tiger’s world, and no longer do the young Americans command all the attention. It’s now a fully international game, with players from around the globe leaving their mark on the competition.