Pro Golf – PGA TOUR
Going into the final round of last week’s PGA Championship, what hit me in the face was the presence of 3 South Africans in the top 5 of the leaderboard !! Just last week, we spoke about three consecutive victories by South Africans on the European tour while another scored a victory on the European Challenge Tour. Then last week countryman Shaun Norris won in Japan.
This prompted me to investigate – how do various countries rank in producing world top 100 players ?
It’s no surprise that the USA dominates with nearly half of all top 100 players (48 to be precise) followed by England with 13 ! Next is South Africa with 9 players in the top 100 followed by Australia with 6. Among Asian countries, only Japan and Korea with 3 each feature in the world top 100.
Louis Oosthuizen, who finished Tied 2nd at the PGA Championship behind Phil Mickelson commented in an interview last week that South Africa has a strong pipeline of youngsters due to their well organised junior program and the combination of busy regional and national junior and amateur tournaments.
What could also be hurting Asians currently is that the Asian Tour has been dormant since the start of the pandemic, because of the quarantine restrictions and so Asian players haven’t been able to earn world ranking points unless they are playing in Europe or USA. Fortunately for the South Africans, their domestic tour has been active since the start of 2021, giving a boost to their ranking points.
India would do well to emulate the programs of South Africa and England to give our many talented girls and boys the best chance of competing on the world stage.