It is hard to take anything away from the wonderful victory secured by the GB&I team in the Curtis Cup this weekend.
To recover as the girls did showed great character and nerve along with an incredible amount of skill, particularly to keep focused heading into the singles on the last day.
For the first time in history, the Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup, Walker Cup and Curtis Cup all sit this side of the Atlantic – the latter having not been won by GB&I since 1996. It represents a remarkable period for European golf at both amateur and professional level, but does it mean that Europe is dominating golf all over the world?
A simple glance at the statistics would say yes.
A more detailed look would argue otherwise.
A simple glance at the statistics would say yes. A more detailed look would argue otherwise.
In the men’s game, although Donald, McIlroy and Westwood sit at 1st, 2nd
and 3rd respectively in the world rankings, Justin Rose and Martin
Kaymer are the only other Europeans in the world top 20. By contrast, 11
of those 20 are from the USA.
With men’s amateurs, the picture is much the same, with 6 Europeans
present in the top 20. Interestingly not a single GB&I amateur is
present in this list.
The women’s rankings are perhaps even more revealing, showing above all
that golf cannot be purely considered as a western sport. Just two
Europeans hold down spots in the professional top 20, with four being
taken by Americans.
However, unrivalled in this field are golfers from the Far East, with
eight Koreans and two Japanese players making the list along with one
Chinese player and Yani Tseng (Taiwan), who tops the world rankings by a
considerable margin. None of these players are available for the
Solheim Cup and therefore perhaps that tournament isn’t completely
representative of professional women’s golf.
Finally the women’s amateurs, fresh from their Curtis Cup victory this
week, Charley Hull, Leona Maguire, Amy Boulden and Stephanie Meadow are
all present in the top 20 players in the world.
The Americans also boast five players in that list, but again it is
players from around the world who don’t qualify to play in the Curtis
Cup who dominate proceedings.
So while the cups may say that it is Europe who are in complete command
of golf at the moment, the stats reveal a much murkier picture.