The best thing about the U.S. Women's Open at Interlachen may have been that it showed us there is hope for American golf. Not a lot of hope but some, at least. Stacy Lewis, for starters, looks like a future star and a player with even more potential than Paula Creamer, who is already a star.
The numbers are clearly a problem. If you watched any of NBC's Open telecast, you probably realized the LPGA truly is a world tour and the world has us outnumbered. All you have to do is look at the Rolex World Rankings. Only five of the top 20 players are Americans. Creamer, who didn't look ready for a Sunday at an Open, is fourth. Cristie Kerr is seventh, Morgan Pressel is 15th, Juli Inkster is 17th and Stacy Prammanasudh is 19th.
Women's golf is no longer an American game. Neither is men's golf. Lorena Ochoa of Mexico has proven that players from other countries can appeal to American fans. It helps that she is super nice and media and fan-friendly (unlike several other top players over the last decade).
It's hard to figure out why America's colleges aren't turning out more top future pros. Lewis looks like one. Duke's Amanda Blumenherst, who has been a dominant force in college golf, looks like another. I'm sure there are others. Maybe Michelle Wie will rebound and become a factor, too. In the Tiger Woods era, the LPGA's marketing department needs all the help it can get and homegrown talent is an easier sell to the American public.