by Jeff Skinner
Even though the LPGA will not play its first tournament on American soil until the end of this month there are still many American players doing whatever it takes to play golf and cash a check. The LPGA season opened in Thailand and Singapore so the ladies had to head to the other side of the world to get some chances to win a few bucks. Since Ai Miyazato has done her best to turn the tour into her own little playground with two wins in two events it’s time the rest of the girls took home a trophy.
Many of the Americans have decided to get the most bang for their “Asian Swing” buck and have opted to play in the Ladies European Tour’s ANZ Ladies Masters in Queensland Australia. Nine American players are in the field and some are near the top of the leader board. Christina Kim and Brittany Lincicome are the biggest American names in the field but Rookie Amanda Blumenherst is making her mark early this season as she shot an opening round 66 and is tied for the lead after two rounds at the Royal Pines Resort.
Sophomores LPGA players Stacy Lewis is four strokes back of the lead and Vicky Hurst is only five off the pace and both are in serious contention for a victory. Lewis and Hurst are very good, young players that could possibly be two of the faces that carry the American Tour for years to come. The LPGA had a great group of rookies last season and Hurst, Lewis, and Michelle Wie are three popular and talented women that could help in the resurgence of American women on the LPGA Tour.
With the LPGA going through a transitional period the American players need to get used to playing many tournaments on foreign soil. The power of golf in Asia is exploding and the LPGA is embracing any and all comers when it comes to sponsorship and the majority of the new sponsorship money is based in the Far East.
Maybe the tour could start to issue a new award: The Gary Player Award. Player claims to have travelled over 15 million miles, and counting, in his professional career. These players have a long way to go to match Player but with the face of the LPGA changing like it is a typical season will mean two swings to Asia and at least one trip to Europe. The women of the LPGA will turn into true globetrotting golfers as they follow the LPGA tour all over the world.