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Volume 26 No. 209
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Recent Wins By American Players Give LPGA Boost In U.S.

U.S. players have won three of the last four LPGA events after claiming just three prior titles since the start of the year, and Golf Channel's "Morning Drive" on Monday discussed what that means for the tour and for American golf fans. Golf Channel's Robert Damron said wins by U.S. players were "going to happen eventually" and noted it was "just an odd lull because we've so many good American players." He added, "They're stepping up at the right time." Golf Channel's Damon Hack said Nelly Korda and Danielle Kang, the two most recent winners, are "notable players" who competed in the Solheim Cup earlier this year. Their wins on the LPGA's Asian swing "from a timeslot standpoint (were) not necessarily great for the American fan." However, if players like Korda and Kang continue to win, it will "only help raise the bar of American golf." Golf Channel's Geoff Shackelford: "These things are cyclical. ... When you look at what's going in college golf in the United States and the number of players who are coming out of that system, it was a matter of time before we have another wave." Shackelford noted one thing that does hurt the LPGA is that there "isn't that breakout top star" the tour can promote. Golf Channel's Ron Sirak: "The individual sports bring in crossover fans when they have a dominant king of the hill or queen of the hill. ... We don't have that right now on either the men's tour or women's tour."

Nelly Korda
Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA
Oct. 31-Nov. 3
Danielle Kang
BMW Ladies Championship
Oct. 24-27
Cheyenne Knight
Volunteers of America Classic
Oct. 3-6
Cydney Clanton*
Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational
July 17-20
Lexi Thompson
ShopRite LPGA Classic
June 7-9
Nelly Korda
ISPS Handa Women's
Australian Open
Feb. 14-17
NOTES: *Paired with Thidapa Suwannapura in team event
Download the
American LPGA Winners Chart

BREAKING DOWN THE NUMBERS: Sirak noted many American golf fans believe the lack of domestic stars comes down to a "Korea versus United States thing." However, it is "way more complicated than that." Thirty different countries are represented by the 182 players on the LPGA money list, while players from nine different countries have won on tour this year. Additionally, the top 10 of the world rankings include six different nations -- South Korea (three players), U.S. (three) and Japan, Canada, Australia and Thailand (one each). Sirak: "Fifteen of the top 25 of the recently completed LPGA Q-Series are Americans, that's 60%. Only 36% of the LPGA right now are Americans. There are lots of reasons to be optimistic about the future" ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 11/4).