Actually, that's not true... though it's been reported that way all over the place... In fact, Camilo Villegas is as American as apple pie. Except that he hails from the south... way down south in the southern hemisphere. But I know what they mean.
When Stewart Cink was eliminated by Paul Casey this morning at Dove Mountain it market the first time in the 12-year history of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship that the semi-finals have included no US Americans.
A pair of Englishmen a Spaniard and a Colombian are now have way through the semi-final round on a desert course that's behaving more like an Open Championship course weather-wise. These are golfers we know well and (most of us) love to watch ...PGA players who spend much of their time on North America soil.
It's not the finish some had feared... the weekend with no known names... but considering that 20 US players stared out on Wednesday it does seem to reaffirm the growing global nature of golf. Granted with Tiger Woods, shall we say, otherwise occupied... and Phil Mickelson not playing, it could be said that valuable US elements were missing. There's also the common argument that we don't play match play growing up while the rest of the world does consequently they just don't "feel it" the players from other countries do.
No matter how you look it though, all indications are that the days of US domination in golf are may well be coming to a close. With golf now an Olympic sport, countries across the globe are making investments in golf, building infrastructure and developing national junior golf programs. Here in the US we've got private system and awesome organizations like The First Tee and the American Junior Golf Association but is that enough these days? Maybe it is, because maybe the world has just become that much smaller.
After all, the four players in the semi-finals today; Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey and "token American" Camilo Villegas studied here and/or live here... and they're huge stars here, maybe we should just embrace them as our own. That's my idea.