It's official: the Scots can't golf
Hey, don’t look at me, look at the latest edition of the World Golf Ranking. For the first time in it’s 22-year history, a Scottish golfer is not on the list after Alistair Forsythe slipped from 98th to 102nd.
Colin Montgomerie has slipped down to 114th. When the rankings debuted in 1986, Sandy Lyle checked in at No. 3.
But for the first time, the Scots are shut out. That’s three less than tiny neighbor Northern Ireland. Graeme McDowell is 32nd, Darren Clarke is 62nd, while phenom Rory McIlroy checks in at 81st. Wales has no representation either, but since Ian Woosnam, it’s been spotty for the dragons. Bradley Dredge is 140th.
And lest we forget, a Scot wasn’t on the Ryder Cup team for the first time since the 1930s at Valhalla earlier this fall, as Monty was controversially not a captain’s pick by Nick Faldo, who opted for two countrymen (one of which, Ian Poulter, did brilliantly).
But the Scots boast some promising young golfers who will hope to relight the torch, preferably sooner than later. Former U.S. Amateur winner Richie Ramsey, who was the first Scot to win the event in over 100 years, is ranked 152nd. Steven O’Hara also had a solid year on the Challenge Tour.
The Scots will also gloat that they won this year’s Eisenhower Trophy in Austrailia, a top international amateur event featuring 195 golfers from 65 countries. They won by an impressive nine shots ahead of the U.S. team.
For a nation with such a storied history and so many great golf clubs, being left out of the Top 100 should be a bit of a wake-up call. Young tennis star Andy Murray, who made it to the finals of the U.S. Open this summer, was Scotland’s biggest impact in the international sports world this year - at least in North America. It begs the question: are the country’s young athletes still favoring their mashies over their rackets and other sports?
Ramsey & his fellow Scottish golfers will have a bit of added pressure heading into 2009. This gaping void will certainly be dissected amongst many a pint at clubs all over the country this off-season.
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