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Credit Where Credit Is Due

by Brian Hewitt

Global golf fashioned yet another display of our game’s geographic diversity last week when a Finn, Mikko Ilonen, beat a Swede, Henrik Stenson, in England at the Volvo World Match Play, where the other two semifinalists were Dutchman Joost Luiten and South African George Coetzee.

The home-field advantage was more evident in Korea, where teen Kyu Jung Baek won in a playoff on the LPGA; and in Las Vegas, where Ben Martin triumphed on the PGA Tour.

Meanwhile, the aftershocks from the earthquake of American disappointment at last month’s Ryder Cup continued to register on golf’s Richter scale.

For starters, normally mild-mannered Webb Simpson used the words, “it stunk,” when asked about his golf experience at Gleneagles.

Then there was the increasing blowback directed at the PGA of America’s announcement of a Ryder Cup task force that didn’t include Paul Azinger, the last victorious American captain. This was the golf equivalent of the backlash Lyndon Johnson would have faced if he had empaneled the Warren Commission without including Chief Justice Earl Warren.

In fairness, Azinger said he didn’t want to be on the task force. At least for now.

Speaking of tasks, when is somebody going to take too many whining Americans to task for continuing to annoyingly divert the public post-Ryder Cup discourse from the brilliance and decorum displayed by the winning Europeans?

I guess we just did.

Finally, the R&A has named its successor to Peter Dawson. Little-known Englishman Martin Slumbers, 54, officially takes over on Oct. 1, 2015. Here’s hoping Slumbers’ tenure is more golden than sleepy.

The esteemed Dawson, measured but unafraid of change, will be a tough act to follow.

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