Y.E. Yang’s victory of Tiger Woods in the US PGA was unthinkable, unfathomable and unbelievable. I mean come on, Tiger was wearing his power red, he was in front after the 3rd round, he’s never been beaten from this position at a major in 15 attempts.
But the little man from Korea was able to take it out.
It shows the shifting centre of the sports world further to the East. And why is this good news for Golf? The East has a number of important things to offer sport, but the most attractive? M.O.N.E.Y
In a time when world economies are facing negative growth, emerging Asian markets are a beacon of light for sports. They offer a previously untapped consumer base with an increasing discretionary income and Athletes that are rising to be the best in the world.
In by-gone eras, the aristocracy of golf with their country club rules and xenophobic views would’ve found the emergence of Asian players intolerable, but their growing acceptance has paved the way for the development of golf courses throughout Asia and increased prominence of the Asian tour.
Tiger struggled in the early part of his career for acceptance (infamously Fuzzy Zoeller made racist remarks during the 1997 US Masters) and it seemed that his ability and skill couldn’t swing the conservatives.
But now the victory of Yang is being described as the dawn of a new era, a brave new world. It seems in sport, as in life, its all about the ¥.E.N (and the Yuan, and the Won and the Rupee and the Baht…)