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By Drew Markol, TSN Contributor - Archive - Email
Nobody asked me, but...
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Tennis, anyone?

Because we sure don't know much about what's going to happen with golf.

Shortly after the U.S. Open ended on Sunday, after Englishman Justin Rose jumped from a tie for fifth after three rounds to win the whole thing over Phil Mickelson and Jason Day, United States Golf Association executive director Mike Davis was asked about the Merion East golf course in suburban Philadelphia.

Specifically, Davis was asked if perhaps Merion would be a candidate for the 2021 U.S. Open (the USGA already has picked U.S. Open courses through 2020).

While David gushed about the course and how it had stood up to today's player, another question came to mind.

If, indeed, the USGA brought its main event back to Merion or, for that matter, anywhere else it may go in 2021, what would the golfing scene - the American golfing scene in particular - look like.

We're talking eight years. By then, Mickelson would be staring at his 51st birthday and is unlikely to still be any kind of a threat to the world's top guns.

And Tiger Woods will be 45 when the 2021 U.S. Open tees off.

Considering the oldest player to win a U.S. Open was Hale Irwin, who, ironically, had just turned 45 when he did it in 1990, and you start to get the idea.

Tiger has been battling a string of injuries and every day he gets a little older. We all can relate that it doesn't get any easier staying healthy.

With Phil and Tiger all but gone by then, where will American golf be?

Who is the next one to jump into the vacancy that is coming quickly?

Rickie Fowler looks like he could. Fowler has the skills - have you seen a more syrupy swing than his since Fred Couples? - but does he have what's needed inside?

The next one comes and goes so fast in American golf. Dustin Johnson, Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson, we'll stop there because you get the idea. Oh, Bubba Watson, too.

We're not winning majors and we're not winning Ryder Cups.

All I see on the horizon is international players like Day, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Charl Schwartzel and Tianlang Guan looking really good and really confident. Jeez, Guan is only 14 and he putted at Augusta like Ben Crenshaw in his prime.

Now, maybe there is an American superstar out there who I don't know about. A charismatic, talented kid with intestines of steel and the desire to win the biggies. You know, a kid like Tiger or Phil way back when.

Or, like American men's tennis and heavyweight boxing for that matter, that kid isn't on the horizon.

Oh, I hope he is.

I'm just tired of seeing us get our butts kicked in the international sports.

Golf, men's tennis, soccer. Well, if you think about it, you can throw in women's tennis, too.

Serena Williams is still winning and still looks really good doing it, but how much longer she can is a valid question. The hope here is that she can for another three or four years or at least until somebody else comes along to take her place.

We're good at what we invent - football, baseball, basketball - but in the games the world plays, that's not the case.

Golf is in the forefront today because of what happened at the U.S. Open and it will be in the same place next month for the British Open.

Take Tiger and Phil out of your list of top 10 contenders to win the next major and which American is third? Matt Kuchar? Watson? Johnson?

Realistically, though, does any of them have a legitimate shot at winning?

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