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What’s With Wales?

In the field at last week’s U.S. Open were nine Englishmen (including winner Justin Rose), four Scots, three players from Northern Ireland, one from Ireland, but only one—Jamie Donaldson—from Wales. Numbers like those have Welshman Ian Woosnam worried about the game’s health in his homeland, especially at the pro level. Woosie says golf is “fading away” in Wales, which has only two players on the European Tour (Donaldson and Phil Price). “We need to get some sort of infrastructure in place to get the players playing,” Woosnam said, calling for golf instruction in schools and help from the government as happens in countries like Sweden. Welsh golf authorities disagree with Woosie’s assessment, saying the game has grown nicely since the Ryder Cup was played at Celtic Manor in 2010. “It’s very expensive to play at a professional level,” says the 1991 Masters champion. “If the youngsters haven’t got the backing, they’re going to fall and then lose interest in the game.”

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