The United Nations would be well served to convene at Upper Montclair Country Club this weekend. With players hailing from 23 countries on six continents, the ambassadors of the world's sovereign states could get insight on any number of global issues from the field at the LPGA Sybase Classic.
These golfers didn’t have to pass through Ellis Island, located 20 miles away, to get to the Clifton, NJ course, but they are working as hard as those who did to fulfill their dreams. There is a winner’s check worth $300,000 to be cashed; there are Solheim Cup points to be awarded; and there are records to be broken.
Walking the practice grounds one is greeted by the unique inflections and rhythms of many different tongues. A player and caddie whisper shot strategy in Korean. A trainer in the fitness trailer counts out reps and urges encouragement in French. The punchline to a swing coach's joke is delivered in Afrikaans. However, no translation is necessary for birdie, bogey, or even “career best” as was the case with Swede Helen Alfredsson’s first round 62.
The common language of these 144 players is golf. Once inside the ropes and the scorecards are exchanged, the red numbers are universal. A good shot is a good shot, and the applause for a great putt sounds the same all over the world.
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