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Original Issue

Big Play with Steve Bosdosh

WHO: Marcel Siem

WHAT: 15-yard chip to two feet

WHEN: First playoff hole at the World Cup

WHERE: 195-yard par-3 18th hole at Sandy Lane Country Club

WHY

Siem, 26, and Bernhard Langer, 49, didn't come out of nowhere to win the World Cup. The Germans came from Europe, which has the deepest pool of young talent in men's golf. Want proof? Four Euros under 30 are among the top 38 in the World Ranking. The top American under 30 is Lucas Glover--who's 39th. (Siem is 228th.) The Euros thrive thanks to coordinated amateur and pro development programs and tours and less spoiled players who work harder than Americans.

STEVE'S TIP

Thump It to Hit a Miniflop

To hit a miniflop from thick rough like Siem, pretend it's a bunker shot. Open the club face, quickly hinge the wrists going back, come down steeply and skip (top) the back of the club over the turf at impact instead of taking a divot (bottom). To get the feel of skipping, move to a fairway and take the same swing without a ball. The club should skid over the turf and make a thumping sound, leaving a burn mark on the grass.

Steve Bosdosh teaches at The Members Club at Fours Streams in Beallsville, Md.

... AND ANOTHER THING

"Michelle Wie's performances against the men this year prove that the best women pros can't compete against the worst men on Tour."

>>>ANSWERS <<<

Who Am I? ... D) Luke Donald (left)

By February the 2007 European tour will have visited three continents (Australia, Asia, Africa) and eight countries.

GOLF MAGAZINE

TOP 100

TEACHERS POLL

Do you approve of the USGA's partnership with American Express?

Yes 63%

No 37%

The Pepper Mill

[ by DOTTIE PEPPER ]

CROWD CONTROL Is it possible to have a PGA or LPGA tour card and still have nowhere to play? Unfortunately, yes. With increased numbers of limited-field events, invitationals, medical extensions and events that require further qualifying, some players with exempt cards are facing the distinct possibility of highly limited playing opportunities. The LPGA addressed part of the problem this year by issuing only 15 exempt cards at Q school, but the 40 players granted conditional status are in golf's version of limbo. While the Nationwide tour is sometimes an option for those PGA Tour players caught in no-man's land, the LPGA could help itself by buying the Duramed Futures tour, nurturing those title sponsorships into full-field LPGA events in midsized markets and, at the same time, affording the nonexempt players a place to hone their skills, which will ultimately help the quality of play on tour.

SUPER SCHEDULE The Champions tour has quietly put together a superb 2007 schedule with solid sponsors and what could be the best venues for major championships on any tour. Jay Haas (above) and friends will play the Ocean course at Kiawah Island (PGA), the Straits course at Whistling Straits (U.S. Open), Muirfield (British), Sunriver Resort in Oregon (Tradition) and Baltimore Country Club/Five Farms (Players). Sounds like a fantasy golf vacation, and they get paid for it!

BUY THIS EURO Looking for the next European to win a major? I believe you'll find him in Henrik Stenson (right) of Sweden. He's stealthily risen to No. 12 in the world after a tie for third at the Players and a 14th at the PGA Championship; he also played in this year's Ryder Cup. He's long, has solid fundamentals and nerves of steel, and putts better than his stats indicate.

Dottie Pepper, a 17-year veteran of the LPGA tour and an analyst for NBC and the Golf Channel, welcomes questions at dottie@siletters.com.