An American slump in golf? Not for long

Britain's Ian Poulter believes the emerging golfers in the United States are promising and will press for the top ranking spots in 18 months to two years.

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While European golfers are currently hogging the limelight and dominating the world rankings, Britain's Ian Poulter expects a crop of talented young Americans to be challenging for top honours before long.

Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood (all Britain) and Martin Kaymer (Germany) hold golf's top four spots while Steve Stricker is the highest-ranked player from the United States - in sixth place.

Europe's rise has coincided with the struggles of Tiger Woods, the former world No 1, now 22nd, while Phil Mickelson, his fellow American, has also slipped to 14th.

"There is some great talent coming out of the States," Poulter, however, told reporters at Melbourne's Victoria Golf Club.

"I'm not going to say they are in a slump in any way, shape or form, [as] they have some fantastic players. But I think certainly in the next 18 months, two years, we will see a push from those young guys in the States."

Poulter nominated Rickie Fowler as a player to watch, saying the 23 year old had yet to hit his stride on his home circuit despite confirming his promise in October with a thumping six-stroke victory in the Korea Open for his maiden professional title.

"Obviously it won't take him long to start winning plenty of tournaments. He won in Asia, but he hasn't won over there [in the United States]," Poulter said. "I'm sure it won't be long before he makes a hard push up the world rankings."