WHAT’S HAPPENED TO THE AMERICANS?
In the last 50 years of the 20th Century, Americans dominated the US Open with an iron fist, but no more
In the last 50 years of the 20th Century, Americans dominated the US Open with an iron fist, only Gary Player, David Graham and Ernie Els (twice) being able to break their vice grip.
But how things have changed.
In the eight years since the turn of the Century, overseas invaders, notably from the Southern Hemisphere, have carried off five of the USA Open titles that have been played for, burly Argentine Angel Cabrera being the latest to do it after holding off two of the US of A’s highest ranked stars, Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk.
Furyk was third behind Phil Michelson heading into the Oakmont battle, but might well find himself in second place again when the latest World Ranking are released, an injury hit Mickelson having missed the cut at Oakmont.
Before Cabrera it was an Australian, Geoff Ogilvie, who won the toughest of all the majors last year, a New Zealander, Michael Campbell, who shocked the field in 2005, and a South African, Retief Goosen, who did the job in 2004 after picking up his first US Open title in 2001.
Tiger Woods won his two US Opens on either side of Goosen’s first win in 2000 and 2002 and Furyk claimed the last US Open to be won by an American in 2003.
In brief that means that Americans have won only three of the eight US Opens contentested since the turn of the Century and if you take their lack of success in the last few Ryder Cups, both at home and away, and put two and two together you get the distinct impression that Americans are starting to lose their grip as the game grows by leaps and bounds all around the world.
Don’t be too surprised to see an Asian invasion of men’s golf in the not too distant future. It’s already happening in women’s golf.
Question is why?
Is the US College factory falling down somehere – none of the last four winners came out of the system.
Or is it perhaps because the large amounts of money that can now be earned by run of the mill professionals who week after week manage OK finishes on the US PGA Tour without ever winning, have reduced the earlier, 20th Century, post depression American hunger for glory.
You tell me.
Neville Leck (Editor)
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