Will the barren run end at last? There have been just two English wins in last 96 majors but 13-strong contingent are in with fighting chance at US Open
- Lack of major wins by English players in the last 20 years is pitiful and puzzling
- There have been two wins from 96 majors since Sir Nick Faldo’s glory years
- An amazing 13 players have made the starting line-up for the US Open this week
When Justin Rose lifted the US Open trophy following a memorable final round at Merion in 2013, it appeared not only a personal triumph but an inspirational one for English golf.
Much is made of how a major success can rub off on the winner’s peers and so we sat back and waited for Luke Donald, Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood to follow in his footsteps. And waited…
This will be the 28th major to be staged since Rose’s victory with just a solitary English triumph — for Danny Willett at the 2016 Masters.
Justin Rose is among the 13 English players in the field for the US Open at Winged Foot
That makes it two victories from the last 96 majors, since the end of Sir Nick Faldo’s glory years.
When you look at the calibre of English players over the past 20 years it is a return both pitiful and puzzling. England has had more world No 1s — three — during the past decade than majors won.
Indeed, there is barely a player in history who has played in more majors without winning than the aforementioned quartet. Who would have believed Donald, Casey, Poulter and Westwood would rack up more than 200 majors between them without a single success?
Looking down the list of winners during the 20-year stretch, most astute judges would opine that a good percentage are not as talented. Even Rose, with one win in 64 appearances, will feel he has underachieved if he doesn’t add to his total.
Paul Casey and Co have struggled to get their hands on major championships
Still, as they say, hope springs eternal. One way in which England is punching well above its weight is the fact an amazing 13 players have made the starting line-up on Thursday — and all of them are more than capable of getting into contention.
Why not Andy Sullivan making a charge, following his fine form on the European Tour’s UK swing, or Tom Lewis, whose game looks made for a US Open?
As time runs short for the five elder statesmen, so the prospects for the next generation appear just as promising. Tommy Fleetwood has already played his part in the litany of near misses for Englishmen and, at 29, is still younger than when Faldo started his winning streak.
Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick have the heart and the game to win majors.
Yes, we know they’re damn hard things to win. But wouldn’t it be nice if, over the next decade, it didn’t prove quite so hard?
Tommy Fleetwood is still just 29 and will have plenty of chances to win a major
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