It seems that Americans have lost their position in golf. Northern Ireland-based Rory McIlroy claimed a record-setting wire-to-wire victory in the U.S. Open a few days ago. Apparently, American golfers embarked on a 5-year winless streak at Congressional, with South African Charl Schwartzel, German Martin Kaymer, South African Louis Oosthuizen and Northern Irish Graeme McDowell, and Rory McIlroy being the last U.S. Open champions. This is the largest losing streak for Americans since the Masters was founded in 1934.
Given that three out of four major golf tournaments are held in the US, the shame is double. Are Americans no longer able to win home tournaments?
And it is not everything to this story. Those who would like to see Americans triumph at majors should be patient. McIlroy is just 22 and his best achievements are yet to come. Aussie Jason Day is 23 and also has shown a lot of promise, finishing as a runner-up in two 2011 majors. South African Schwartzel who tied for 9th in the US Open after his Masters victory is 26. In the meantime, the second-best golfer of the Tiger epoch, Phil Mickelson, is 41 now and it seems that his 2010 Masters title may be his last major achievement.
This sad situation might be caused by the college golf system in the US that is not exactly bringing up champions and does not focus on winning. The current champions – McIlroy, Schwartzel and Day – did not play golf in college but turned professionals back in their teenage days and learn to win in pro tournaments.
There is a theory that the villain that could have ‘killed’ American golf is Tiger Woods, even though this might sound odd. He dominated the game when he was still ruling the golf world and other American golfers could not help but feel inferior next to him.
With experts around the world predicting America’s downfall in culture and economics in the 21st century, the situation with golf seems even more depressing.