“Webb Simpson became the 15th different winner in the last 15 Majors when he won a dramatic US Open in San Francisco overnight. He is also the ninth consecutive first-time champion.”
Neil McLeman presents his case in, “Why golf's unpredictability adds to its excitement… Which is more entertaining right now: golf or tennis? Which do fans prefer, glorious uncertainty in an open field or class shining through?”
Compare the 15 “different winners” with, “Two players have contested the last four finals - Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal - while along with Roger Federer they have won an extraordinary 28 of the past 29 Grand Slam titles.”
Of course, and once upon a time, “It was (predictable) for a while when Tiger Woods won seven out of 11 Majors around the turn of the century - and completed the Tiger Slam at the 2001 Masters to hold all four. But in a historical context, such domination was so rare.”
The golf media have presented the “15” fact as if it’s something unusual however the lads at Geoff Shackelford’s blog have done their homework.
Tom Ierubino states, “there was a stretch of 18 different winners from the 1983 U.S. Open through the 1987 British Open.” And commenting on the recent run Stord reminds us, “The really unique part of this streak is that none of the guys had won one (or, for most of them, had even come close) in the past.”
Ron Sirak, “takes a deeper look at the 15 straight different major winners streak and when you see the list and see how little those winners have done since their breakthrough, it's impossible not to wonder what is going on.”
Well Ron, you no longer need to wonder. It’s the nature of the beast when it comes to winning Majors.
Although some people would disagree, Ron is sort of right when he writes, “Only a few of those players have emerged as consistent threats since their breakthrough wins. It takes a special kind of player to not be led astray by the spoils of victory. And that is even truer now than it was before Woods helped quadruple prize money on the PGA Tour. It's easier than ever to get rich and lazy.
The distractions that come with winning a major are difficult to juggle: increased media demands, lucrative endorsement opportunities. For some, like Bubba right now, there's also the challenge of trying to balance your professional life with having a family.”
I’m not sure Messrs Harrington, Cabrera, Glover, Cink, Yang, Mickelson, McDowell, Oosthuzien, Kaymer, Schwartzel, McIlroy, Clarke, Bradley, Watson would agree they’ve been, “led astray by the spoils of victory.”
Ron asks, “Are we in a period as we were in 1986, when we said goodbye to Nicklaus and had to wait a decade for the arrival of Woods?”
Yes we may have to wait for a decade nevertheless history does suggest someone will emerge to dominate world golf as did Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods.
Quote of the Day
"I still have the goal to be low amateur, but my new goal now is to win the tournament." – Beau Hossler, the 17-year-old, who didn’t even make top amateur place at the U.S. Open displaying what the Greeks called "hubris".
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