Europeans quietly enjoying PGA Tour success

By Ron Furlong
lee westwood(Photo: Steven Newton)

lee westwood

The Europeans have been quietly winning a host of tournaments this year, and the success is not limited to just the European tour.

European-born players have won 10 of the last 13 PGA tour events, including the US Open. This past weekend it was Sweden’s Carl Pettersson who won the Canadian Open on the PGA tour.

The Swede, who barely made the cut on Friday, shot a 60 on Saturday and continued the hot play to win on Sunday.

Pettersson, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose (twice), Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy are some of the European players who have tasted victory in North America this year.

And then there is the US Open winner Graeme McDowell, who went into Pebble Beach and stole one from the Americans.

With the PGA Championship looming next month, the final major of the year, it would be hard to not put your money on a foreign winner.

Last year it was South Korea’s Y.E. Yang, the year before Ireland’s Padraig Harrington.

At the British Open at St Andrews the top five finishers were all European, with Retief Goosen of South Africa sixth.

The top Americans were Nick Watney and Sean O’Hair in a tie for seventh. The world’s top two ranked players, Americans Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, finished 23rd and 48th respectively.

In a Ryder Cup year this has to be good news for the Europeans as they attempt to win the trophy back.

Many of the top Americans are simply not playing great golf at the moment. Woods and Mickelson are both struggling, Jim Furyk started the year out well but has done little lately, while Anthony Kim has missed two months with a thumb injury.

Steve Stricker has probably been the most consistent American big name this year, but it is unlikely his name will send shivers through the European camp.

The Ryder Cup takes place at Celtic Manor Resort in Wales and begins in early October.

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