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The 148th Open Royal Portrush

Major dominance


American golfers targeting clean sweep

Brooks Koepka and his coach watching a shot
In 2019, the majors to date have been the domain of the American golfers with The 148th Open providing the opportunity of an historic clean sweep.

An ongoing sub-plot this week will be whether an American can follow in the footsteps of Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka and Gary Woodland by claiming the final major of 2019.

If that does happen, then all four majors will have been won by men from the same nation for the first time since 1982, when Craig Stadler won the Masters, Tom Watson clinched The Open and US Open and Raymond Floyd triumphed at the PGA Championship.

With the likes of Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and the aforementioned 2019 major-winning trio all in the field at Royal Portrush, the Americans have a genuine chance to continue their dominance.

In addition to all three this year, there has been an American victor in nine of the last ten major championships – Italian Francesco Molinari the lone exception at last year’s Open – and questions as to the source of the success have been commonplace so far this week.

Here’s what the players have said when posed with the query:

Brooks Koepka – winner of four of the last nine majors he’s competed in said: “I have no idea. I have no idea. There's so many good guys that come out of college I guess and, they're ready to play.

“With the younger generation – I don't know why that is but these guys just come out and they're ready.

“And as far as the Americans, I'm sure we've gone through a spell where it hasn't been that way. Everything goes in trends and I'm sure in a few years it will go the other way, that's just how it is.” Brooks Koepka
Gary Woodland – 2019 US Open winner: “I like the trend, it's obviously good. The game is in a great spot.

“You have a lot of young guys, Justin [Thomas], [Jordan] Spieth, all these guys that have won. But you've still got a lot of Europeans and people from all over the world.

“Rory [McIlroy], obviously this is a huge week for him. So I anticipate there will be some fireworks out there for him this week.”

England’s Justin Rose – 2013 US Open champion: “The American boys are pretty good, there's no doubt. I think that the aggressive style of golf that they've been playing has sort of contributed to that.

“Brooks [Koepka] has had a fair few of those, so he's obviously on an awesome run but other than that, I don't really think there's a reason why.

““Francesco [Molinari] won at The Open, then I could have easily won the last time out at Pebble Beach. Rory [McIlroy] is a threat whenever he wants to be, so it's a cycle. That's a nice run and hopefully it's coming to an end!”” Justin Rose
Whatever the reason, it’s not in doubt that players from the rest of the world will have their work cut out to repel the American onslaught at Portrush this week and the battle of the nations should make for a fascinating storyline.

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