This year’s US Open at Bethpage Black will be the 109th staging of the tournament. The first 16 US Opens were won by Europeans, it was not until John McDermott won at the Chicago Golf Club in 1911 that an American actually won the US Open.
Since then there has been massive domination by the Americans and the Europeans have won it only 4 times since 1920, Ted Ray (Jersey), 1924 Cyril Walker (England), 1925 Willie Macfarlane (Scotland) and 1970 Tony Jacklin (England).
There are more incredible facts about US Open winners, there has never been a winner from continental Europe, while South Africa have held the trophy five times, Gary Player (1965), Ernie Els (1994, 1997) and Retief Goosen (2001, 2004).
While in recent years 4 of the last 5 tournaments have been won by non Americans (Retief Goosen (2004), Michael Campbell (New Zealand 2005), Geoff Ogilvy (Australia 2006), Angel Cabrera (Argentina 2007)) Tiger Woods last year made sure that the trophy was back in American hands.
So why have Europeans done so badly especially during the golden era of the late 1980s and early 1990s?
Well Seve Ballesteros managed a third place in 1987, Nick Faldo a second place in 1988, Ian Woosnam a second place in 1989, Faldo 3rd in 1990, Colin Montgomerie a third place in 1992 a second in 1994, 1997 and of course most recently in 2006.
Each time however it seems that they just failed to cross the line in front.
So could this be the year when a European can claim the trophy for the first time since Jacklin in 1970?
Well with Henrik Stenson winning the TPC and Paul Casey playing brilliantly throughout the year. As well as the unfortunate absence of world number 2 Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods’ misbehaving driver, the chances of an outsider winning the tournament has increased.
Unlike in previous years any European will have to grab any chance they get by both hands and not let the pressure that the American course, players and crowd put on them effect them.