Monday 23 July 2007

What was that, Mr. Faldo?

I was delighted to see two Europeans at the top of the leader board at the the end of this weekend's Open championship in Carnoustie, especially after Nick Faldo's comments during the build-up. I was even more delighted that Padraig Harrington went on to lift his first major (first of many I hope).

Faldo's remarks that European players are "too nice" to win majors may have had a tinge of truth in it. The Americans, along with guys like Els, Goosen and Singh, have definitely had the upper hand in the majors. Their focus and drive down the stretch has been slightly superior. I'm not sure how much this relates to them being nice guys, or not, as it may be. I certainly don't think winning a major will make Padraig less of a nice guy - he is after all one of the nicest guys on the tour.

Eight years without a European major winner was too long, but during that time a lot of young golfers have been building up their game. Europe has had an iron grip on the Ryder Cup, and Europeans have been having some good success on the US PGA tour through the likes of Harrington, Garcia, Donald et al.

As for Sergio, his time will come. It's easy to commiserate with him when you consider some of his near misses, but he needs to look at his two-over-par final round of 73 and know that's where he lost it, not in the play-off. I don't' have the stats to hand but I remember reading that he has a poor record in the final round of majors. Once he sorts that out I'm sure he'll win his fair share.

But kudos to Harrington. Many would have folded following two trips to Barry Burn. He didn't. He held his nerve and deserved his win. I can't wait to see how he kicks on from this and I'd love to see him win at Augusta next year.

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