‘Tiger vacuum’ filled by flood of new talent
There will be a huge depth of golfing knowledge amid the galleries of Royal St George's this week but even the keenest statistician might be hard pressed to name the winners of the last 11 major championships.other Updated: Jul 14, 2011 01:26 IST
There will be a huge depth of golfing knowledge amid the galleries of Royal St George's this week but even the keenest statistician might be hard pressed to name the winners of the last 11 major championships.
What makes it such a tricky challenge is that the 11 tournaments have been won by 11 different players in a stark illustration of how dramatically different golf's landscape has become since Tiger Woods slipped from his once-dominant perch.
Rory McIlroy, hot favourite to triumph at the British Open this week, became the 11th when he won the US Open last month. Before him came Charl Schwartzel (Masters), Martin Kaymer (USPGA), Louis Oosthuizen (British Open), Graeme McDowell (US Open), Phil Mickelson (Masters), Yang Yong-eun (US PGA), Stewart Cink (British Open), Lucas Glover (US Open), Angel Cabrera (Masters) and Padraig Harrington (US PGA).
Harrington won the British Open in 2008, which coming after Woods's US Open triumph and Trevor Immelman's victory in the Masters that year makes it 13 different winners of the last 14 majors.
"The game is in a transition and I would really say a transition from Tiger," 18-times major champion Jack Nicklaus said after McIlroy swept through the US Open. "Tiger's still going to be around, but he's going to play against a lot of kids that are 10, 15 years younger than he is."
Those 11 winners include seven different nationalities; eight of the last nine were winning their first major while the four current major holders --- McIlroy, Schwartzel, Kaymer and Oosthuizen --- are all in their twenties, the first time that has happened.
"There are probably a number of reasons that you could argue but certainly the depth of talent is the first and foremost," Mickelson said.