Advantage to Uncle Sam as Americans dominate world rankings
10 October 2017
While taking a moment to consider the all-time greats to have played golf, there’s a palpable pattern that adorns the list – most of the players who have attained legendary status are American. From Tiger Woods to Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan to Bobby Jones, USA’s influence on the sport is unequivocal.
Despite the rise of European players coming to prominence, we’re currently experiencing a period of US superiority. Dustin Johnson is presently positioned at the pinnacle of the world rankings, and Jordan Spieth is situated in second place, actively pursuing top spot.
The most decorated achievement in Johnson’s career is irrefutable, his remarkable US Open triumph in 2016 captured the hearts of several golf fanatics in his native America. His competitor and fellow countryman, Jordan Spieth have also evoked considerable excitement and amazement during his relatively short career as a professional golfer.
Indeed, the 24 year old has achieved the reputation of being one of the most exciting and adept talents in the world of golf. This status was affirmed in the best possible manner, with Spieth’s indelible Masters triumph in 2015 – the most cherished achievement obtainable. In addition to that dominating victory, the Texas graduate finished in a reputable second place in the PGA Championship – indicative of his undeniable capacity to flourish at the most competitive level of the sport.
His ability to become one of the very best players in golf, and potentially emulate the legacy’s that the likes of Tiger Woods had achieved, manifested itself this year with two major championships. The American won the US Open – as Dustin Johnson obtained in the preceding year – and he was also victorious in the Open Championship.
Collectively, Johnson and Spieth have amassed 31 professional victories between them. A statistic that is demonstrative of their status as the leading sportsmen in their field of expertise. Nonetheless, America’s supremacy in the sport isn’t solely applicable to the top two players; it is also reflected in further detail while assessing the entirety of the rankings.
Currently, four out of the ten golfers included in the men’s world rankings are from America. If you extend the metric further, six of the top 13 golfers in the world were born in the United States of America. Subsequently, almost 50% of all golfers in the top 13 in the world are American, while 40% of the top ten golfers are also American.
As previously mentioned, USA’s influence on golf is unequivocal, and seemingly that impact on the sport is primed to continue while assessing the current climate of golf.
From an individual perspective, the USA have testified their status as a dominant sport within the field, yet they’re also rivalling this standing from a team perspective.
The 41st Ryder Cup held at Hazeltine National Golf Club represented a significant alteration in the balance of power within the sport. Before America’s Ryder Cup success in 2016, team Europe had been victorious for the previous three competitions in succession, a fact that was reflective of their ascendancy. Thus, America’s triumph on home soil in 2016 proved to be exceedingly instrumental in hindering and deconstructing the momentum that Europe had achieved.
Having reversed the balance of power in 2016, and considering the contemporary condition of the world rankings, America is endowed with a position of considerable strength. Their 19-11 points victory in the Presidents Cup serves as an intriguing prelude to next year’s Ryder Cup. If the Americans are successful in their endeavours to maintain their startling form, we could witness a continuation of their recent success with odds of 10/11 to win in France. This could potentially be their opportunity to monopolise the sport and establish a period of continued success.
Once again, USA’s recent superiority in golf was magnified by their dominant display in this year’s Presidents Cup. Approaching the final day of action, America flaunted a domineering 14.5-3.5 lead over the rest of the world, and they required a single point to register their seventh consecutive victory in the tournament.
While the rest of the world battled resolutely and admirably on the Sunday to reduce the extent of the damage that the USA had inflicted upon them, they proved to be powerless in their attempts to negate and control the might of America’s golfing arsenal.