Is it possible that this year’s British Open will end with Americans finishing 1-2?
Three U.S. golfers got off to great starts when Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar each shot five-under 65’s and tied for the first-round lead.
But history shows that a 1-2 American finish in this event is not too far-fetched, especially this year
The last time Americans finished 1-2 in the British Open was in 2009 when Stewart Cink won and Tom Watson finished second. Since 1983, there have been five times when two players from the same country have finished 1-2 in the British Open: 2009 (Cink and Watson), 2006 (Tiger Woods, Chris DiMarco), 1998 (Mark O’Meara, Brian Watts), 1991 (Austrailians Ian Baker-Finch, Mike Harwood) and 1983 (Tom Watson, Andy Bean and Hale Irwin). In addition, in 1996 American Tom Lehman won the event and fellow U.S. golfer Mark McCumber finished in a tie for second with South Africa’s Ernie Els.
But here’s the interesting part of this whole scenario: Of the six times since 1983 that players from the same country have finished 1-2, three of those times the event was held at Royal Birkdale. Guess where this year’s event is being held? You got it… Royal Birkdale!
The Open (British Open golf tournament) begins play today.
The last four winners of this event were first-time winners: Henrik Stenson, Zach Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson. Ernie Els was the last multiple-time winner; he won his second title in 2012 after winning the event in 2002.
There have been four golfers who have been a runner-up twice at The Open since 2000: Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Els and Thomas Bjorn. The last runner-up of the event to then win the title was last year when Stenson won. He was the runner-up in 2013.