English golfers to end 40 year US Open drought?

No English golfer has won the US Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970, but with Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose in top form, 2012 could be the year

Luke Donald

Over the last couple of years the majors have been dominated by Northern Irishman, while English golf fans have had to satisfy themselves with a sting of top-ten finishes and a series of near misses.

The last Englishman to win a US Open was Tony Jacklin in 1970 and the last to win a major Nick Faldo in 1996, but no one would be surprised if an Englishman's name is engraved on the US Open trophy come Sunday night.

Current world number one Luke Donald is one of the favourites for the tournament, and rightly so. The man from High Wycombe was in imperious form as he strolled to victory at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, displaying in abundance the skills that have propelled him to the top of the world rankings.

Whilst Donald isn't the longest on tour, he has improved his driving accuracy considerably of late. He is currently the 8th straightest on the PGA Tour and, perhaps more significantly, 3rd in strokes gained - putting. His remarkable consistency, coupled with improved driving and phenomenal putting and chipping (he leads the tour in scrambling), could see him lift his first US Open trophy on Sunday.

Fellow Englishman and world number two Lee Westwood has the perfect game for any US Open. He is the best ball striker in the world game, and leads both the PGA and European Tour in greens in regulation. If Westwood can find some form and a bit of luck with the short stick, he will be a force to be reckoned with.

Justin Rose is the third Englishman in the world's top ten, rising to number six after his tie for second place at the BMW PGA. Along with Donald, he has turned into one of golf's most consistent performers and, with four victories in the last 16 months, he is arguably the form player in world golf. He currently leads the European Tour Race to Dubai standings and is third in greens in regulation percentage on the PGA Tour. He is a streaky putter, but if he has a good week on the greens, he won't be far away.

The potential for an english major winner at San Francisco's Olympic club is in plain view; all that remains to be seen is how well Donald, Westwood and Rose deal with the pressure of being labelled as favourites for one of the biggest tournaments of the year.

Nick Bonfield
Content Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email nick.bonfield@futurenet.com with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x