The Claret Jug has been Americanized.
And who can blame it? You spend the better part of a decade somewhere foreign, you're bound to pick up their customs, conform to their lifetsyle.
The Claret Jug is losing touch with its European roots.
Europeans cant win the U.S. Open. Thats a fact. There are 34 consecutive years of proof to validate that statement. Why cant they win? There are several theories: Flashy Europeans cant stand the banality and the severity of a U.S. Open set-up; theyre just not accustomed to those conditions; just plain bad luck.
Americans can win the British Open. That, too, is a fact. Seven of the last nine Open champions have an American passport in their pocket. Why do they win? The theories are few.
That I dont know, said a shoulder-shrugging Tiger Woods, who won the 2000 British Open at St. Andrews. I just dont have an answer for that one.
He wasnt the only player at a loss for a concrete explanation.
I don't know if there's a reason for it, if you can point at any one thing, said Davis Love III, who tied for fourth last year at Royal St. Georges. I think it's just happenstance.
But there has to be a reason, right? There has to be some kind of explanation.
I just think things run in streaks, said Jim Furyk, who has a pair of top-5 finishes at the British.
You would think that some of the Irish and English and Scottish players would have the best luck over there because a lot of them probably grew up in those conditions and those styles of courses more often than us, but I don't know. I know there's a lot of talent, big talent pool to draw from American players.
It's probably just streaky.
Americans have streaked at the British before. From 1975-83, they won eight of nine Open Championships. But five of those victories came courtesy of Tom Watson.
During this nine-year stretch, however, there have been not only seven American winners, but seven different Americans winners.
The only non-Americans to win during this time frame are Paul Lawrie in 1999, at an absurdly set up Carnoustie, and Ernie Els at Muirfield in 2002.
So, over the last three decades, Americans have dominated the British during two separate nine-year periods of time. But what about the 11 years between Watsons 83 victory and John Dalys 95 triumph?
From 1984-94, Americans won just one British Open. And were it not for Mark Calcavecchia besting Greg Norman and Wayne Grady in a playoff at Royal Troon in 1989, they would have been shut out completely.
Troon, in Ayrshire, Scotland, has been very hospitable to American visitors.
Englishman Arthur G. Havers was the first Troon champion, in 1923. South African Bobby Locke was the second, in 1950.
Its since been all Red, White and Blue.
Arnold Palmer won his second straight British Open at Troon in 1962. Tom Weiskopf won in 73; Watson won five Opens at five different venues, one of them at Troon in 82; Calcavecchia and Leonard were victorious in 89 and 97, respectively.
Americans have dominated the Micro (at Troon) for over 40 years and the Macro (the Open itself) for nearly 10. Are they better wind players? Better at controlling their trajectory? Better ball-strikers? Better escape artists?
Maybe it's because they're just better overall, on the whole (10 of the top 20 players on the Official World Golf Ranking are American). Furyk probably hit the nail on the head when he said that Americans have a big talent pool upon which to draw.
Aside from Ben Curtis a year ago, some major U.S. names have won this major championship.
Daly was a bit of a surprise when he won at St. Andrews in '95, but he did have a PGA Championship to his credit. Tom Lehman had four top-3 finishes in majors when he won at Royal Lytham in '96, and eventually became the No. 1 player in the world. Justin Leonard was a consistent top-20 player and a multiple PGA Tour winner when he claimed his first major at Troon in '97. Mark O'Meara was the Masters champion and finished second in the world rankings in '98, the year he also won at Royal Birkdale. Tiger Woods was the No. 1 player -- in any sport -- when he buried the field at St. Andrews in 2000. David Duval was a former No. 1 and among the best players never to have won a major when he shed that label at Lytham in 2001.
And then there was Curtis at Royal St. George's in 2003. There's really no explanation for that one.
Beyond the British, Americans are now winning more often than not in each of the other three major championships, as well.
Americans have won six of the last 10 Masters Tournaments, six of the last 10 U.S. Opens and seven of the last eight PGA Championships.
But those are home wins. Youre not supposed to hand out similar beatings on the road.
Whatever the reasoning ' whether happenstance or just happening to have the best collection of players in the world, it is what it is: American supremacy overseas ' at least for this moment in time.
It just happens to be that way for right now, Furyk said. Of course being from the United States, more power to us. I'm happy to see it.
Email your thoughts to Mercer Baggs