American losing streak continues in Kapalua
Monday, January 11, 2010
West Maui weather patterns aren’t the only odd phenomenon surrounding the SBS Championship at Kapalua. An American hasn’t won the tournament since Jim Furyk in 2001. That year Furyk became the sixth consecutive Yank to take the PGA Tour’s season opener for winners only.
Since then trophies have gone to Sergio Garcia of Spain (2002), Ernie Els of South Africa (’03), Stuart Appleby of Australia (’04-06), Vijay Singh of Fiji (’07), Daniel Chopra of Sweden (’07) and Aussie Geoff Ogilvy last year and Sunday.
Golf has a few of these weird streaks. For example, Tony Jacklin (1970) is the lone European to have won the U.S. Open since 1927. One major reason is that for decades large numbers of Europeans didn’t play the Open.
As to why Americans haven’t won at Kapalua, a couple of things: Tiger Woods hasn’t played there since 2005, Phil Mickelson since 2001. And overall, American golfers aren’t as dominant as they were a generation ago.
U.S. players fill seven of the top 20 spots in the Official World Golf Ranking. When the OWGR debuted in 1986, 16 Americans ranked among the top 22.