Watching the world number one and two fall at the first hurdle in last week’s Open was a sorry sight for those who had hyped up the English challenge.
Luke Donald and Lee Westwood missed the cut having failed to handle the horrendous weather conditions at Royal St Georges, and the world numbers one and two watched their dignity, and the punters money disappear.
With Darren Clarke becoming the third Northern Irish Major winner in the last 13 months, the pressure on the English golfers to win a Major is increasing all the time.
Despite Donald being the world number one, it’s Westwood, who has finished third or better in six of his last 13 Majors, who carries the brunt of the British expectations.
So often the nearly man, Westwood will take heart from Clarke’s victory at Sandwich last week as he searches to end his Major drought.
It took Clarke 53 attempts to win his first Major, and the man who is a very good friend of Westwood’s believes the US PGA Championship will be the right time for Westwood.
Just like Graeme McDowell’s 2010 US Open victory inspired Rory McIlroy to win his first Major at the 2011 US Open, Westwood can take inspiration from Clarke’s triumph and use that as the motivation to finally break his Major duck.
“I’m sure that Lee will win majors,” said Clarke, “and not just a major.”
“Things haven’t gone his way, but I’m sure that they will because he’s too good a player for them not to. The game is fickle. It hammers you, it hammers you and then it gives you something.
“It’s been tough for him. Rory winning and now me winning will be hard on him. But if I was a gambling man, which I’m not, I would have a substantial bet on Lee Westwood winning the PGA.”
Westwood is 14/1 to win the US Open and finds just Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy ahead of him in the PGA Championship betting.