English golfers back on top

Published 23/02/2010 10:34:37

It's been a long time out in the cold for English golfers; plenty of hope and support, but no silverware to back it up. That changed this week as Ian Poulter won the World Matchplay from fellow Englishman Paul Casey.


That makes three English players in the top 10 of the world's best golfers - a far cry from 10 years ago when only two players were in the top 100. Westwood, Poulter and Casey make up 4, 5 and 6 in the rankings. A total of nine Englishmen were in the field, again stark contrast from 10 years ago when only Westwood and Nick Faldo were present.


"I just think that there's been a lot of great talent in England for such a long time," Ian Poulter said. "And it's so nice to see guys actually deliver on the golf course. We've been waiting for a long time." 


Poulter is perhaps more famous for his outspoken attitude and outrageous dress-sense but there has always been a feeling in Europe that if he had just a little of the mental game of a Tiger Woods or a Nick Faldo at the majors, he'd surely have broken his duck.


"Sometimes people don't appreciate how good English golf is at the minute and it probably doesn't get the credit it deserves in the general sports media. They highlight players in other sports where we have one in the top 100. In golf they get overlooked a bit and I don't think we should." Lee Westwood said.


However the last Englishman to win a major was Nick Faldo, as far back as 1996. Sure, Poulter finished runner-up in 2008 at Birkdale and Westwood himself has challenged on the final day, but there seems to be an inferiority complex amongst English players. Casey, Westwood and Poulter have been much-fancied for a long time but even in recent Tiger-less majors, they have failed to capitalise.


With a trangressional Tiger still out of the picture, who'd bet against one of England's three mustketeers donning a green jacket at Augusta in April?


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