Americans can pull off major sweep at PGA for first time since 1982

MOSEL, Wis. — From the Media-Will-Love-It-But-Players-Couldn’t-Care-Less Dept., we give you to topic of Americans sweeping all four majors in a season for the first time in 33 years.

Zach Johnson, whose victory at last month’s British Open, made Americans 3-for-3 in the majors this year, perhaps spoke for the huge majority of his colleagues when he brushed it aside. “Nothing more than happenstance,” Johnson said.

Of course, it helps when one guy — in this case, Jordan Spieth — wins the first two majors of the year and “could have won a third,” Johnson said, to give deceptive balance to the storyline. But to Johnson’s point that it’s a non-story with players, remember when we were last at Whistling Straits for a PGA Championship?

The year was 2010 and a 25-year-old German named Martin Kaymer won the PGA Championship in a playoff. Not only was he the first European-born player to win the PGA since Tommy Armour in 1930, but Kaymer made it three straight major triumphs for internationals; Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland had won the U.S. Open and South African Louis Oosthuizen the Open Championship.

When South African Charl Schwartzel won the 2011 Masters and Northern Irishmen Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke followed with triumphs at the U.S. Open and British Open, those who live beneath the red, white, and blue were miserable. Americans were 0-for-6 since Phil Mickelson won the 2010 Masters.

“We were worried about American golf,” Johnson said. “I wasn’t worried about it at all.”

Just as he isn’t raising any toasts to the supremacy of American golf, given the possibility that exists this week. Should an American win the 97th PGA at Whistling Straits it would be the first time since 1982 that all four majors were won by Americans; that year, Craig Stadler won the Masters, Tom Watson captured both Opens, and Raymond Floyd raced to the PGA title.

“You can try and pick it apart and find a cycle,” Johnson said, shaking his head. “I don’t think there’s any rhyme or reason to it.”

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