Sympatico: The Decline of the American Golf Empire

My second U.S. Open preview is live on Sympatico:

Luke Donald isn’t big on expectations.

Despite being ranked as the top golfer in the world, and in the midst of an incredible streak that has seen him out of the Top 10 only twice in his last 16 tournaments, the Englishman knows that he won’t be handed the U.S. Open title this week.

While he may not expect to win, he does feel he should be hanging around the top of the leader board on Sunday at Congressional. And as anyone who has ever watched a U.S. Open is aware – anything can happen when a golfer is within a couple of shots of the lead in the battle of skill, perseverance and patience over the final nine holes.

“It’s dangerous to go and expect too much and come to a tournament expecting to win,” says Donald in his typically understated fashion. “But I expect to do what I know I can do. And obviously the goal is always to have a chance on Sunday and to contend. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, and there’s no reason why I can’t do it this week.”

No reason indeed. Though he’s far from the longest driver on an awfully long golf course this week, his statistics otherwise show no weaknesses. He’s a deft putter, and accurate driver and exacting with his irons. In other words, he would seem like an obvious choice to contend even if he wasn’t playing the best golf on earth, which he has been for much of the last year.

“I knew he was a good player, I didn’t realize he was that good,” says defending U.S. Open champ Graeme McDowell.

The column is continued here.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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