Tony Jacklin, the only European golfer to win either the United States Open or US PGA championship in the last 72 years, has given Justin Rose and others something to think about.
As 22-year-old Rose prepares for his first major in America, the US PGA championship starting at Hazeltine in Minnesota, Jacklin said he believed that the best way to emulate him was to play full-time in the States. It was in 1970 that Jacklin added the US Open crown to his Open title the previous summer –and it was at Hazeltine that he did it.
"Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s I realised that the only way to break through in America was to go over there and play full-time," he said. "I still believe that is the case. You can't expect to hit–and–run over there, or at least it's very difficult.
"That's why I think someone like Sergio [Garcia] is our best bet to win. He has committed himself to the US Tour and might well benefit as a result.
"I don't want to do the European Tour down, but if you want to succeed in America you have got to go over for a prolonged period," Jacklin added. "The foreigners that have done the best there, the likes of Ernie Els, Greg Norman, Vijay Singh, have all done that."
This week, Ryder Cup Dane Thomas Bjorn said he was "seriously considering" taking up membership of the US Tour, but he also intends playing in the European Tour as well.
That is mainly for family reasons – he has a young daughter – and Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke all now seem committed to keeping Europe their main base and travelling to America just around the time of the majors.
Rose, though, has not started his own family yet and after a wonderful season that has already seen him win four times around the world – twice in South Africa, once in Japan and then the British Masters at Woburn – now might not be a bad time for him to consider the best route forward in his career.
Jacklin's Hazeltine victory was the last US Open win by a European, but in the US PGA nobody has triumphed since Scottish-born Tommy Armour in 1930, and he was a US citizen by then. "Colin [Montgomerie] and Nick [Faldo] have also been unlucky on a number of occasions," Jacklin said, "but as far as I'm concerned the main reason is that our players don't go over early enough. They don't get acclimatised."Reuse content