April 3, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---It was 1999 when Jose Maria Olazabal last donned a Green Jacket. There hasn't been a European since.
Who will be the next? Henrick Stenson? Sergio Garcia?
How about a guy who has eleven wins worldwide? Irishman Padraig Harrington feels that when someone breaks the drought, the flood gates will open.
"The way I see it is, the quicker a European wins a major, the quicker the rest of us will see that and realize...it's like breaking the four minute mile, once one person does it everybody will be able to do it," he said.
That's what happened in the 80's and early 90's when they won ten masters in a 16-year span. And with the European dominance in the last two Ryder Cups, no biggies is hard to believe.
But Harrington knows there's help just a phone call away.
"Why do you think all us golfers need sports psychologists and things? We need our egos massaged as much as anybody else," Harrington said. "We need to be told we can do it, you can win, you're great."
So who will be the next European to win the Masters? Harrington believes it'll be someone who's seen the dark days of the drought.
"I would see more the guy with the disappointments, definitely," he said. "I think very few guys win a major, especially a major like this, that have not had it and let it go. I think Lee Westwood described it best when he was leading going into the back nine: just everything totally changed."