With the US Open looming on the horizon there is one man that will be forever remembered for his victory at Hazeltine in 1970. Tony Jacklin CBE will be arriving in England in early August to compete in the 2010 Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship being held at Nailcote Hall, Warwickshire.
Jacklin is the last Englishman to have won the event in America and at the time of winning it he became a pioneer for the game of golf in Europe having won the Open Championship in 1969 at Royal Lytham. He set a precedent for European golf spurring on greats such as Sandy Lyle and Nick Faldo to challenge the long-established American dominance in the game.
Playing amongst the true greats of the game including Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus the Englishman braved winds of over 40 mph to do the unthinkable and win the US Open in 1970. He was the first Englishman to win the title for 50 years and led for all four rounds. The newly crowned US Open Champion went on to describe his time at Hazeltine as being,
‘The best week of golf I have ever had in my life’.
When asked about the English contingent this year at Pebble Beach, Jacklin said;
“There are a handful of English players that are capable of winning the US Open, but the question for them is whether they are able to close the deal. In my opinion, Lee Westwood, Paulo Casey, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy all have the game to win."
When asked why no Englishman has won it since his famous win at Hazeltine, Jacklin responded,
“There have been very few that focused their efforts on the US PGA tour over the last 40 years as I did back in the late 60's and early 70's - this greatly reduces their ability to withstand the pressure involved in winning majors.”
Jacklin went on by giving his thoughts on who would take the title at Pebble Beach this year and how Tiger woods would fair,
“I believe Phil Mickelson will take the honours, his performance in Augusta was sublime.
On Woods he said, “I wish Tiger well this week and we all know he loves Pebble Beach, but it has been a turbulent time for him of late which may interfere with his efforts.
Jacklin revealed his love of the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship.
“Having thoroughly enjoyed the last two years hosting the British Par 3 I am very much looking forward to returning again this year. Nailcote Hall Hotel has idyllic surroundings and we are always treated like royalty by our hosts Rick and Sue Cressman.”