When Webb Simpson won the 2012 U.S. Open, he became the ninth straight first-time major champion. Since Phil Mickelson won the Masters in 2010, every major has given fans a taste of some new blood.
While it is always great to see a tournament like the U.S. Open be incredibly wide open, many fans out there might be hoping to see who the next dominating force might be. With the British Open coming in July, it might be time for one of these recent champions to pick up a second title. We are always looking for the next big thing in golf. While I never want to see the parity go away completely, it would be nice to see someone earn a second major win and stake a claim as the game's next great player.
After his showing at the 2011 U.S. Open, we all thought Rory McIlroy would be the guy to do just that. However, he has had a tough go of things at his four major starts since that historic win. He finished 25th at the 2011 British Open and hasn't been better than 40th since then. His quest for a second straight U.S. Open ended when he missed the cut at Olympic. Keegan Bradley also seemed like a star that was on the right track after winning the 2011 PGA Championship. However, he has not finished better than 27th in this two major starts since. So far, those two young stars haven't come anywhere near a second major title.
In 2012, we have gotten close to a repeat major winner. Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open winner, lost in a playoff at the Masters in April. Meanwhile, Graeme McDowell nearly forced a playoff for what would have been his second U.S. Open title in three years. Those aren't the players we expected to break through a second time, but they are proving that past champions still have a place at the biggest events.
Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson both have star potential, but they will need at least a second major title in order for anyone to put them in a class with Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson. The smart money suggests that they won't get that title at the British Open, but you never know. At the end of the day, it would be nice to see at least one golfer start making a push toward true greatness.* - Mark Paul is an avid golf fan. He has watched and played the game since high school.