Where will the next European triumph in the Major Championships come from?

We take a look at the leading contenders from this side of the Atlantic to next claim one of the sport’s biggest titles.

It's a bit soon for European golf to be getting twitchy, but the continent's golfer's performances in the Majors have not been great since the re-emergence from lockdown.

At least in terms of wins.

Consider this - up until the end of 2019 there were 17 European Major victories in 49 starts (a rate of roughly one in three).

Since the start of the delayed 2020 Major season? Just one win in eight.

Where might the next triumph come from? Let's take a look at the cases of the leading contenders, starting with the seven Euro golfers currently in the world's top 30.

Jon Rahm

The good news - The Spaniard has become a relentless performer in the Majors. He had his initial problems, making no top 20 in his first six, but followed with nine top 10s in his next 15 starts. Last year he never finished outside the top eight and, of course, landed a breakthrough victory in the US Open.

The bad news - Throughout all of 2022 he has cut a grumpy figure and is struggling with his putter. He's lost the top spot in the world rankings and could only manage T27th at the Masters

If the win comes … The Old Course, host of this year's 150th Open, looks made for him. He plays links well and he has the inspiration of Seve to fuel him.

Viktor Hovland

The good news - The Norwegian won twice late in 2021 and then again in the first month of 2022 to confirm that he is one of the world's finest prospects.

The bad news - He's completed eight Majors (he had to withdraw from one with an eye injury) and he's always made the cut, always made the top 40 in fact, but he 's yet to crack the top 10, and he's never contended. Most major winners have a taste of contending before they win. Hovland hasn't got to basecamp yet, never mind the top of the mountain.

If the win comes … The PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Oklahoma (his home state and where he went to college) is perfect for him (but maybe too soon).

Rory McIlroy

The good news - He left the Masters on a huge high after posting a tournament record-equalling final round of 64 for solo second.

The bad news - It remains the case that he hasn't won a Major since 2014.

If the win comes … if it is damp and there is no wind at the US Open, then The Country Club at Brookline should be up his street. He's also very fond of The Old Course.

Tyrrell Hatton

The good news - He's finished top 10 in five Majors.

The bad news - He hasn't done so since the 2019 Open (and has only finished top 30 once in the last eight).

If the win comes … He's an excellent link performer and has proved it in the Open with tied sixth at Royal Troon in 2016 and at Royal Portrush in 2019. Moreover, he's a two-time Alfred Dunhill Links Championship winner in St Andrews.

Matt Fitzpatrick

The good news - He's a seven-time DP World Tour winner and has been making top 10s for fun on the PGA Tour this year.

Fitzpatrick at the Open
Fitzpatrick at the Open

The bad news - He has a terrible Major record. He's played 24 of them as a professional and the only top 10 came in his first, way back in 2016.

If the win comes … it would be something of a surprise. Like Hovland he needs to find basecamp before he eyes the summit.

Paul Casey

The good news - The veteran has finished top 20 in five of his last seven Major Championship starts with three top 10s.

The bad news - He is a veteran (not many 44-year-old win Majors, never mind a first one) and injury prevented him starting in the Masters.

If the win comes … glory at the PGA? He was tied second in 2020 and tied fourth last year. It's more likely, however, that his time has gone.

Shane Lowry

The good news - The Irishman is getting really good at peaking for the Majors (he won the 2019 Open and was T12th on defence, he was tied fourth in last year's PGA Championship, and tied third in this year's Masters) and he's in a great run of form (eight top 15s in his last nine starts).

The bad news - At the moment there aren't that many.

If the win comes … if he can maintain the run of form then the windy conditions in Oklahoma might suit. He's another who loves The Old Course.

Fliers

Scotland's Robert MacIntyre has opened his Open logbook with two top 10s and his Masters account with two top 25s and Tommy Fleetwood is yet another fan of The Old Course.

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