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Golf: Jacklin says England can end 25-year wait

Golf: Jacklin says England can end 25-year wait
From Reuters - July 16, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) - Former British Open winner Tony Jacklin borrowed a remark made famous by an erstwhile prime minister when he looked ahead to this week's Royal Birkdale major and declared that English golf had "never had it so good".

Twelve Englishmen currently occupy a place in the top 100 of the world rankings, led by former U.S. Open champion Justin Rose at number 12, the in-form Tommy Fleetwood at 14 and the Arizona-based Paul Casey at 16.

Tyrrell Hatton has made rapid recent progress and occupies 23rd spot while Matthew Fitzpatrick is 38th, last year's U.S. Masters winner Danny Willett is 40th and Ross Fisher 46th.

Luke Donald (90) failed to qualify but Lee Westwood (57), Chris Wood (63), Andy Sullivan (70) and Ian Poulter (85) go into the third major championship of the year trying to become the first English winner of the Open since Nick Faldo in 1992.

"We have never had it so good in England," Jacklin told Reuters in an interview, repeating a statement made by Prime Minister Harold Macmillan that painted a rosy picture of Britain's economy in 1957.

"We have got as big a chance of pulling it off this year as we have ever had. We have got so many world-class players."

Faldo won each of his three Opens in Scotland and Jacklin was the last Englishman to triumph on home soil when he defeated New Zealander Bob Charles by two strokes at Royal Lytham and St Annes in 1969.

"Justin will obviously be our trump card," said Jacklin, "but I can also see the likes of Fitzpatrick and Sullivan doing well.

Steady Players

"Those two are the sort of steady players who could thrive on a par-70 course like Birkdale where you need to plot your way around and display plenty of patience."

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