Golf: Power Ranking the First-Time Major Winners of 2011
This year saw four different men earn his first major, which displayed a strong deviation from the norm, which sees golfers such as Tiger Woods always winning.
These victories were extraordinary. Unfortunately, these athletes will have to struggle to avoid the label of "one major wonder".
So, which wins were more impressive than the others, and how predictable is it that any of the four players will win again in the future?
4. Darren Clarke's British Open Victory
With an incredibly challenging link's golf course at Royal St. George's, Darren handled his four days there quite impressively.
Showing no signs of letting up and excluding pressure from his thoughts, he was finally able to win a major at the age of 42.
He won by three strokes over the very talented Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, and he also took the spotlight off Thomas Bjorn early on in the tournament.
3. Keegan Bradley's PGA Championship Win
In his first ever major start, this American took home the trophy.
He also set the record as being the first golfer to ever win a major with a long putter, which is historic in its own right looking toward the future.
This win came in a three-hole playoff against fellow American Jason Dufner. The reason this win was not incredibly substantial was because Dufner choked big time, while Bradley did not play consistently out of his element to win the title.
Nevertheless, he got the job done in one try while Darren Clarke took 65 tries, so Keegan Bradley is ranked higher than the Northern Irishman on this list.
2. Charl Schwartzel's Masters Title
This South African man won by sheer talent and execution—not because Rory McIlroy fell apart at the Augusta Masters.
Hitting more trick shots and providing more highlight reels for golf fans everywhere, he simply was "on" and had a phenomenal deal of luck on his side after he made the cut.
Schwartzel won by two strokes over Jason Day and Adam Scott, who are both very capable Australians also looking for their first major titles.
1. Rory McIlroy's U.S. Open Blowout
The incredibly talented prodigy that is Rory McIlroy has choked before in big tournaments and had to prove to his critics that he had it in him to brush off the pressure and win a major.
He did not just win over the rest of the field—he demolished them.
In fact, Jason Day, the runner-up, had to accept the bitter truth that Rory won by an eight-stroke margin (a record for a major tournament) and was merely too impressive to compete with.
One can conclude from his victory that he is probably the most promising golfer of the bunch and is the most likely to win another major (or many more) in the future.
This article was written by Jeff Cohn, a sports writer and enthusiast.
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