The windswept links courses of the Scottish and English coastline have proven surprisingly hospitable terrain for American golfers.  

Between John Daly's win at St Andrews in 1995 and Tiger Woods scooping his third Claret Jug in Hoylake in 2006, US golfers had a better record at the Open Championship than at any other major, significantly better than their own national championship in the same timespan. 

Their dominance has abated since then, though Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth have all got their hands on the Claret Jug in the past ten years. 

However, if a US player wins this week in Portrush, then the travelling contingent from the other side of the Atlantic will achieve something they haven't pulled off in 37 years. 

For the first time since 1982, American golfers will have won all four majors in the calendar year.

The major winners that year were Craig Stadler ('The Walrus') who crawled over the line at the Masters, initially blowing a six-shot lead with seven holes to play before edging out Dan Pohl in a playoff. 

Tom Watson took home both Opens, winning the US Open at Pebble Beach and the Open Championship at Troon the following month. 

Raymond Floyd completed the set by winning the PGA Championship after carding an opening-round 63. 

Complete American hegemony at the majors used not to be so unusual. Between 1971 and 1978, Gary Player was the only non-American to win a major championship. 

Prior to the 1980s, when transatlantic jaunts weren't such a regular feature of golf, only Tony Jacklin won a major on American soil - the 1970 US Open.

Seve Ballesteros led the European charge in the 80s, winning the continent's first US Masters title in 1980.

European golf enjoyed its heyday in the late 80s and early 90s when it established surprising dominance in the Masters.

Between 1988 and 1996, European players won seven of all nine green jackets on offer, Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam, Bernard Langer, José María Olazábal and Nick Faldo (3) all won around Augusta.

In 1994, for the first, and only, time ever, no American player won any of the four majors. The entity known as 'The Rest of the World' deserves more credit for inflicting this misery on the US, with Ernie Els winning the US Open and then world No 1 Nick Price winning back-to-back majors at the Open Championship and the PGA Championship. Olazabal made sure Europe got in on the act at Augusta. 

It was during the North's bonanza at the beginning of this decade that American golf endured another major slump. 

US players suffered a six-major long drought between the 2010 US Open and the 2011 British Open. Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke all enjoyed major success in that span with Martin Kaymer and the South African pair of Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel winning the 2010 Open Championship and the 2011 US Masters. 

25-year-old rookie Keegan Bradley spared America another major duck with victory in the PGA at Atlanta Athletic Club.

Since the 1980s breakthrough, Europe's longest drought occurred in the first half of the noughties. After Paul Lawrie's Open Championship win at Carnoustie in 1999 (the Scot has since talked of the psychological pain that came with having his achievement overlooked amid all the hoopla over Van de Velde's collapse), no European player won a major championship until Padraig Harrington won the Claret Jug at the same venue eight years later. 

Thankfully, for those Ryder Cup warriors who find American hegemony too hard to stomach, 'The Rest of the World' came good again, with the likes of Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Mike Weir, Michael Campbell and Geoff Ogilvy snaffling the odd major in four to prevent a US clean sweep. 

But is there someone to stop a US clean sweep this year?

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