The Three Best Golfers Who Haven't Won a Major

The Three Best Golfers Who Haven't Won a Major

Golf

The Three Best Golfers Who Haven't Won a Major

Note: This post originally ran on April 13, 2017. It has been updated to reflect recent performances.

Now that Sergio Garcia has shed the “best player without a major championship” label, which tournament regular assumes that role? Garcia had gone 0 for 73 majors before winning at the Masters in 2017.

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Lee Westwood

Lee Westwood is now 45 years old. The Englishman, who turned professional in 1993, has 42 professional wins under his belt. Two of those came on the PGA Tour and 23 on the European Tour, where he is tied for eighth all-time.

The reason he was at the top of this list is because he had started in 79 major championships and has some pretty spectacular finishes in several of them, and was ranked as high as No. 1 in the world in 2010 when he surpassed Tiger Woods in the official world golf rankings.

Here’s a look at Westwood’s top 10 major finishes over the years.

Year Major Finished
1997 Open Championship Tied for 10th
1998 U.S. Open Tied for 7th
1999 Master Tied for 6th
2000 U.S. Open Tied for 5th
2004 Open Championship 4th
2008 U.S. Open 3rd
2009 Open Championship Tied for 3rd
2009 PGA Championship Tied for 3rd
2010 Masters 2nd
2010 Open Championship 2nd
2011 U.S. Open Tied for 3rd
2011 PGA Championship Tied for 8th
2012 Masters Tied for 3rd
2012 U.S. Open Tied for 10th
2013 Masters Tied for 8th
2013 Open Championship Tied for 3rd
2014 Masters 7th
2016 Masters Tied for 2nd

Westwood played in the fifth from last group in the Masters last year with then Masters rookie Thomas Pieters. He finished tied for 18th. Sadly, Westwood did not gain entry into the Masters this year for the first time in 13 years. Westy also won’t be playing in the U.S. Open this week.

With all of those top finishes over the years, he easily assumes the role of “Best player to not win a major.”

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Matt Kuchar

Many may quibble with this next one, but at 39 years-old, Matt Kuchar comes in second on my list of best players without a major.

Kuchar, who turned professional in 2000, has 13 wins as a pro with seven of those coming on the PGA Tour, and has started in 48 major tournaments. In those 48 starts he has finished as high as second and in the top 10 ten times.

Kuchar has been ranked as high as fourth in the world rankings in 2014.

Here’s a look at Kuchar’s top 10 finishes in majors.

Year Major Finished
2010 U.S. Open Tied for 6th
2010 PGA Championship Tied for 10th
2012 Masters Tied for 3rd
2012 Open Championship Tied for 9th
2013 Masters Tied for 8th
2014 Masters Tied for 5th
2014 PGA Championship Tied for 7th
2017 Masters Tied for 4th
2017 Open Championship 2nd
2017 PGA Championship Tied for 9th

Kuchar has finished in the top five in three of his last seven Masters appearances and in the top 10 in four. He hasn’t finished a season ranked outside of the top 30 in the world rankings since 2009 and added a second place finish at the Open Championship to his resume last season.

(Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Rickie Fowler

At 29 years old, Rickie Fowler is the youngest player on this list. Just a few years ago Fowler was voted as one of the most overrated golfers by his peers in an anonymous survey. He’s since won the Players Championship, Deutsche Bank Championship and  finished in the top five in all four majors in a single season. He also won The Honda Classic last year. This year he won the Hero World Challenge and then added a solo second place finish at the Masters.

In his young career, Fowler’s 33 major starts include three second-place finishes, one third-place finish, and three fifth-place finishes.

Here’s a look at his top 10’s in major championships.

Year Major Finished
2011 Open Championship Tied for 5th
2013 U.S. Open Tied for 10th
2014 Masters Tied for 5th
2014 U.S. Open Tied for 2nd
2014 Open Championship Tied for 2nd
2014 PGA Championship Tied for 3rd
2017 U.S. Open Tied for 5th
2017 PGA Championship Tied for 5th
2018 Masters 2nd

Fowler, who was ranked as high as fourth in the world in 2015, has not been ranked outside of the top 15 since August 3rd, 2014.

Others Considered

Brandt Snedeker – Hasn’t been ranked in top 10 since 2012 although he has nine top 10 finishes in 39 major starts.

Steve Stricker – He’s now 50 years old. Has played in 68 majors and has four top five finishes and 13 top 10 finishes. Stricker didn’t play in the Masters this year, but is in the field this week at Shinnecock for the U.S. Open.

Luke Donald – Once ranked No. 1 in the world. Has played in 54 majors and has five top five finishes and eight top 10 finishes.

Paul Casey – Finished a season ranked as high as seventh in the world rankings. Dropped to 122nd in 2012 but has climbed all the way up to 11th. Has 56 major starts, two top five finishes and nine top 10 finishes.

Hideki Matsuyama – Matsuyama has now started in 22 majors. He has seven top 10 finishes of which four are top five finishes. He also finished second at the U.S. Open last season.

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