Ten Of The Best Golfers Without A Major
Being listed as one of the best players in golf without a major is a rather backhanded compliment. No single player in the current field has managed to achieve a Tiger-like stranglehold over the sport with the resultant outcome that the 'Big Ones' are generously shared around their gracious recipients.
Firstly a short recap of the 2016 major season when four men managed to break their own individual major championship duck. Danny Willett, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Jimmy Walker are now completely free from the shackles of being considered one of the ‘Best Players Without A Major’.
So who takes their place in our list? Let’s jump in.
Rickie has shown form in majors having placed within the top five of all four in 2014 and, in doing so, posting runner-up positions at both Pinehurst and Royal Liverpool. Wins at the Deutsche Bank Championship and The Players in 2015 have proven that he has what it takes to get over the finish line.
Here's one of our favourite Rickie moments from 2015:
A dry 2016 has halted Fowler's progress somewhat, but solid showings at the first few tournaments of this year have reignited the promise of further glory.
Out of our list of ten, Hideki seems to fit the profile of a multiple major more snugly than any of the others. At the tender age of 24, and with 13 professional wins under his belt already, it seems quite apparent that he will be challenging at the head of affairs in many major tournaments.
As we edge towards The Masters in April, there will be very few of his peers who have a greater chance of capturing the Green Jacket this time around. The guy has it all.
Here's a great example from the Phoenix Open last year:
The Texan performed imperiously at Hazeltine in 2016, while he also managed to pick up a fifth PGA Tour victory at Bethpage Black for The Barclays.
A clearly talented player, Reed has all the tools to become a major champion. With that said, he is yet to secure a top ten position at any of the 'Big Ones' and will need to have every facet of his game on point if he is to challenge in 2017.
Here's his titanic hole-out for eagle in the 2016 Ryder Cup:
A central figure in the global golfing landscape for the past two decades, Sergio Garcia has finished as a major runner-up on four separate occasions - most recently at the 2014 Open Championship.
Getting his hands on any one of the four major championships would be a step towards cementing a place among some of the greats of the game. If he fails, expect Sergio to be talked of in the same breath as Scotland’s Colin Montgomery who, despite unending talent, is left contemplating what might have been as he reflects on his unfulfilled major excursions.
His best shot? See what he thinks:
Previously in the top 5 of the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR), Brandt Snedeker has seen his form slip to a point where now lies in a rather more lowly 27th place.
Though he was FedEx Cup champion in 2012, his best performance in a major championship has been two T-3s at The Masters and The Open. One of the streakiest putters in the game, if Brandt gets that ball rolling the rest of the field better watch out.
Watch below as Sneds explains his 'pop-style' approach to holing out:
A firm fans' favourite, there would be few more popular winners of a major than 'Kooooch'. To date though, he has struggled to challenge in any of the four with a career best performance coming at the 2012 Masters where he placed T-3.
Without a win on the PGA Tour since 2014, he does have 13 professional tournament wins to date. While you could argue that his all-round game best suits the test provided by August National, naturally, any major will do for Matt.
On a bridge, with no stance...Not a problem for Kooch:
Four European Tour wins in 2016 have turned Noren into one of the most feared golfers on the European stage. It also provides evidence that the Swede is trending towards great things.
He sits just outside the top ten on the OWGR and one of the least experienced in major championships on the list. Whether the Swede can emulate his fellow countryman Henrik Stenson and pick up one of the biggest prizes in golf, time will tell.
Here's an overview of Noren's 2016 from the man himself:
With eight tournament wins in his four years on both the European and PGA Tours, Branden Grace certainly knows how to get over the finish line.
He seems to be the most likely South African to become a major champion in the current field and would become the first since Ernie Els surprised the golfing world by chasing down Adam Scott at the 2012 Open Championship.
A flop shot rival even Phil Mickelson:
Possibly a controversial choice but Westwood is at least worth a mention. It is quite obvious that he is not at the peak of his powers, nor one of the best in the current game. However, pushing that to one side, he must be viewed as one of the most talented players in the field without a major to his name and is, on that basis, note-worthy.
Lee came so close in 2010 when he was usurped by a late surge from five-time major winner Phil Mickelson but, with time no longer on his side, the odds may be stacked in his favour as he tries to emulate his great friend Darren Clarke by becoming a maiden major winner while in the ‘forty-club’.
According to Lee, this was the best of his career:
Having tied for fourth place at both the PGA Championship and US Open, Koepka has already demonstrated a 'big-game' mentality when the majors come around. At 26 he has plenty of time on his side and has talent in abundance.
Plus, he can do this with a driver:
Hard to choose between both he and this year's in-form man Justin Thomas as to who can pick up their maiden major first. Both are similar ages, equally talented and multiple tournament winners.
Our money's on Brooks.
Who have we missed on our list? Join the conversation by commenting below, on Facebook, or on Twitter.