Ranking the 10 Best Players in Golf Without a Major Victory

Fred Altvater@@tolohgolfrContributor IIApril 25, 2013

Ranking the 10 Best Players in Golf Without a Major Victory

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    Professional golfers' careers are ultimately judged by the number of major championship titles accumulated before they hang up their spikes.

    Colin Montgomerie won 31 European Tour events, was a Ryder Cup standout and will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in two weeks.

    He finished runner-up in five major championships, but never broke through for a major win.

    Colin Montgomerie will forever be known as the "Best player to never win a major."

    Here is a listing of the 10 best players currently on the PGA Tour that have yet to capture that elusive first major victory. 

No. 10: Jason Dufner

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    After finishing runner-up to Keegan Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship, Jason Dufner had a breakout year in 2012.

    With two wins, one runner-up and eight top-10 finishes last year, he earned $4.8 million and finished No. 2 on the FedEx Cup standings. 

    Dufner has earned a reputation as one of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour and is ranked No. 20 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

    In his last 10 major tournaments, Dufner has three top-10 finishes.

    He is 36 years old. It is time for him to get a major trophy. 

No. 9: Ian Poulter

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    Ian Poulter is 37 years old and has been a top-rated player for several years.

    After his outstanding performance in the 2012 Ryder Cup last fall, much was expected of him for this year.

    It is a mystery why he can't capture some of the magic that he exhibits in the Ryder Cup Matches to get hot for a week and win a major.

    He only has six top-10 finishes in the majors over the past nine years.

    He is known as one of the best putters in golf. He just needs to find a few more fairways and give himself a chance to collect a major trophy.

No. 8: Dustin Johnson

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    Dustin Johnson has certainly had his chances to win a major.

    In 2010, he took a three-stroke lead over Graeme McDowell into the final round of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Things went sideways early in the last round, and 82 blows later he finished T-8.

    Later that year he had a nasty encounter with a bunker on the 72nd hole of the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, resulting in a two-shot penalty that kept him out of the playoff with Martin Kaymer and Nick Watney.

    In 2011 he was again in contention in the Open Championship at Royal Georges. Only one-shot behind Darren Clarke, a wayward second shot on No. 14 sailed out of bounds that resulted in a double-bogey and runner-up finish.

    The golf gods owe him at least one major title for all of the pain and suffering he has endured.

    Johnson is only 28 years old and one of the most talented players on the PGA Tour.

    He needs to use these close encounters with major triumph to close the deal the next time he is in contention at a major. 

No. 7: Matt Kuchar

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    Matt Kuchar has become one of the most consistent golfers in the world. It seems like he graces the top of leaderboards every week.

    He won the 2012 Players Championship and had nine top-10 finishes last year.

    He has already won the WGC-Accenture Match Play this year, moving to No. 3 on the FedEx Cup standings and No. 10 in the world.

    Kuchar's consistent play always has him in contention at the majors and has given him five top-10 finishes in his last 12 major championships.

    At 34-years-old he has had a solid career, but needs a major title to put him in the history books.

No. 6: Steve Stricker

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    Steve Stricker is 46 years old and has 12 career PGA Tour wins.

    He was the PGA Tour's Comeback Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007.

    He announced earlier this year that he is limiting his schedule to just 10 events in 2013.

    It would be a shame if a golfer of his longevity and quality was not able to win a major title before his career ended. 

No. 5: Justin Rose

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    Over the past three years, Justin Rose has played some of the best golf on the PGA Tour.

    He has had top-10 finishes in majors but just can't seem to close the deal.

    His confidence is high with a T-4 finish at the Honda Classic and runner-up to Tiger Woods at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this year.

    At 32 years old, it is time for him to get at least one major trophy for his mantle.

No. 4: Brandt Snedeker

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    Brandt Snedeker started his most recent hot streak with a runner-up finish at the 2012 Barclays, a sixth-place finish at the Deutsche Bank, a win at the Tour Championship and the 2012 FedEx Cup and $10 million bonus.

    He has continued his dominance in 2013 with runner-up finishes to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson before winning the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach.

    He was forced to take six weeks off with a rib injury and is still No. 2 on the FedEx Cup standings behind Tiger Woods. He has reached No. 6 on the Official World Golf Rankings.

    Snedeker was in contention at the Masters this year until an untidy 75 did him in on Sunday, and he finished T-6.

    He is recognized as one of the best putters on tour, which is a key element to winning any major tournament. 

No. 3: Sergio Garcia

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    Sergio Garcia has had tragic events occur at inopportune times in major championships that have left major scars on his golfing soul.

    Taking a four-shot lead into the final round of the 2007 Open Championship at Carnoustie, Garcia just needed to make par on the 72nd hole for the win. He missed his putt for par and eventually lost the playoff with Padraig Harrington.

    Garcia has been one of the best players in golf since he turned professional at the tender age of 19, and captured golf fans' attention when he went head to head with Tiger Woods at the 1999 PGA Championship.

    Garcia has finished runner-up on three separate occasions in the PGA Championship and once in the Open Championship. He had a third place finish in the 2005 U.S. Open and was fourth in the 2004 Masters.

    He won the 2008 Players Championship and seven other PGA Tour events in his career, but a major has eluded the talented Spaniard.

    The problem now seems to be between his ears, as his talent is as prevalent as always.

No. 2: Luke Donald

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    Luke Donald held the No. 1 world ranking for 56 weeks. He has been a permanent fixture in the top-10 in the world for over two years.

    Even though he was the first player to officially win the money titles on both the PGA and European Tours in 2011, he has not received universal acclaim from golf fans and media due to his lack of a major championship victory. 

    With five PGA Tour and seven European Tour wins, it is time for the 35-year-old Donald to add a major championship to his career statistics.

    Donald is recognized as possessing one of the best short games in the world. If he can find just one more fairway per day in a major and allow his putter to have four more opportunities to hole a birdie putt, we may just see him holding a major trophy in the near future. 

No. 1: Lee Westwood

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    Lee Westwood just turned 40 years old and feels the urgency to win a major title.

    Over the winter of 2012, he even moved his family from England to Florida to allow him more practice time in the favorable southern Florida weather.

    Westwood has played primarily on the European Tour and has 22 career wins there. He only has two wins on the PGA Tour.

    He was the No. 1 ranked player for 22 weeks, but has since fallen to No. 12 on the Official World Golf Rankings.

    In the last 15 major championships, he has finished inside the top 10 nine times.

    Lee Westwood has made a ton of money in his golfing career. The only thing lacking is one or two major trophies for his mantle.