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Who Really Is The Greatest Player Never To Have Won A Major?


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1 hour ago, OBbogey5 said:

It’s Montgomery. But not only is he majorless, he’s North American less. How is he a great player if he couldn’t win in America?

Considering their abysmal records in the US it’s hard for me to call either Monty or Westwood the best not to have won a major.  
 That said, if you limit the choices to those that played in the last 40 years or so to eliminate the likes of Lighthorse Harry Cooper or MacDonald Smith or even Doug Sanders the likely reply would be Kenny Perry or even Steve Stricker.  Problem there is neither of those two had better major records than Monty or Lee.

 

So I guess it’s a four way tie for 2nd with no winner (can’t give them a win as they never won a big one)

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19 minutes ago, ColinKelvin said:

What that tells us is that Westwood was consistently good for longer in the majors. Monty's form fell away in the early 2000s. I just think the fact that he had two T1 major finishes (i.e. no one beat him over 72 holes, twice) edges it. 

 

They were actually pretty similar players in their prime - both superb drivers, very strong iron players but never consistently great putters. Westwood was also a mediocre chipper at times. Both Ryder cup legends with winning records too (Monty unbeaten in singles...). 

 

Some good points there. Either way they're very close.

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10 minutes ago, mbb86 said:

I think you have to go Monty. There's some other contenders, but I don't think anyone was as good for as long and never got it done. 

 

The fact that neither Phil NOR Monty managed to win at Winged Foot in '06 just still boggles my mind. 

 

And even Padraig Harrington and Jim Furyk had shots at it but they also vomited it up on the last hole.  If Ogilvy hadn't had that miracle pitch in on 17 we would've had a WILD 18-hole playoff with like 4 players (Mickelson, Furyk, Monty, and Ogilvy).

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1 hour ago, NormanFan said:

 

And even Padraig Harrington and Jim Furyk had shots at it but they also vomited it up on the last hole.  If Ogilvy hadn't had that miracle pitch in on 17 we would've had a WILD 18-hole playoff with like 4 players (Mickelson, Furyk, Monty, and Ogilvy).


I went back and watched this one last weeks. Ogilvy was the only one that didn’t soil themselves. Sure chipped in on 17 for par - it was gone if it didn’t drop. But he hit a great drive on 18 into a divot, hit a good second shot that spun off the green. Hit an amazing one hop and stop pitch from the front of the green and sunk the putt. He truly had his back to the wall through no fault of his own on 18 and survived. The others just did it to themselves, some more comical than others

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2 hours ago, Birdman62 said:

How about current players (younger than 40)?  I argued for Viktor, and given his youth he has the best chance of breaking through as well.

 

I agree. I think there is a small argument for Cantlay but Hov has already come much closer to winning a major without breaking through

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4 hours ago, ChrisL52188 said:

Colin Montgomerie without a doubt. Not even close.

 

The man could have won the US Open in 1992, 1994 1997 and 2006 if he had luck gone his way. 1992 ironically was one of his first US opens and he could have won if it wasn't for Tom Kite's incredible short game that day.

 

I agree (he was also within two shots with 6 to play at the 1996 USO before doubling a par 3) - and that's golf for you.  The only one he threw away was 06 and he never really got a break where a leader/rival fell away.  When you think of, say, Ben Curtis in the 03 Open at St George's - he dropped 4 shots in the run in then watched Bjorn get stuck in a bunker and won by 1 - nothing like that ever fell into Monty's lap (or indeed Westwood's).

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For the current generation, I'll say Viktor Hovland takes over that title.  But, he is young, is playing great lately, and has time on his side.  I believe his time will come eventually. 

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1 hour ago, EmperorPenguin said:

So many of us are selecting Monty mainly because of number of runner-ups?  By that measure alone, is there any other golfer in the history of golf who had more than five runner-ups in the majors?


LOL - you know Nicklaus had 19. Sheesh. 
 

You selected Jay Haas.
 

But in the conversation of best without a major, performance in the majors which such a person wouldn’t have won is secondary to their overall professional record. I’d say Monty over Westwood. I’m still surprised Monty didn’t win and for some reason not surprised Westwood didn’t. Just didn’t seem to have “it”.

Edited by Hawkeye77
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On 5/17/2024 at 4:48 PM, EmperorPenguin said:

OK, I am checking the stats on the four majors.  For now, let us consider runner-ups and top fives.

 

Jay Haas: no runner-ups, and nine top fives.

Colin Montgomerie: five runner-ups, six top fives.

Lee Westwood: three runner-ups, twelve top fives.

 

So far, Lee Westwood has the best record, so maybe he is the one?

Doesn't their non major body of work count?

 

I would say Monty but I haven't done all the math tbh.

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I'm nomimating Bruce Crampton for the Best to Never title. He was second best to Jack Nicklaus over a long period of time. A quality golfer and human being.

4 x Majors Runner Up - Each time to Jack Nicklaus. Twice in 1972

6x Major Top Fives

8 x Major Top Tens

45 World wide pro wins

14 PGA Tour wins

 

Bruce puts Lee Westwood in the shade. At least is on a par with Monty.

Cheers

 

 

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On 5/19/2024 at 10:41 AM, OBbogey5 said:

It’s Montgomery. But not only is he majorless, he’s North American less. How is he a great player if he couldn’t win in America?

 

Monty will tell you that generally speaking, the fans here in America were not kind to him.

 

He didn't take the heckling very well and it did indeed affect his game. He wouldn't be the only one heckling fans bother...

 

I know he mentioned this on more than one occasion. Maybe just an excuse?

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