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


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10 hours ago, mcculld2 said:

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

 

Good choice there. His 2nd place finishes to Nicklaus are quite something. Westwood is well ahead in terms of top 10 finishes though. 

 

In terms of his other worldwide wins most of those are senior tour. He had 9 wins mostly in Autstralia and New Zealand which don't seem to be comparable to Monty or Westwood's Euro wins.

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Posted (edited)

OK, so this is what I have so far.  Going by runner-ups alone, we have:

Monty with five runner-ups: US Opens of 1994, 1997, 2006, Open Championship of 2005, and the 1995 PGA Championship.

Harry Cooper with four runner-ups: US Opens of 1927 and 1936, the 1936 Masters, and the 1938 PGA Championship.

Doug Sanders with four runner-ups: 1961 US Open, the Open Championships of 1966 and 1970, and the 1959 PGA Championship.

Bruce Crampton with four runner-ups, all to Jack: 1972 US Open, the 1972 Masters, 1973 and 1975 PGA Championships.

By runner-up finishes alone, Monty wins, but we can argue for Cooper, Sanders and Crampton.

 

By the way, while researching Bruce Crampton I found this cool video.

 

Edited by EmperorPenguin
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On 5/17/2024 at 6:28 PM, PJE said:

I’d say Westwood. He came awfully close and if I recall correctly he didn’t choke away or squander opportunities? Other guys just played better than he did.
Montgomerie was a fantastic player but when he had his best opportunity to take a major, the US Open, he flat out choked. He hit one of the worst 7 irons (maybe it was a 6) of all time to take himself out of it.  

Westwood choked for sure. Tom Watson Open and the Web Simpson US open off the top of my head.

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On 5/21/2024 at 1:47 AM, idrive said:

 

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?


They absolutely picked on him. I’m not defending, just giving context, but he was about as unAmerican looking, sounding, and behaving as any golfer I’ve ever seen over here. The best part is.. if he just would’ve won, there’d been a sub genre of local diehard fans at every tournament,,, even in the South 🤣

 

Pre Tiger, loser Norman and his questionable self promoting showboating appealed to some, but that usually doesn’t grip the American fan——Monty had a chance to become a dive bar brother-in-arms cousin of ours. Didn’t happen though. 

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On 5/19/2024 at 4:13 PM, Jolter said:

It is a tough choice between Westwood and Montgomey but I have to say Westwood. Monty has won all over the world except in the US, not counting senior tour, while Westwood has won all over the world plus on the PGATour. Stricker along with a number of other US pros could be considered but none have the "infamy" so to speak of Westwood and Montgomery.

Monty did manage to win a matchplay event in Scottsdale.

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Steve Stricker has one runner-up and four top fives, but thirteen top tens.  Does not come close to the four players we discussed earlier.

 

I sometimes wonder what the criteria were.  I remember when all the talk was of Corey Pavin, when he was the greatest player never to have won.  Prior to winning at Shinnecock in '95, he had eight top tens, three top fives, and only one runner-up.  Compared to the four mentioned earlier, Corey was nothing compared to them.

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On 5/27/2024 at 1:35 PM, chip75 said:

Monty did manage to win a matchplay event in Scottsdale.

I had forgotten about this - the Andersen Consulting World Matchplay which was basically the early WGC Matchplay. It wasn't an official PGA Tour event but it had a big prize fund.

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I'm too young to have ever seen Doug Sanders or Bruce Crampton play, but having seen both Monty and Westwood up close, I'd take Monty every day and twice on Sunday.  Though in fairness, Monty wouldn't have looked nearly as sharp on the cover of Golf International Magazine, so we've gotta factor that in somehow.

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Stricker has got to be in the discussion.  He spent two different runs in the top 10-- one for 3 consecutive years and the other for 57 consecutive weeks.  7 consecutive years in the top 20.   At least he's got a Ryder Cup Captain victory which is pretty rare for US captains :)   Definitely a good human also!

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, EmperorPenguin said:

 

Very good argument.  One less runner-up than Monty, but on the Wiki site he is listed at 30 wins on Tour.

Again, why are runner-up’s relevant? The guy won 29 PGA tour events. Collin won 0! 
 

If the question was who has the best record in major championship history that has never won a major then we can start talking about Collin Montgomery. But who is the best player to never have won a major?   Montgomery probably is in the top 10. Simply because of his European record.
 

But do people realize how amazing it is to have 29 PGA tour victories? To Put that in perspective,  no active player on the PGA Tour has 29 wins. 
 

Other  than maybe five or six guys, every single player on the PGA Tour would rather have Harry Cooper’s record than their own. Probably can’t say the same about Collin Montgomery. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by isaacbm
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2 hours ago, isaacbm said:

Again, why are runner-up’s relevant? The guy won 29 PGA tour events. Collin won 0! 
 

If the question was who has the best record in major championship history that has never won a major then we can start talking about Collin Montgomery. But who is the best player to never have won a major?   Montgomery probably is in the top 10. Simply because of his European record.
 

But do people realize how amazing it is to have 29 PGA tour victories? To Put that in perspective,  no active player on the PGA Tour has 29 wins. 
 

Other  than maybe five or six guys, every single player on the PGA Tour would rather have Harry Cooper’s record than their own. Probably can’t say the same about Collin Montgomery. 

 

 

 

 

 

Thing is, Montgomerie played in an era when European players often stayed in Europe and the European Tour was far stronger.  I'm sure if he played a full schedule on the PGA TOUR in his prime he would've nabbed some wins.

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, NormanFan said:

I'm sure if he played a full schedule on the PGA TOUR in his prime he would've nabbed some wins.

He didn't have to play a full schedule to have been able to win on the PGA Tour with his level of play. In his career he made 142 starts on the PGA Tour. Plenty of events to have won just a single PGA Tour event. Multiple seasons with 10+ starts. Lesser ET players have won on the PGA Tour in less events played. See Robert MacIntyre at The Canadian Open as the most recent example.

Edited by grm24
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19 minutes ago, NormanFan said:

 

Thing is, Montgomerie played in an era when European players often stayed in Europe and the European Tour was far stronger.  I'm sure if he played a full schedule on the PGA TOUR in his prime he would've nabbed some wins.

You are totally right. And 30 (?) wins on the euro tour is also very very impressive.
And that was at a time on the euro tour was actually significantly more relevant. Significantly stronger  fields. 

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4 minutes ago, grm24 said:

He didn't have to play a full schedule to have been able to win on the PGA Tour with his level of play. In his career he made 142 starts on the PGA Tour. Plenty of events played to have won just a single event. Multiple seasons with 10+ starts. 

 

Which is why I rank Westwood ahead of him with his 2 PGA Tour wins and 25 Euro ones (and others). And as recently as 2021 he finished 2nd at Bayhill and the Players. 

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Posted (edited)

I believe every player in the history of the game who is genuinely great has won a major. Plenty of excellent players have missed out. I guess it all depends on how one defines great.

 

Monty stated in a recent interview that he does regret not giving the PGA Tour a go during his peak years.

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Posted (edited)

Monty and Westy are the two obvious Europeans. Monty, I'm not crying tears over him not winning any major, highly unpleasant to patrons when in his prime. Westy however, saw him playing live several times in Scandinavian events, and I never saw anyone hitting the ball as impressive as him except on TV. But the closer to the hole you came... I really rooted for him to win a Major.

 

 

Edited by Hankshank
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I don't get the mentions for Stricker. Way down the list of total wins but no Majors from most others in contention in here, took many of his wins at events like The John Deere where fields were middle of the road most times, and the guy said he had zero desire to be #1 in the world. Great player overall and great guy, sure, but he doesn't merit being in the discussion for best player to not take home one of the big ones. 

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