A favorite debate among golf fans: Who’s the best golfer without a major championship? For a long time, that answer was easy: Sergio Garcia.
However, with Garcia’s breakthrough Masters victory, the Spaniard removed himself from this list of unfortunates.
The British Open again brought the debate to the forefront as the happy warrior, Matt Kuchar, nearly broke through for a major triumph. As he, well, didn’t, Kuchar remains on this list.
We’ll define “best” two ways. Obviously, a player’s Official World Golf Ranking is an indicator of his performance over his past two seasons. Beyond that, a player’s age and career achievements have to be factored in. We’ll limit this to active PGA Tour players:
Career wins: 7 (4 on PGA Tour)
Best major finishes: T2: 2014 U.S. Open, T2: 2014 Open Championship
While his brilliant run in the majors in 2014 suggested Rickie Fowler was knocking on the door of major success, he’s taken a step backward in that regard since. He is, however, a better player overall than he was in 2014 and is still just 28.
Career wins: 12 (8 on PGA Tour)
Best major finishes: T3: 2008 Masters, T3: 2012 Open Championship
You have to think if it weren’t for a run of bizarre lingering injuries (wrist, rib) Brandt Snedeker would have won a major by now. The dude has the mettle, and has shown up in all four majors, but at 36, the clock is ticking.
Career wins: 13 (4 on PGA Tour)
Best major finishes: T2: 2017 U.S. Open, T4: 2016 PGA Championship
Matsuyama made a bold statement as an amateur in his first turn at the Masters, and he’s continued to accumulate top 10s in other majors. The only concern: The weight of his country’s hopes will keep him from capitalizing.
Career wins: 13 (7 on PGA Tour)
Best major finishes: 2: 2017 Open Championship, T3: 2012 Masters
All you need to know about how close Matt Kuchar is to a major win you saw Sunday at Royal Birkdale. Were it not for some heroics and luck on the back nine, he’d have pipped Jordan Spieth for the Claret Jug.
Career wins: 42 (2 on PGA Tour)
Best major finishes: T2: 2016 Masters, 2: 2010 Masters
Lee Westwood now hold the dubious distinction of most career major starts without a win among active players. His putting seems to get worse every year. Hard to believe Westy will ever get the job done.
Career wins: 17 (1 on PGA Tour)
Best major finishes: T3: 2010 Open Championship, T4: 2016 Masters
Paul Casey has been experiencing something of a renaissance in recent seasons. With three top-10 finishes in a row at the Masters, he looks like horse for that particular course. A good early bet for the 2018 Masters, this guy.
Career wins: 2 (1 on PGA Tour)
Best major finishes: T23: 2016 U.S. Open, T27: 2017 Masters
Moving from veterans to the brightest emerging talents: Jon Rahm has shown he has the game to win a major, but he’ll need to get his temper under control.
Career wins: 5 (4 on PGA Tour)
Best major finishes: T9: 2017 U.S. Open, T18: 2015 PGA Championship
One of the best birdie makers on the PGA Tour, it’s tough to think that Justin Thomas won’t at least win a PGA Championship (the easiest of the four majors) in the coming years.