How Hard Is it To Win a Golf Major?
The best way to answer that is to look how long it’s been since Tiger Woods last won a major? As most of you know his last major win was at the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines five years ago.
And although he has been in contention numerous times, someone else has played better - especially on the final day, to deprive him of his 15th Major.
Justin Rose’s victory last week in the US Open was well deserved, but did you know the last major won by an Englishman was in the 1996 US Masters by Nick Faldo?
And you would have to go back to Tony Jacklin’s 1970 win over 40 years ago to find the previous winner of that title by an Englishman.
Jacklin’s victory in the 1969 British Open, and his US Open victory were the first by a European player since Max Faulkner in 1952 in the four Majors. His wins led to more players from Europe winning majors in the late 1970’s through to the present.
The point I’m making here is that to win a major championship being a very good player is not enough, as Europe has produced numerous world class players that have not gone on to win even a single Major.
Colin Montgomerie is on top of that list. The winner of seven European Tour Order of Merit titles and many tournaments around the world, and one of the most impressive Ryder Cup records but no major.
With five second place finishes in the majors Montgomerie has come up against players who found that little extra in the closing stretches to pip him at the post.
From the playoff loss to Ernie Eels and Loren Roberts in the 1994 US Open at Oakmont to double bogeying the last at Wingfoot in 2006 to miss out in another playoff with Geoff Ogilvy, Montgomerie has found ways to various ways to not win his first Major.
Probably from the present generation of active players Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia have had the best opportunities but unfortunately for them up to this point at-least they haven't been able to finish it off.
The label of best player not to have won a major is a stigma that is hard to shake, and the present active players like Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Steve Stricker, and Matt Kuchar would dearly love to get that "monkey" off their back and round off their already successful careers.
Players like Davis Love and Tom Kite won their Major later in their career and found the pressure of winning a major a difficult hurdle to overcome.
With Y. E. Yang's victory at the USPGA in 2009 and Asia's first you would expect more wins to follow but not as yet. There are a growing number of male Asian professionals playing now on the PGA Tour and winning.
Without doubt, just like Tony Jacklin's wins spurred on winners from Europe, we will see more players from Asian contending and winning majors in the near future.
It has been disappointing that Japan over the last forty years have produced world class professionals, but since the 1990's they have not been competitive at the majors.
The Swedes are also win-less in the majors and not for trying and being in contention. From Jasper Parnivek who finished 2nd in the 1994 and 1997 Open Championship to the current crop of players who have won on the European and PGA tour, winning a major is elusive for them.
For some like Andy North who won more majors (1978 and 1985 US Opens) than PGA Tour events (1977 Westchester Classic) and Angel Cabrera who's only wins on the PGA Tour have been majors (2007 US Open and 2009 US Masters) they will be remembered for those special weeks in their career that they lifted their game to a level they seldom performed at.
So winning a Major is never easy at the best of times but having the "Golfing Gods" smile on you and make you the chosen one for that week is a prerequisite in the end.
David Milne and Lawrie Montague - Pro Tour Golf College
Your Success On Tour is Our Business
1/7/2013 05:06:23 pm
What has happend to this?
2/7/2013 12:32:13 am
2/7/2013 06:14:22 am
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