The debate is always one of the most popular in golf; which player is the best in the world without a major championship? For years that title stood with Phil Mickelson, and before him, Davis Love III was the favorite. Since those two have taken down majors, the title has bounced around, but now, just a few names stand out. Which player is atop our list?
Not So Young Anymore
Sergio Garcia: The leader of this list just a few years ago, Garcia has seven PGA Tour wins and eight European titles, but the now 30-year-old Garcia isn't nearly the golfer he once was. Sergio has been ohsoclose to winning one of the big four, with the pinnacle of his near misses coming at Carnoustie, when a short putt slid by the hole as Garcia stood confused over his belly putter, eventually losing to Padraig Harrington. If I asked you if you thought Sergio would win a major five years ago, you'd have answered yes as quick as a Garcia backswing, but now? Now, it doesn't seem he will, but things can change, and Mickelson didn't win his first until 33, so El Nino (do we still call him that?) has some time.
Adam Scott: Another name that seemed destined for green jackets and Claret Jugs, Scott is also 30, but unlike Sergio, has never seemed to find the right form in the big four. He did win the unofficial fifth major in '04 at the Players, but hit a slump that dropped him off the golf map. This season, Scott won a European and PGA Tour event, and it looks like he might be back, so don't count him out if he can ever get that putter going.
Past His Prime
Colin Montgomerie: Probably the quintessential name on this list, Monty was always the guy you wanted as a Ryder Cup teammate, but never as your horse in a major. Colin has finished second or tied for second in five majors, with the last coming in the '06 U.S. Open, but the 47-year-old Montgomerie seems like he will never end a year as one of the four major winners. It's too bad for all the clout he carries in the game of golf, but Monty just couldn't get it done when it mattered in these big events.
Leaders in the Clubhouse
Steve Stricker: A few years back, it would have been insane to think Stricker was a major contender. He couldn't hit a fairway. He was struggling with his irons. He hadn't won a stroke-play event since 1996. But then came his 2007 season, when the now 43-year-old Stricker took The Barclays, and then in '09 won three times. This season he added two more tournament wins, and has played well in some majors the last five seasons. With his ability to get the ball in the hole around the greens, it seems Stricker is the type of guy that could win a Masters or U.S. Open.
Lee Westwood: His play of late in majors has been insane, but the Englishman just can't secure one for himself. In the last five majors he has played in (remember, he was injured for this year's PGA Championship), Westwood has finished in the top 3 in four of them. He is the top-ranked golfer in the world, and just seems like he is due to win two or three of these in a row, but when it comes to winning on American soil, it just hasn't been that easy for Lee.
Still, his talent makes him our BPTNWAM, and will stay that way until he can take down Augusta National or Congressional. If Westwood, 37, ended his career without a win in one of these, it would really be considered a disappointment.