Sergio Garcia is a major winner now. Let that sink in for a minute. Some 18 years after he captured our hearts as a 19-year-old at the 1999 PGA Championship, a very different 37-year-old Spaniard than El Nino has a green jacket.
The monkey is off Garcia’s back, simultaneously shedding a whole bunch of unwanted titles, including being (arguably) the best player in golf without a major title. Now we can cross him off that list, but there are plenty of great names who remain.
Here are our top five players who haven’t broken through with a major victory.
5. Jon Rahm: Jon Rahm just made his debut at the Masters and was an outside factor until Sunday. It was just his second major as a pro. So this isn’t a slight, as it normally kind of is. This is a compliment. Rahm is so good that he’s going to win at least one major, and it could be this year. He’s talented enough to leapfrog some other young players without a major on their resumes.
4. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar is 38, has a Players and doesn’t have a major. He’s not long enough to overpower a course, but he is still competing in majors and has four top-eight finishes in the Masters in the last six years. He’s amassed enough good finishes to make this list, even if he might only win just one major.
3. Hideki Matsuyama: The Japanese star has skyrocketed up this list with his performance in the last 18 months, including a pair of top-10 finishes in the last five majors played. His putting is an issue and has held him back at times, but his ballstriking is so good that he’ll almost surely overmatch a course and a field in a major.
2. Lee Westwood: Westwood almost walked through the back door Jordan Spieth opened last year at Augusta. He has 20 — yes, 20 — top-10 finishes in majors, including five of the last eight Masters. Now 43, he has few chances left, but he’s still getting it done in flashes.
1. Rickie Fowler: In 2014, Rickie Fowler finished in the top five in all four majors, becoming the third man in history to do that. Major victories seemed imminent, but the tally hasn’t ticked to one yet. Fowler is going to win a major. He has something awfully close in a Players title. You know, the more you think about it, the more Rickie seems like the American Sergio.