Who is the best player without a PGA Tour win?

By Rex HoggardOctober 9, 2012, 12:23 pm

A little fame and a pocket full of cash are nice, but you don't want to be on the list of best players without a PGA Tour title. GolfChannel.com writers offer up their guy who tops the list.


The title nobody wants may have transitioned to the player few people can pick out of a lineup, following Sunday’s near miss in Las Vegas. By way of introductions, meet Brendon De Jonge – the most-recent member to be saddled with the moniker “Best player without a Tour title.'

For the record, de Jonge’s runner-up showing at the Justin Timberlake stop was the first of his career but the Zimbabwean hasn’t exactly been delivering goose eggs since he join the PGA Tour in 2007. He has 37 top-25 finishes in 146 Tour starts and hasn’t finished outside the top 60 in FedEx Cup points since 2009.

But the most impressive component of de Jonge’s resume is how he continues to improve from year to year. In 29 starts this season he’s missed just four cuts, compared to eight in 2011 and ’10, and 13 in 2009.

What may ultimately separate de Jonge from the rest of the Tour’s also-rans, however, is how motivated he is sure to be next year. De Jonge will by vying for a spot on the 2013 International Presidents Cup team which will be captained by Nick Price, his mentor and childhood idol.

“It’s nice to be able to pick up the phone and call someone who is that accomplished,” de Jonge said earlier this summer of Price. “He’s so straight forward; he will give me a kick in the butt when I need that.”


I always have an issue when trying to name the BPTHNWAPGATE. That would be Best Player To Have Never Won A PGA Tour Event – the granddaddy of all golf acronyms.

My first thought is to reward longevity. Briny Baird is 97th on the all-time money list with $12,634,862 – the highest total for a non-winner – but I’m not sure anyone has ever watched Baird and considered him the “best” of anything. No disrespect intended, of course.

My next thought is to employ the ol’ eyeball test. That Nicolas Colsaerts fellow looked pretty darn good at the Ryder Cup – for one day, at least. Same could be said for Peter Hanson, who had top-10s in two majors and two WGC events this year. But those guys don’t ply their trade full-time on the PGA Tour, so keep an asterisk next to each of their names.

Then I start thinking about potential. If the term “best” is supposed to prioritize the most talented, then players such as Ryo Ishikawa and Matteo Manassero should step to the head of the class. Still in the embryonic stages of their careers, though, it’s impossible to maintain that either one has unfulfilled potential, so weighing them down with such a label appears too hasty.

So instead I’m going to find a way to sort of include all three categories. Give me a guy who’s been out there grinding for a while, owns plenty of innate talent and still shows a world of potential.

For me, that player is Jeff Overton. Already a Ryder Cup competitor, the 29-year-old has four second-place finishes, three thirds, 24 top-10s and is just a pocketful of loose change away from breaking the $10 million barrier in career earnings.

Then again, being atop this list is always a double-edged sword. It shows he’s proven himself, yet also has underachieved. Don’t expect Overton to remain here for too much longer. Pretty soon he’ll be vying for BPTHWOOPGATE honors. That would be Best Player To Have Won Only One PGA Tour Event.


Give me Bud Cauley.

I know, he’s a PGA Tour rookie with just 35 career starts, and he has never led a PGA Tour event after any round. I know this is about who is the best player right now without a PGA Tour win, but I’m still going all in on Cauley's talent and potential. He’s good enough to win right now, to win this week’s Frys.com Open.

Cauley, 22, has recorded six top-10 finishes this year. That’s the same number Brendon de Jonge has logged in the last two years.

No knock on de Jonge, 32, who looks to be on track to a breakthrough victory, but the bet here is that by the time Cauley reaches the 146 career starts de Jonge has made, Cauley will have more than one PGA Tour title on his resume.

Cauley showed something under pressure coming out of the University of Alabama last year and securing his PGA Tour card in eight starts. He joined Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Justin Leonard, Scott Verplank, Ryan Moore and Gary Hallberg as the only players to come straight out of college and qualify for the Tour without going to Q-School. That’s a pretty good list to use as an indicator of future success.


It’s probably true that Charlie Wi is better known for those Stack & Tilt commercials than anything he’s done on the golf course. Indeed, his has been an unspectacular career of middling finishes (top-25 finishes in 27 percent of his career starts) and consistency (six consecutive seasons inside the top 100 on the money list).

Essentially, he’s the modern-day PGA Tour pro: good enough to get in contention a few times, still ridiculously wealthy (more than $8.7 million in career earnings).

But the argument could be made, after an examination of his career record, that he’s the best player yet to have won on the PGA Tour. Unlike some of his younger, splashier and nonetheless winless colleagues, Wi has actually been in the mix for multiple titles – five runner-up finishes, to be exact. Nearly once each year he’s been on Tour.

Did he convert? Well, no, which is how he landed on this list to begin with. This year, Wi had a three-shot lead at Pebble Beach before he – and the rest of the field – was lapped by Phil Mickelson. He played well for four rounds at the 2011 Colonial and was edged by David Toms. He closed with 61 at the 2008 Valero and still couldn’t catch Zach Johnson.

The point? Winning on the PGA Tour requires an enormous level of skill, sure, but also some luck. Following the trends, it might soon be Wi’s time.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.