Top five players to never win the British Open

By Associated PressJuly 18, 2012, 11:00 am

LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England – Mark Calcavecchia won the British Open in 1989 at Royal Troon and asked a question that surely was on everyone's mind.

''How's my name going to fit on that thing?'' he said.

Here's another question. How can the oldest trophy in golf - a silver claret jug - be missing some of golf's greatest players?

Byron Nelson might have won if he had bothered going to Britain more than once, though Ben Hogan won on his only try in 1953 at Carnoustie. Phil Mickelson went more than 10 years without even cracking the top 10. Ben Curtis won the Open in his very first major championship.

Here are the five best players to never have won golf's oldest championship:


Colin Montgomerie has to be considered among the best of all time to never win any major, much less the British Open. He won eight Order of Merits on the European Tour, reached as high as No. 2 in the world and won more than 30 times around the world. That alone qualifies him for the list.

The downside? He not only didn't win the Open, he never seriously sniffed it.

Montgomerie seemed to play his best at Royal Troon, where his father was a secretary. He tied for 24th one year, and tied for 25th another. Amazingly, he had only a pair of top 10s, and despite his runner-up finish to Tiger Woods at St. Andrews in 2005, the engraver never had to worry about the proper spelling of his name.

He had a 36-hole lead at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, and was only one behind going into the Sunday, yet tied for 13th. He made a strong run at Woods on Saturday at St. Andrews, but not when it mattered on Sunday.


Vijay Singh, the man from Fiji, cut his teeth on the European Tour and desperately wanted to win a claret jug. He came over to America for good in 1993, and went on to a Hall of Fame career that featured a record 22 wins after turning pro (for a total of 39 PGA Tour wins), and three majors. He won the Masters in 2000, and the PGA Championship in 1998 and 2004.

And he played well on links golf - just never good enough.

Singh made his debut in the Open in 1989 at Royal Troon. He played 10 straight times before finally missing the cut, and he went 22 successive years at the Open until he wasn't eligible in 2011. Nothing hurt more than 2003 at Royal St. George's, when he was just starting to hit his stride. He was two shots behind Thomas Bjorn going into the last day, paired with Tiger Woods in the second-to-last group. Singh couldn't get a putt to fall down the stretch, closed with a 70 and finished one shot behind Ben Curtis.


Only two players other than Raymond Floyd have won at least four majors without getting their names on the claret jug: Phil Mickelson and Byron Nelson. More on them shortly.

Floyd was the Masters champion in 1976 when he went into the final round at Royal Birkdale, trailing by five shots to 19-year-old Seve Ballesteros. Johnny Miller shot 66 to beat everyone. Two years later, he was runner-up to Jack Nicklaus at St. Andrews, though never really close. And in 1981 at Royal St. George's, he started too far behind to catch Bill Rogers and tied for third. He never got any closer.

Floyd at least flirted with the idea of a claret jug in 1992 - the year he was runner-up to Fred Couples at Augusta National. He opened with a 64 for a two-shot lead over Nick Faldo at Muirfield, but that was that. Faldo had a 64 the next day to put Floyd five shots behind, and the American never broke par the rest of the week.


The British Open is all about imagination and creativity. Phil Mickelson built a Hall of Fame career on imagination and creativity.

Just not on links courses of the Open.

Mickelson played the Open 10 times before he cracked the top 10. That was in 2004, his great year in the majors, and playing overcautiously at Royal Troon when it was still and soft enough for him to make a charge, he wound up one shot out of a playoff. Nearly another decade of mediocrity followed, with a collection of middle-of-the-pack finishes and missed cuts, when out of nowhere he nearly won last year at Royal St. George's.

Mickelson made a thrilling charge on Sunday, only to be stopped when he missed a 3-foot par putt. He finished tied for second, three shots behind.

The British Open is his worst major, but the quality of his game - four majors, 40 wins on the PGA Tour - make him the second-most accomplished player in golf history who doesn't have his name on the silver jug.


Of the six players in PGA Tour history with more than 50 wins and at least five majors, Byron Nelson is the only player without a British Open title.

There's a reason for that. He hardly ever played.

The Open Championship didn't pay much during the 1930s and 1940s, when Nelson was at his peak. And remember, Nelson was trying to stash away enough money from his golf career to buy a ranch in Texas. This wasn't a good fit.

Nelson had won his first major in 1937, setting a tournament record with a 66 and beating Ralph Guldahl by two shots. After losing in the semifinals of the PGA Championship and finishing 20th in the U.S. Open, he came across the Atlantic for his only appearance in golf's oldest championship.

Lord Byron never had a chance at Carnoustie. He opened with a 75 to fall five shots behind, trailed by nine shots going into the final day, and closed with respectable rounds of 71-74 to finish fifth, six shots behind Henry Cotton.

It didn't make sense for him to go back the next two years before World War II suspended play in the Open.

''It took a week to get there and a week to get home,'' Nelson later said. ''I was low American. And what it came down to was I lost a good part of my summer, won $185 and spent $1,000 on boat fare alone.''

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Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 7:20 pm

Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
(1) D. Johnson: 0-1-0 (2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0 (3) J. Rahm: 0-0-1 (4) J. Spieth: 2-0-0
(32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1 (21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat: 1-0-0 (19) P. Reed: 2-0-0
(38) A. Hadwin: 0-0-1
(48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0 (43) C. Reavie: 0-1-0 (34) H. Li: 0-2-0
(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
(60) L. List: 0-1-0 (63) K. Bradley: 0-0-1 (49) C. Schwartzel: 0-2-0
Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0 (6) R. McIlroy: 0-1-0 (7) S. Garcia: 1-0-0 (8) J. Day: 1-0-0
(30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
(18) B. Harman: 0-0-1 (20) X. Schauffele: 1-0-0 (25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0
(46) C. Smith: 1-0-0 (44) J. Vegas: 0-0-1 (41) D. Frittelli: 0-1-0 (42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0
(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0 (51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0 (62) S. Sharma: 0-1-0 (56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0
Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
(9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0 (10) P. Casey: 1-0-0 (11) M. Leishman: 0-1-0 (12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0
(26) D. Berger: 0-2-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0 (23) B. Grace: 0-1-0 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0
(33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0 (45) K. Stanley: 1-0-0 (35) B. Watson: 1-0-0 (36) B. Steele: 1-0-0
(58) I. Poulter: 2-0-0 (51) R. Henley: 0-1-0 (64) J. Suri: 1-0-0 (55) A. Levy: 0-1-0
Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
(13) A. Noren: 2-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 0-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-0-1 (16) M. Kuchar: 0-0-1
(29) T. Finau: 2-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-0-0 (24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1 (27) R. Fisher: 0-1-0
(39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0 (40) S. Kodaira: 0-1-0 (37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-0-0
(61) K. Na: 0-2-0 (59) C. Howell III: 1-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-0-1
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Watch: Bubba hits 366-yard tee shot ... with an iron

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 6:47 pm

You know Bubba Watson is plenty long off the tee. And when you put a little wind to his back and let him hit downhill, the ball is bound to travel a great distance.

But, still, this is a 366-yard tee shot at the par-4 ninth hole at Austin C.C. ... with an iron. Yeah, it runs for a long time. But, again, 366 ... with an iron.

Watson won the hole with a par and made the turn, 2 up, in his Day 2 match against Marc Leishman at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

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Romo starts hot, stumbles to 77 in PGA Tour debut

By Will GrayMarch 22, 2018, 5:14 pm

There was plenty of good, but also plenty of bad for Tony Romo in his PGA Tour debut.

Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 4-8.

The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:

But the back nine wasn't as kind for the 37-year-old, who dropped five shots in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 13-16. It added up to a 5-over 77 in the opening round, which left Romo ahead of only Guy Boros among the players who had finished in the morning wave.

"I hit two poor tee balls. Just didn't commit to it, and ultimately just got put in a tough spot where you're just trying to make par," Romo said. "I hit a lot of good shots, and they ended up a couple times in some poor spots. But you learn the golf course as you play it throughout the week."

Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Romo was even par through 12 holes before a three-putt bogey from the fringe on No. 13. A nasty lie in the rough led to a double bogey on the par-5 14th, and Romo had to hit provisional tee shots on both Nos. 15 and 16. While he ultimately found his original ball on both holes, he left with a pair of bogeys.

"I really hit some good shots, and I'm close," Romo said. "I had a chance to be under par pretty easily there for a while, and then two or three shots on the back nine cost me. But that's golf."

Romo will tee off at 1 p.m. ET Friday in the second round alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

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Horschel, Kisner & Perez join "Feherty," Monday, March 26 at 9 p.m. ET

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 22, 2018, 5:10 pm

PREVIEW: Perez details rocky collegiate golf experience at Arizona State

Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner and Pat Perez – each winners of multiple events on the PGA TOUR – will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated series Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance®, Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

“This might be the biggest group of benign social deviants I’ve ever had the privilege of speaking to,” said Feherty. “They’ve been responsible for nine career wins on TOUR collectively, but they’re each also capable of getting into some mischief.”

The episode – filmed in Naples, Fla. – will touch upon several topics, including:

  • Their respective upbringings and corresponding introductions to golf.
  • Reflections on their junior golf and collegiate playing days, and how it helped prepare them to compete as a professional.
  • Contemplating which mulligan(s) they’d take in their life if given the opportunity.

Future guests on Feherty this year include Paul Azinger, Stewart Cink, Boo Weekley and Paul Goydos, among others.

A two-time Emmy-nominated host (Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host) Feherty has been described as “golf’s iconoclast,” by Rolling Stone, and “the last unscripted man on TV,” by Men’s Journal. His all-star lineup of golf-enthused and culturally relevant guests feature celebrities from across entertainment, sports and politics. To date, Feherty has sat down with four U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump); sports legends Charles Barkley, Nick Saban, Stephen Curry and Bobby Knight; Hollywood icons Matthew McConaughey, Larry David and Samuel L. Jackson; World Golf of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; and a host of current golf superstars including Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Feherty is produced by Golf Channel’s original productions group, which also oversees production for Driver vs. Driver and Golf Films.