15 Greatest Golfers to Never Win the British Open

15 Greatest Golfers to Never Win the British Open

British Open
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The 2014 British Open is set to take center stage this weekend at the Royal Liverpool Golf Course in England. Players from all over are ready to compete for a chance at the Claret Jug. Some players are trying to redeem their downhill careers, while others are trying to etch their name in the history books. Even the best golfers in the world struggle in The Open Championship. Here’s a look at the 15 greatest who never won the British Open.

15. Lee Westwood

Lee Westwood
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15. Lee Westwood

Lee Westwood
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Major Championships: 0

Lee Westwood is one of the greatest golfers ever to never win a major tournament. In 2010, he came in second at the Masters and the British Open. Westwood has 40 professional wins, including 23 on the European Tour.

14. Bruce Crampton

Bruce Crampton
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14. Bruce Crampton

Bruce Crampton
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Major Championships: 0

A quick look at Bruce Crampton’s career and one might wonder why he’s on this list. Even though he has never won a major, he has made plenty of noise on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour. In all, Crampton has 43 professional wins, including 14 on the PGA Tour. He has also come in 2nd in major tournaments four times in his career, all of which to Jack Nicklaus.

13. Doug Sanders

Doug Sanders
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13. Doug Sanders

Doug Sanders
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Major Championships: 0

Doug Sanders has 20 wins on the PGA Tour, but unfortunately, none of them occurred in a major. With that being said, the British Open is where he nearly made his mark twice. He finished second place in 1966 and 1970. In fact, it was in 1970 when he missed a three-foot putt to win The Open Championship. Sanders was still a big-time player in the majors, which is why he definitely deserves to be on this list.

12. Christy O’Connor Sr.

Christy O’Connor Sr.
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12. Christy O’Connor Sr.

Christy O’Connor Sr.
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Major Championships: 0

European Christy O’Connor Sr. made his mark on the game of golf during his time. Of the four majors, he only played in The Open Championship, which is why it’s a shame he never won one. He finished in the top 10 in 10 British Opens, including runner-up in 1965. O’Connor was a member of 10 Ryder Cup teams and has 43 professional wins.

11. Colin Montgomerie

Colin Montgomerie
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11. Colin Montgomerie

Colin Montgomerie
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Major Championships: 0

The great Colin Montgomerie saw plenty of success on the European Tour. In fact, his 31 wins are ranked fourth all time. Unfortunately, he was never able to win a major, which was something he wanted so badly. He finished in 2nd place five times, including the 2005 British Open. Montgomerie seemed to always find a way to squander his chances in a major tournament.

10. Fred Couples

Fred Couples
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10. Fred Couples

Fred Couples
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Major Championships: 1

Fred Couples is an outstanding golfer who is far better than what his lone major win suggests. He has finished second in the PGA Championship and third in the U.S. Open. More relevant to this list, Couples came in third place twice at The Open Championship, with the most recent being in 2005. That year, he was victim to Tiger Woods’ impressive showing.

9. Ben Crenshaw

Ben Crenshaw
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9. Ben Crenshaw

Ben Crenshaw
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Major Championships: 2

Ben Crenshaw has been a runner-up at the British Open twice. In fact, he’s had several near wins in major tournaments. He has won the Masters twice, has 19 PGA Tour victories, and is the 2002 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee.

8. Bernhard Langer

Bernhard Langer
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8. Bernhard Langer

Bernhard Langer
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Major Championships: 2

Bernhard has 42 wins on the European Tour, which ranks second all time. In that regard, Langer is widely considered to be the best German golfer in history. He came close to winning the British Open in a span of three years (1981, 1984), in which he finished second both times. Langer settled for two wins at the Masters instead.

7. Jimmy Demaret

Jimmy Demaret
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7. Jimmy Demaret

Jimmy Demaret
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Major Championships: 3

Jimmy Demaret was the first three-time Masters champion in PGA history. He nearly won the U.S. Open in 1948 when he took 2nd place. By the time of his retirement in 1959, he had 31 PGA Tour wins. Unfortunately, he never finished better than 10th place at The Open Championship, which was by far his worst showing in a major tournament.

6. Payne Stewart

Payne Stewart
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6. Payne Stewart

Payne Stewart
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Major Championships: 3

Payne Stewart’s death from an airplane crash shocked the golf world in 1999. He was a tremendous talent who won 11 times on the PGA Tour, including three majors. He came in second place at the British Open twice.

5. Hale Irwin

Hale Irwin
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5. Hale Irwin

Insperity Championship  - Round One
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Major Championships: 3

Hale Irwin came in second at The Open Championship in 1983 after Tom Watson held on to the victory by one stroke. In the nine years up to that point, Irwin dominated majors, as he finished in the top 10 in over half of the tournaments he appeared in, including two wins in the U.S. Open. He also finished in the top 10 at the Masters an incredible seven times.

4. Raymond Floyd

Raymond Floyd
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4. Raymond Floyd

Raymond Floyd
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Major Championships: 4

Raymond Floyd has 22 PGA Tour wins, including four majors. In fact, the only major he failed to win was the British Open of which he came in 2nd place in 1978. His success convinced the World Golf Hall of Fame to induct him in 1989.

3. Vijay Singh

Vijay Singh
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3. Vijay Singh

Vijay Singh
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Major Championships: 3

Vijay Singh has won two PGA Championships and the Masters once. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2005 and has 58 professional wins, which includes 34 on the PGA Tour. The two majors Singh couldn’t win were both of the Opens. He came close to winning the British Open in 2003 when he lost by one stroke to Ben Curtis.

2. Byron Nelson

Byron Nelson
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2. Byron Nelson

Byron Nelson
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Major Championships: 5

Many know Byron Nelson as one of the greatest golfers of all time. He only appeared in two Open Championships, which is why it might be peculiar to add him to the list. However, I decided to do so for the simple reason that he won all three other majors, with the British Open being the only one he didn’t. Also notable is that he has 52 career PGA Tour wins, which ranks sixth all time.

1. Billy Casper

Billy Casper
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1. Billy Casper

Billy Casper
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Major Championships: 3

The great Billy Casper won three majors in his career, including two U.S. Opens (1959, 1966) and one Masters (1970). Of his five starts in the British Open, he managed to finish in the top 25 in four of them. His best finish at the Open Championship was in 1968 when he came in 4th place. Casper appeared on eight Ryder Cup teams and he is a two-time PGA Player of the Year.


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