Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Best Golfers Never to Win the U.S. Open: A Fan's Take

Many great golfers have claimed the United States Open title. On Father's Day a new champion will be crowned at the 112th U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California. Yet there are many great golfers throughout history that have never had their name engraved on the trophy. As always lists are quite subjective by their very nature. That being said here is my list of the greatest players (in alphabetical order) never to claim the United States Open Championship. 

Seve Ballesteros
Spanish golfing legend Seve Ballesteros won five major championships in his career. Arguably one of the greatest players that continental Europe has yet produced, Ballesteros claimed three British Open titles and two green jackets. In addition to his success in the United States Ballesteros won 50 titles, including his major wins, on the European Tour. This remains the European Tour record. Ballesteros' best U.S. Open finish came in 1987 when he placed third. 

Nick Faldo
Englishman Sir Nick Faldo claimed six major championships in his career but never the United States Open championship. Faldo also enjoyed substantial success of the European tour claiming 30 victories. Faldo's best U.S. Open finish was second place in 1988. 

Bobby Locke
Bobby Locke was one of the great golfers in history and yet many American fans likely know little about him. Locke is most well-known for winning four British Open titles and for being one the greatest if not the greatest putter that ever lived. Locke's famous quote, "drive for show, putt for dough" is known by most every golfer. A native of South Africa, Locke was also the first great golfer that was neither British nor American. In only six U.S. Open appearances, Locke recorded five Top Five finishes. 

Phil Mickelson
It is difficult to place Phil Mickelson on this list because his career is not complete. Yet I think his career to this point warrants his inclusion. Phil Mickelson has won four career major championships; three Masters titles and a victory at the 2005 PGA Championship. In total Mickelson has 40 career PGA Tour titles which places him in the Top 10 all-time. While he cannot lay claim to being the greatest player of his generation, he is certainly no worse than number two. He has had many chances to hoist the U.S. Open trophy yet he is been relegated to runner-up status five times. Unfortunately for Phil his time to claim the U.S. Open title is running short. 

Sam Snead
Sam Snead was a legendary figure in the world of golf. He won seven major championships in his illustrious career. In all Snead won 82 career PGA Tour titles. That is still a record that stands to this day. It's not that Sam Snead did not have some success at the U.S. Open because he certainly did. Snead finished as the runner-up to the U.S. Open champion four times in his career. 

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