by Jeff Skinner
This season has been a great year for the four major championship winners. Any time a players adds a major to their resume it’s a successful season. We watched as Bubba Watson carved his way out of the trees of Augusta National for his first major at The Masters. Webb Simpson kept the first time winner streak going at The U.S. Open with his first grand slam win. At The Open Championship it looked like Adam Scott would keep the streak alive but then he squandered his lead and Ernie Els was there to capture the Claret Jug. Ernie broke the string as he collected his fourth major. This past week we watched young Rory McIlroy earn his second major in the last two seasons and lay claim to the top spot in the world. The four winners all had their own special stories and gave us a great season.
But at the same time we watched as some of the top players in the world still struggled to win that elusive first major. John Feinstein profiles Luke Donald and Lee Westwood and their disappointing 2012 major season.
Both Donald and Westwood are former World Number One players that have failed to clinch that first major. Westwood has a history of being close, painfully close to the lead on Sundays but this season the best he did was missing out on Bubba’s Masters’ Playoff by two shots. Donald has played well on every Sunday in each major this year with a final round scoring average of 67.67 but compare that to his opening round 74 average and you see where his trouble is. He has had to come from so far back that he never was really a threat for any hardware.
Westwood is so frustrated he let his par-time caddie go (his regular one is rehabbing from an injury) and he fired his longtime swing coach. Westwood could use some short game help as he led the field in greens in regulation after two rounds at The PGA but still missed the cut.
Winning tournaments, earning millions and traveling the world is certainly a great life. But to be listed among the immortals of the game players need a major championship. It’s a title no player wants to wear for any extended period of time: The Best Player Not to Win a Major. It seems that Luke and Lee share that moniker right now. It’s one they are both desperately trying to get rid of.