124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Lee Westwood, the best player to never win a major

May 08, 2010

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Regardless of how Sunday plays out at the Players Championship, Lee Westwood will go home with just as many majors as he started the week with. Which, of course, is none.

And that raises the point that Westwood isn't just the best player to never win a major, but that no one else really comes close.

After finishing in the top three in each of the last three majors, winning last year's Race to Dubai, and now with a one-shot lead in the Players Championship, Westwood has been arguably been the most consistent player in golf over the last 12 months.  Compare that to the other players whose names get bandied about in the TBPNTWAM debate -- Steve Stricker, Kenny Perry, the long-dormant Sergio Garcia -- and the fourth-ranked Westwood might be the player with the most riding on the three remaining majors this season.

But first, of course, he has to contend with Sunday at the Stadium Course. After falling behind two at one point to Heath Slocum, Westwood managed to regain the lead, then held on to it with some steely play late -- a birdie on 16, a delicate downhill two-putt on 17, and an otherworldly shot from the right trees that set up par on 18.

Impressive stuff for sure. For Westwood in the big events, however, the hard part has been doing it again on Sunday.

"I'm just pleased with myself that I keep knocking on the door and putting myself in position," he said.

-- *Sam Weinman *