British Open 2024: Ranking the top 10 golfers without a major


Andrew Redington

May 29, 2024

Xander Schauffele’s PGA Championship victory at Valhalla came with a big check and a bigger trophy that he quickly put to use to enjoy some celebratory bubbly. But the win also meant he’s forever a major champion—and will never have to answer any questions about not being one again.

If you took a poll of golf fans and media before the start of the PGA that asked who is the best player without a major, Schauffele would have been the overwhelming answer. So, who slides to the top of that list now? Well, that’s a little trickier.

Is it a veteran player who has a lot of close calls? Is it a young gun who has quickly flashed major potential? Or is it some combination of both?

More than a decade ago, we first came up with a mathematical formula to determine such a ranking following Adam Scott’s breakthrough at the 2013 Masters. And by that we mean the type of formula that a fifth-grader could figure out. But it added at least a bit of objectivity to this exercise—Henrik Stenson, who would win the 2016 Open Championship, was No. 1 by the way. Now, we’ve decided to bring it back. With a couple tweaks.

When we first did it, we used a combination of recent wins, close calls in majors and a golfer’s Official World Golf Ranking. But with the OWGR not doling out points for LIV events, we’ve taken that part of the equation out.

We’ve also adjusted the time frame, extending it from two years to five. That gives players a better chance to build up a résumé, but not too long to compile a lot of wins that might not be indicative of their current playing level. We also used an average point total from those years so younger players weren’t penalized just because they haven’t played that long.

We kept a win bonus for bigger victories (a half-point extra for PGA Tour signature events, FedEx Playoff events and now-defunct World Golf Championships) while also adding a full point bonus for winning a FedEx Cup (Hey, playing for $18 million has to be right there with major championship pressure) or a Players Championship. Although that didn't apply to this list when going back to only 2019. Sorry, Rickie. We also are giving only a half point for LIV victories given the limited fields competing in these events. Sorry, LIV.

Some might argue with our criteria, but it’s hard to argue with the list it produced. Without further ado, here are the current best golfers without a major.

1. Patrick Cantlay (3.2)


Andrew Redington

As soon as we put together this list and knocked Cantlay for never starting the final round of a major within five shots, he did just that at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst. Although he didn't putt his best on Sunday, the T-3 gave him a second career top five at a major and hopped him over Hovland for the top spot here.

2. Viktor Hovland (3.1)


Kevin C. Cox

The reigning FedEx Cup champ seems over his 2024 slump after finishing solo third at the PGA Championship, already his third top-five finish in a major.

3. Ludvig Aberg (3.0)


J.D. Cuban

Admittedly, we added the FedEx Cup bonus to keep Aberg, only one year into his professional career, from the top spot. But it makes sense because we'd like to see a larger body of work—plus we'd like to avoid the backlash we got for putting a young Jon Rahm in the top spot once (We were certainly proven right on that one!). That being said, after his runner-up in his first major start at the Masters, Aberg might be the most likely to leave this list next.

4. Tom Kim (2.0)



The Netflix star got to two and three PGA Tour wins faster than anyone since Tiger Woods. But the 21-year-old is already older than Woods when he won his first major.

5. Tony Finau (1.9)


Icon Sportswire

The PGA Tour titles have finally started to pile up the past few years, but Finau still hasn't gotten over the hump at a major. His most memorable brush came when he was in the final group with Tiger Woods and Francesco Molinari at the 2019 Masters. After a few quiet years in majors, however, Finau played great at Pinehurst No. 2 to finish T-3 at the 2024 U.S. Open.

6. Tommy Fleetwood (1.6)


Warren Little

Incredibly, the Brit has a pair of Sunday 63s at the U.S. Open. But still no major titles—or PGA Tour titles for that matter, despite winning more than $20 million in PGA Tour events.

7. Max Homa (1.5)


Michael Reaves

After an admittedly tough few years at majors, Homa has turned things around, including a first top five (a T-3) at this year's Masters.

8. Will Zalatoris (1.5)


Keyur Khamar

Zalatoris has come closer than anyone on this list to winning a couple of majors, including the 2022 U.S. Open at Brookline (above). But his lack of PGA Tour titles overall drop him down our list.

9. Sam Burns (1.1)


Sam Greenwood

Surprisingly, the five-time PGA Tour winner has never finished better than T-20 at a major.

T-10. Tyrrell Hatton (1.0)


Maddie Meyer

The animated Brit has won on the PGA, European, and LIV Tours, but he's still in search of a first top five in a major.

T-10. Cameron Young (1.0)


Julio Aguilar

The only player on this list without either a PGA Tour or DP World Tour title—although he does have a 59 to his credit now—Young already has two majors in which he has finished only one stroke behind the winner.