Lee Westwood and the Elusive Major

A lot is being made right now in the golf media about Lee Westwood’s missing major. The pundits seem split. Half say he still has time. Half say his time has passed.

I would like to see Westwood win a Major, but the truth is that he would be just one of many fine players for whom the Major ball just did not bounce in the right direction. Indeed, luck seems to have a big hand in the results. Otherwise mediocre players have had career weeks at Majors and walked away with titles that in a just world belonged to others: Shaun Micheel, Ben Curtis, Rich Beem, Todd Hamilton, Charlie Coody, Tommy Aaron, Jack Fleck, Wayne Grady, and Orville Moody come to mind.

And then there are the better players who did not manage to win a major, starting with Colin Montgomerie and Kenny Perry (can we agree that those two will not win a title, even though they still technically could do so), Bruce Lietzke, Jay Haas, Fred Funk, Sam Torrance, Harry Cooper, MacDonald Smith and many others.

Finally, there are the players for whom, along with Westwood, have little or no window left. There are several outstanding names there—and probably no bigger one than Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Part of the angst, I think results from a Tiger effect. In the fifteen year period of his dominance, Tiger has sucked up so many Majors that there hasn’t been a lot left for anyone else. In fact, in Tiger’s absence this past few years, we have seen nine straight first time Major winners. Competitive balance has been regained. So if Tiger remains out of the Major picture for a while longer, Westwood’s turn may surely come up.

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