Top 10: Players never to win a U.S. PGA Championship

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Some of the biggest names in golf to never lift the Wanamaker Trophy

The U.S. PGA Championship has thrown up some strange winners over the years, with the last Major of the year offering players one last chance at one of the ‘big four’ trophies during the season.

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Of the 16 players ever winning three of the four Major trophies available, only Tom Watson and Arnold Palmer are without a Wanamaker Trophy in their bulging trophy cabinets.

10. Greg Norman


‘The Shark’ is one of a host of the world’s top golfers who should have won more Major titles. The Australian had his best chance at Inverness in 1986, where he had held the lead going into the final round, only to stumble on Sunday losing out to Bob Tway.

Norman finished runner-up twice at the US PGA, in 1986 and 1993.

9. Jimmy Demaret


A 31-time winner on the PGA Tour, James Newton Demaret might be a relative unknown to many – having played the majority of his golf during the 1940s and the early 1950s. Demaret is known for becoming the first player to win three Masters titles. 

Despite this, the American was unable to get his hands on the Wanamaker Trophy, finishing 3rd on three occasions – 1942, 1946, 1948 and 1950.

8. Hale Irwin


The American was one of the world’s leading golfers during the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, is one of the few players to ever win three U.S. Open titles – and still holds the record for the oldest ever U.S. Open champion at 45.

Despite having won 20 times on the PGA Tour, Irwin was unable to lift the Wanamaker Trophy – his best finish coming in 1975 in tied-5th.

7. Ernie Els


Despite setting the 54-hole course record at Riviera, Ernie Els was unable to lift the Wanamaker Trophy in 1995 after posting an even-par final round which saw him finish in 3rd place. The Big Easy has finished 3rd on two occasions at the US PGA – 1995 and 2007.

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6. Johnny Miller


The first player to shoot 63 in a Major Championship – at the 1973 U.S. Open – Johnny Miller did not have a good record at the PGA Championship. Miller never managed to break the Top 10 at the US PGA.

5. Seve Ballesteros


Severiano is no doubt one of the biggest stars golf has ever produced – the Spaniard never really took to the U.S. PGA Championship. Seve missed the cut in five of his 13 appearances and only finished in the Top 20 three times. The best of those being a 5th place finish in 1984.

4. Billy Casper


One of the most prolific PGA Tour winners of all-time, Billy Casper is perhaps one of the most underrated players in the history of golf. Despite “only” winning three Majors – Casper finished in the Top 10 eight times at the U.S. PGA Championships. Casper finished runner-up on thee occasions – 1958, 1965 and 1971.

3. Nick Faldo


Faldo might have six Majors to his name, but alongside the U.S. Open, the U.S. PGA eluded the Englishman. Faldo did have an impressive stretch from 1992-1994, finishing 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively.

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2. Tom Watson


The only Major trophy that stands between Tom Watson and a career Grand Slam is the PGA Championship. Watson has performed very well at the PGA Championship throughout his long career – with 10 Top 10 finishes. 

The American was beaten to the 1978 title after losing a play-off to John Mahaffey.

1. Arnold Palmer


‘The King’ has 62 career titles to his name – including seven Majors.

But that lengthy title list is without one – The PGA Championship.

Palmer finished 2nd at the U.S. PGA three times – 1964, 1968 and 1970.

One of the greatest to ever play the game, Palmer had three other Top 10 finishes over his lengthy career.
Honourable mentions
With the PGA Championship only being open to professionals, the likes of Bobby Jones never got to play in the championship.

The likes of James Braid and  J.H. Taylor were unable to play in the championship as the PGA was after their time.

Kim Jong Un unfortunately does not feature despite reports suggesting otherwise…

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