There isn’t often that a player in the golfing world ascends to the top of the World Rankings without winning a Major – only Luke Donald and Lee Westwood have done so in recent years.
With that accolade being only achieved by a few figures – we’ve delved into the money list to work out who are the highest earners in golf to have never got their mitts on a Major trophy.
Some are almost elementary – due to career length – but there are a few puzzling inclusions.
10. Stuart Appleby – $28,913,129
Austalian Appleby first joined the PGA Tour in 1996, and has amassed nine wins to take him to 17 total professional victories in a career that has spanned nearly 25 years. His return of $28 million is not too shabby for a player who had pursued an Australian Rules Football career as a youngster. His best finish at a Major was a tied-second finish at the 2002 Open Championship – very close to not making this list.
9. Rory Sabbatini – $29,343,180
Sabbatini’s best finish at a Major was at the 2007 Masters – where he finished alongside none-other than Tiger Woods – despite this he has accrued some serous credits on the PGA Tour. Six professional wins see the South African with a healthy account balance – with his last win coming at the 2011 Honda Classic.
8. Hunter Mahan – $29,475,013
Amiable American Mahan has finished in the Top 10 in all of the Majors, with his best finish coming at the 2013 U.S. Open, where he finished four shots behind the eventual winner Justin Rose. Mahan also has six PGA Tour wins that have propelled him up our list of money winners without a Major.
7. Dustin Johnson – $29,666,559
One of the longest drivers on Tour, how a Major has alluded the big-hitting American is not for me to mention…but despite not winning a Major, nine wins have helped the Carolina University graduate to just short of $30 million. Not too shabby – and there’s plenty of time to get yourself off this list too Dustin – you’ve had enough close-calls so far.
6. K.J. Choi – $30,474,317
40 weeks in the Top 10 of the World Rankings have helped this South Korean to number six in our money listers to never win a Major. Choi has won the so-called ’fifth Major’ – the 2011 Players Championship – a third place finish at the 2004 Masters is his only top five Major finish.
5. Kenny Perry – $32,123,130
Perry has come desperately close to winning Major trophies on two occasions – the 1996 U.S. PGA Championship and 2009 Masters – losing out via playoff on both occasions. Perry recorded his only win since his Masters heartbreak at the 2009 Travelers Championship – but we are sure his prize winnings from 14 PGA Tour titles will ease the pain somewhat.
4. Luke Donald – $33,269,163
Most would have thought that Donald would have broken his Major duck yet – after breaking Tiger Woods University scoring record – but the 2011 PGA Player of the Year’s best finishes have come at the 2005 Masters and the 2006 PGA Championship, where the Englishman finished tied-third. A spell at the top of the World Rankings have helped the man from Hemel Hempstead to a healthy $33 million.
3. Matt Kuchar – $33,885,712
Kuchar has top 10 finishes in all Majors, and the Amateur pedigree to be a more than worthy winner of a Major title. Despite this – his best finish came at the 2012 Masters – where his eight-under 280 was only enough to join Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson and Peter Hanson in tied-third place.
2. Sergio Garcia – $40,443,548
It’s the hope that kills you. Sergio should have won a Major by now, that’s just a fact – but 27 professional wins will have softened the blow of missing out on the U.S. PGA Championship and most notably the 2007 Open Championship via playoff to Padraig Harrington. The Spaniard still has time on his side, and we are sure he will break his hoodoo soon.
1. Steve Stricker – $40,944,541
Stricker is the top earner in the history of golf – so far as it’s more than likely that Sergio will overtake the American – to have never won a Major title. A regular face on leaderboards over the past 25 years, this helped the Wisconsin native to 157 consecutive weeks from May 2009 to May 2012 in the top-10 of the World Rankings. A total of 253 in the Top 10 and 22 professional wins have bolstered Strickers bank balance to an impressive $40 million – and this despite never winning a Major trophy – his best finish coming at the 1998 U.S. PGA Championship. He lost out on that occasion to Vijay Singh.
We wouldn’t bet that Jerry Kelly is a household name, but despite this and having only won three PGA Tour titles, Kelly has managed to win a staggering $27,465,236 as a professional.
Aussie Allenby made up a mugging and kidnap story to explain a night out in Hawaii earlier this year, any muggers would have made off with some serious cash if this was true – with the 44-year old being worth at least $27 million in prize money alone.
The 2007 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year hasn’t has his hands on Major silverware, but has his hands on a fortune worth in excess of $26 million. Not too shabby for the man who looks like Scooby Doo’s Shaggy.