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Lightning in a bottle, Who is the Worst Player to Have Won a Major


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On 3/21/2016 at 2:26 AM, onthehunt526 said:

Of the previous generation (1976-1995), How about Bill Rogers.

He had 5 other PGA wins. His one win is about near his 'expected' number of Majors.

Single Major winners are the most frequent type of winner, but great players / multiple Major winners seem to take a larger than expected share of the total available Majors so who's in the field / contention does matter.

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Edited by natureboy
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Your comment reminds me of the joke my father used to tell me. "What do you call the guy who graduated at the bottom of his class in medical school... Doctor." &#1

It's rare for low-ranked golfers to win majors, even in the early days. It's even rarer to have a true 'one hit wonder' without some show  of consistent form across the years at least in the major the

If you want to go old-school, Sam Parks Jr. (1935 US Open champ) may be it.  Local amateur who knew Oakmont like the back of his hand, and used that knowledge to shock the world in the 1935 Open.  Tha

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On 3/18/2016 at 5:38 AM, boogielicious said:

Isn't this a bit like the One Hit Wonder debates in music? They won a major. Why bother dissing that? They beat the best at a top notch tournament. Maybe the thread title should be, "Who Overachieved the Most to Win a Major?"

Calling them the worst is more to make yourself feel better than to evaluate them. The "Worst" PGA golfer is still on tour. We aren't. The "One Hit Wonder" still had a hit. We haven't.

This reminds me of these media guys did a one on one contest w/ Brian Scalabrine and he just busted them up like they were middle schoolers.  But to answer the question of the post.....Shaun Micheel is the obvious answer.

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On 3/22/2016 at 7:41 AM, natureboy said:

He had 5 other PGA wins. His one win is about near his 'expected' number of Majors.

Single Major winners are the most frequent type of winner, but great players / multiple Major winners seem to take a larger than expected share of the total available Majors so who's in the field / contention does matter.

Players by Major Total.png

Total Majors by Number Won.png

I'll agree with that. A lot of Single Major winners have averaged about 5 wins. 

Some however had more tour wins. For example, Davis Love III has 21 wins, but just the one major the 1997 PGA Championship. Fred Couples has 15 wins, but his only major was the 1992 Masters. 

Ian Baker-Finch won elsewhere in the world, but I wanna say only had 2 PGA Tour Wins, and only one in the U.S., Colonial in 1989. (I know the Open Championship is now a PGA Tour event.  All British Open winners, prior to the tour making it an official event, retroactively counted as Tour wins.)

Since 1968, (When the Tournament Players and PGA split) aside from Moody and Micheel, I cannot think of any single major champion, having their major championship, be their only win. (Well Paul Lawrie, but he was a member of the European Tour, so technically I don't really count him as a one time winner to win a major, because he has 8 European Tour wins)   

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''I would say any player to have won a major can never be deemed a poor player''.

To play along the worst player.. And this might be as a personal opinion but tom Kite his thick glasses:-\ hmm, but his swing is good again any time you win a tour event and then a major put's you as a hall of fame candidate.

 

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@Mike Boatright I agree any player who has won a major is/was not a bad player. The adjective/noun combo "Worst Player" here, IMHO doesn't fit. "Lightning In A Bottle: Major Champion Who Has Had The Most Disappointing Pro Career" is a little more accurate.

You could even start a thread.

"PGA TOUR Winners, Who Should Have Won More Majors" but that is a tangiently related topic, that makes more sense as it's own topic, because you could argue a ton of guys, and I mean a ton of guys, who should have more majors than they do. But that's another topic.

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7 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

@Mike Boatright I agree any player who has won a major is/was not a bad player. The adjective/noun combo "Worst Player" here, IMHO doesn't fit. "Lightning In A Bottle: Major Champion Who Has Had The Most Disappointing Pro Career" is a little more accurate.

You could even start a thread.

"PGA TOUR Winners, Who Should Have Won More Majors" but that is a tangiently related topic, that makes more sense as it's own topic, because you could argue a ton of guys, and I mean a ton of guys, who should have more majors than they do. But that's another topic.

I still see this thread to be more about overachievers who've won a major by playing well above their ability.  Stuart Cink comes to mind as a recent example. He was good enough to win the The Open, but hasn't hinted at that since.

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To me (and after all I did start this hot mess) the term "Lightning in a bottle" isn't about who had the most disappointing career, but rather who had the most unexpected win.
That is why I used Ben Curtis as my example - tour rookie, had 0 top tens going into the Open Championship, and nobody sees his win coming.

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4 hours ago, Wally Fairway said:

To me (and after all I did start this hot mess) the term "Lightning in a bottle" isn't about who had the most disappointing career, but rather who had the most unexpected win.
That is why I used Ben Curtis as my example - tour rookie, had 0 top tens going into the Open Championship, and nobody sees his win coming.

On that criteria, Curtis does rank high. True it's only in retrospect that we see it as more expected. Moody would be up there too on that criteria, but he had been in a playoff earlier in the year so his skill would have been more apparent than Curtis.

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25 minutes ago, Wally Fairway said:

If he wins this year then Bowditch would meet my definition of "Lightning in a Bottle" maybe the most unexpected

Um, what?  If we're voting golf pros most likely to surprise winning a major in the future, I'll choose Mac O'Grady.  But I don't think that's the topic.

 

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On 3/18/2016 at 6:38 AM, boogielicious said:

Isn't this a bit like the One Hit Wonder debates in music? They won a major. Why bother dissing that? They beat the best at a top notch tournament. Maybe the thread title should be, "Who Overachieved the Most to Win a Major?"

Calling them the worst is more to make yourself feel better than to evaluate them. The "Worst" PGA golfer is still on tour. We aren't. The "One Hit Wonder" still had a hit. We haven't.

I like your thinking. Most guys here would die to have Shaun Micheel's or Ben Curtis's games!

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10 hours ago, Gunther said:

Um, what?  If we're voting golf pros most likely to surprise winning a major in the future, I'll choose Mac O'Grady.  But I don't think that's the topic.

 

Difference is Mac isn't invited to play this year Masters, Bowditch has tee times at Augusta this week for both Thursday & Friday.

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On March 21, 2016 at 2:26 AM, onthehunt526 said:

 

True... very true... Probably of our generation (1996-present) you'd have to say Shaun Micheel as we've said.

Of the previous generation (1976-1995), How about Bill Rogers. Remember the Original Tight Lies infomercials? He and Hank Haney did the original one. Bill Rogers, who to his credit was a good player, caught "Lightning In The Bottle" in the 1981 Open Championship at Sandwich (Royal St. George's). He had some decent finishes in other majors, however?

There were a few in the generation before, but Orville Moody, takes the cake.

Bill Rogers was more of a "one-season wonder." In 1981, he was the best player in the world. Four PGA Tour wins (including the Open and the World Series of Golf), an Australian Open title, and runner-up at the US Open. Rogers is more akin to David Duval, who had a brief, spectacular run at the top, but then fell hard.

Moody was, by most accounts, a great ball striker and an atrocious putter. Watch film of the 1969 US Open, and you'll see him with one of the least comfortable putting strokes you'll ever see from a professional. However, that tournament was held in Houston, in June, on a course with bentgrass greens; they were so slow in the Texas heat that it neutralized putting skill for the entire field. Moody would have stood no chance at any other major championship held under normal conditions.

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On 4/6/2016 at 10:46 AM, onthehunt526 said:

I'll buy that, Lucas Glover has done exactly nothing, since his win at Bethpage Black in 2009... But it's only been 7 years, it's been 13 since Micheel won the PGA.

side note. once saw lucas glover on the range at a pga event. dude was probably having a rough session, he is human and its a hard game. but that swing was tough to watch

Edited by theworldengine
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I thought I already posted on this topic. If so, then this is an update...lol

I would put all the one and dones in the same "worst" basket. Especially those who won with luck on their side, and/or bad luck for the multiple major winners who did not win. 

However, for the sake of this thread,  I suppose Shaun Micheel is probably a good choice. I don't remember which major he won, but I know he won one of them. 

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