The struggle of one-time major winners
Being a one-time major winner isn't easy. Golf Digest senior writer Jamie Diaz discusses the challenges players face after winning their first major.
Released on 6/6/2017
I mean, there's been about 45 guys who've only won
one major, and out of those, there's probably
about seven or eight who you go,
that guy should have won more than one major.
What happens is that player feels now he has to race
to a new standard, one that isn't natural to him.
There's expectations that he's putting on himself,
there's pressure from family and sponsors and everybody
to live up to this new thing, and it becomes a negative.
Tom Weiskopf, he had a lot of Sundays where he
was in contention, the only one in '73 at Troom.
Davis Love, another player who was in the hunt a lot.
Fred Couples was there a lot.
Tom Kite was there quite a bit.
You know, those guys may have put more pressure
on themselves, but I think it also points
to how hard it is to win majors.
A lot of things have to go right,
and I would say if there's one thing in common
with all those guys, none of them were great putters.
In particular, Weiskopf, Davis Love, and Couples
were really impressive ball strikers,
but if you're not making a lot of putts,
you will get beaten by the guy
who's hot with a putter that week.
Those guys won tournaments, but they didn't win
probably as much as they should have won anyway,
regardless of majors.
Dustin Johnson, 2016 at Oakmont, Sergio Garcia, 2017
at the Masters.
Those guys both were among the players everybody said,
best player never to have won a major.
Now they've won one, but what's gonna happen.
Dustin Johnson is 32, that's very early,
his prime's ahead of him.
He is not a great putter.
He doesn't win tournaments by seven or eight shots.
He wins tournaments by a close margin.
You start doing that in majors, and it might fall your way
and it might not.
If he doesn't win another major, I won't be shocked.
If he wins four more, I won't be shocked.
Now, Sergio Garcia is 37 years old.
So, Sergio's fighting history a little bit.
And he's also found, I think, another gear mentally.
He was definitely a guy who got in his own way.
I still think the putter will hold him back
from, you know, winning in a dominating fashion.
So, that's gonna be Sergio's challenge
is those close margins, will he be able to capitalize
when he gets a chance?
He hadn't done it until the Masters.
It's never gonna be easy, but I think it's gonna get
easier for those two guys.
They're not gonna have the panic reaction,
they're gonna have more the positive reaction.
The glass is definitely half full for both those guys.