Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

GOLF ; Other "Big Three" Aims to Break Out

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

GOLF ; Other "Big Three" Aims to Break Out

Article excerpt

AUGUSTA, Ga. - The modern "Big Three" have won five of the last six majors going into the Masters. The other "Big Three can only hope they are next.

That would be the trio of top players Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler - who have done everything right over the past several years except for those four weeks that define careers.

All of them are among the top 10 in the world. All of them have had their close calls in the majors, which motivates them even more.

"I still feel like my time is coming, Johnson said Monday. "I've just got to keep putting myself in position to have a chance to win. One of these days, I will get it done.

The label of "best to have never won a major has been around for at least three decades, and most of those players eventually won one, whether it was Tom Kite or Corey Pavin, Davis Love III or Phil Mickelson. And then there was Colin Montgomerie, who never did, and Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood, who have to wonder if they ever will.

The list of current candidates is growing.

And with Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day taking turns winning majors and trading time at No. 1 in the world, it's getting tougher.

"It's never been easy to predict winners in golf, but it's certainly not getting any easier, Stenson said.

Stenson, who turns 40 on Tuesday, might feel the greatest sense of urgency.

He has reached as high as No. 2 in the world. He was runner-up at Muirfield in the British Open and tied for third in the PGA Championship three years ago. His closest call was in 2014 in the PGA Championship at Valhalla, when he was among four players tied for the lead on the back nine and tied for third.

Frustrating? Yes. Hopeless? Not even close.

"I know I've got a game that fits well for major championship golf, and I've just got to keep on putting myself in the final groups, or in the last couple of groups, Stenson said. "The more times I do that, the better the chances are for the outcome that I want to have. ... I'm certainly motivated to make it happen.

To make that happen at Augusta, history is not on his side. That goes for Johnson and Fowler, too.

Stenson believes Augusta National suits him well, even though he has yet to record a top 10 in the Masters. …

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