- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 18, 2012

LYTHAM ST. ANNES, ENGLAND (AP) - Mark Calcavecchia won the British Open in 1989 at Royal Troon and asked a question that surely was on everyone’s mind.

“How’s my name going to fit on that thing?” he said.

Here’s another question. How can the oldest trophy in golf _ a silver claret jug _ be missing some of golf’s greatest players?

Byron Nelson might have won if he had bothered going to Britain more than once, though Ben Hogan won on his only try in 1953 at Carnoustie. Phil Mickelson went more than 10 years without even cracking the top 10. Ben Curtis won the Open in his very first major championship.


Here are the five best players to never have won golf’s oldest championship:

___

5. COLIN MONTGOMERIE

Colin Montgomerie has to be considered among the best of all time to never win any major, much less the British Open. He won eight Order of Merits on the European Tour, reached as high as No. 2 in the world and won more than 30 times around the world. That alone qualifies him for the list.

The downside? He not only didn’t win the Open, he never seriously sniffed it.

Montgomerie seemed to play his best at Royal Troon, where his father was a secretary. He tied for 24th one year, and tied for 25th another. Amazingly, he had only a pair of top 10s, and despite his runner-up finish to Tiger Woods at St. Andrews in 2005, the engraver never had to worry about the proper spelling of his name.

He had a 36-hole lead at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, and was only one behind going into the Sunday, yet tied for 13th. He made a strong run at Woods on Saturday at St. Andrews, but not when it mattered on Sunday.

___

4. VIJAY SINGH

Vijay Singh, the man from Fiji, cut his teeth on the European Tour and desperately wanted to win a claret jug. He came over to America for good in 1993, and went on to a Hall of Fame career that featured a record 22 wins after turning pro (for a total of 39 PGA Tour wins), and three majors. He won the Masters in 2000, and the PGA Championship in 1998 and 2004.

And he played well on links golf _ just never good enough.

Story Continues →