If Abraham is the Ancer, what is the question – which Major Championship is a good fit for him?

The Mexican won the WGC-St Jude Invitational on the second hole of a playoff, but can he take the next step into the world’s elite?

It took a little time, but last week Abraham Ancer finally got his first win on the PGA Tour, claiming the WGC-St Jude Invitational on the second extra hole.

In the aftermath of his long-awaited breakthrough the Mexican revealed just how his entire career had, in fact, been preparation for his test of patience at the top level.

"I really just always knew I wanted it," he said. "I knew I wanted to be a professional golfer. It was always inside of me.

"I had that little thing telling me that I could do it and yet there was also lot of times in my career or growing up that I was like, man, this is pretty tough, I don't know if I'll ever be able to come close to the PGA Tour.

"This is a crazy career, a crazy sport, because there's a lot of guys that are incredible and they just somehow don't make it. And there's some guys that people don't really think are that great and they just figure out a way."

Ancer was not entirely winless. He lifted a trophy on the second tier Korn Ferry Tour in 2015 and also at the 2018 Australian Open. He also thrived when representing the International team in the 2019 Presidents Cup, but limelight on the main stage was elusive.

Ahead of last week he'd finished second four times on the PGA Tour and had landed 11 top 20s in 2021 alone.

How did he maintain composure and keep plugging away?

"The bad thoughts wanted to slip in my head a little bit," he admitted. "But I just said, 'Hey, what are you doing? You worked your ass off to be here, this is the time that you're going to go and get it, you're going to make birdie and you're going to win this tournament. That's what I kept telling myself.'

"I've done enough in other events to win and it just didn't go my way. So I just stayed patient, I didn't change anything. I just try to get better at how I play golf and keep my head cool.

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"There's obviously some rough weeks that can kind of throw you off and maybe you start looking at some things that you shouldn't, but I learned that my first year when I was out here. I played terrible golf and I'm pretty thankful now that I learned all those lessons right away.

"I felt really good this whole week and I've been feeling good for a long, long time. I just needed to be patient and just keep putting myself in good positions to win the tournament.

"You've also got to get lucky at time to win events and I'm happy things went my way this week."

The neat and tidy nature of the 30-year-old's game is revealed in the stats: he ranks 25th for Strokes Gained Off the Tee, 31st for Approach, 43rd for Putting and 21st in Total.

He's taken quite the leap in landing his first win at World Golf Championship level, but can he take the next step into the world's elite and claim a Major?

Let's see what else he said after his triumph on Sunday and then look at his record in the four events that truly define a golfing career.

Ancer on his father

"He literally just did everything he could even if money was tight. Just taking me to a tournament, now that I know what travelling costs, I'm like, man, I don't know how he did it. He always just figured out a way. It's not easy growing up in Reynosa and making it to the PGA Tour. The chances are very slim, but I give all of that to my dad because he busted his ass to get me out here and I wish he was out here to celebrate. I know he was with me the whole round, but being a little selfish, I really, really want him here. He definitely would be extremely proud. I know he is having a big old party up there, man."

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Ancer on Mexican golf

"I'm really pumped where things are headed in my country. Carlos (Ortiz) has been playing some really good golf and I feel like we've done a really good job. There's a lot more to come. There's a lot of good players out there that are hungry to get to the PGA Tour and I have no doubt in my mind that we're going to have not two guys out here, but four or five in the years to come."

Ancer in the Masters

At first glance his record at Augusta National is solid, but it's actually better than that. He finished T13th on debut last November and then added T26th in April.

But on that debut he was tied for the lead at halfway, second after 54 holes, and played the final round alongside the eventual winner Dustin Johnson.

He ranked third for Greens in Regulation on that debut and then eighth for Putts per Round this year.

A good start, but perhaps a little asterisk next to last year because of the unusual soft conditions in November which may have helped the rookie hit so many greens.

Ancer in the PGA Championship

Another decent start to a tournament logbook, with three cuts made from three starts. He was T16th at Bethpage in 2019, T43rd at Harding Park last year and tied eighth at Kiawah Island this May.

Next up is Southern Hills and there's potential for a bit of inspiration (and also maybe course experience) because it's in Oklahoma, where Ancer went to college.

One small rider: he so far has an excellent record in the final round (always breaking 72) and it has somewhat boosted his final returns because, other than at the end of the 2019 and 2021 events, he's never been in the top 20. In other words, never really getting into contention.

But there's definite hope for next May.

Ancer in the US Open

On debut at Pebble Beach in 2019 he was T49th, he added T56th at Winged Foot last year, and then missed the cut at Torrey Pines in June.

Perhaps the biggest concern long-term is the frequency of big numbers.

His debut included a 74 and a 76, he closed last year with 75-79-76, and two months ago carded 73-77.

Next venue is The Country Club in Brookline. Definitely a watching brief for now, but the inland setting should suit.

Ancer in the Open

There's almost a theme here - the longer into the year the Major is, the more Ancer struggles.

Purely coincidental you would assume, but he's yet to quite get to grips with linksland.

He missed the cut on debut at Carnoustie, the same thing happened a year later at Royal Portrush, and then he was T59th at Royal St George's last month.

Do we have any more evidence of his linksland expertise? Well, he did finish T19th at the 2019 Irish Open at Lahinch and was tied third at halfway.

He was also superb at Royal Melbourne in that Presidents Cup. It's not linksland, but the Melbourne sandbelt does test a golfer in a similar manner to seaside golf.

There is hope that he has a decent Open effort in him in the future, but maybe in fine weather.

PlanetSport tipster Jack Kelliher tipped both Ancer and the long-term leader Harris English.

Jack said: "Still seeking his first win on the Tour, Ancer's available at a massive 45/1. I think his all-round game will really suit this week's test and I expect him to go close and challenge the top end of that leaderboard." He added: "Harris English (also 45/1) was a winner on debut in 2013 but he's a far better player than what he was back then."

READ MORE: Jack's full preview from last week

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