The top five golfers yet to win a Major Championship and where they can change that in 2022

Augusta National, Southern Hills, The Country Club in Brookline and The Old Course at St Andrews offer opportunity for these five players to join golf’s elite.

It's the mantle no-one in golf wants: the best player in the world yet to win a Major.

Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott have both been there and got the t-shirt - happily, they've also now got a Green Jacket which has a more prominent spot in the wardrobe.

Colin Montgomerie never broke his duck and Rickie Fowler's trundles on.

There will be some who argue at the five players named below.

They might suggest that golfers who have knocked on the door at Majors deserve to be rated above at least two of those named, but our five are the top-ranked golfers in the world rankings who are yet to join elite company by winning the events that define a career.

Let's introduce them and take a look where they might break through in 2022.

Patrick Cantlay - World No. 4

Midway through 2021 Patrick Cantlay was struggling for form.

Nearly four years of consistent quality ground to a halt with four straight missed cuts in strokeplay either side of failure to escape his WGC Match Play group. At first glance his T23rd at May's PGA Championship was only a quiet revival and yet he did - very briefly - find himself on the top page of the leaderboard. It turned out that he was, indeed, back.

Two weeks later he pounced to win the Memorial when Jon Rahm was forced to withdraw, defeating Collin Morikawa in what more or less amounted to a final round head-to-head.

He was even more impressive when going mano a mano with Bryson DeChambeau in the BMW Championship, downing the big-hitter with a clinical display of competitiveness. A week later he won the Tour Championship and then made an assured Ryder Cup debut.

His best finish in the Majors was when tied third at the PGA Championship in 2019, but he was also tied ninth at that year's Masters when he topped the leaderboard on the back nine Sunday for a short period. Do the rapid greens suit him? He's a two-time winner at Muirfield Village, which host Jack Nicklaus sets up with Augusta-like putting surfaces.

He's currently 22/1 to add a Green Jacket to his wardrobe in April.

Xander Schauffele - World No. 5

Xander Schauffele has achieved pretty much everything in golf bar winning a Major so that will be his top target in 2022. He's played 18 of them in his career, finishing top 10 in half with six top fives.

He's also repeatedly shown a fondness for elite events with wins in the 2017 Tour Championship, 2018 WGC HSBC Champions, 2019 Tournament of Champions and 2021 Olympics.

He's proved himself a US Open specialist, registering a top 10 finish in all five of his starts. But he's also a fine performer at Augusta National, finishing tied second in 2019 and tied third in 2021.

Viktor Hovland - World No. 7

Thus far, Viktor Hovland has a solid, rather than impressive, record in the Majors. As an amateur, he finished T32nd at the 2019 Masters and then T12th at the same year's US Open.

He's now played seven Majors and has always landed a top 40 when he's completed the tournament (he's had one withdrawal), but T12th remains his best effort and he's yet to have genuinely been in the hunt at the weekend. It would be surprising if that doesn't change in 2022 and, if he can gain some experience of contending at Augusta, he will have a great chance at Southern Hills.

The track is in Oklahoma where Hovland went to college and where he still resides. Moreover, he frequently cites not only his ability to play in wind, but the fact that his Oklahoma background is the reason for it. Should blustery conditions prevail in May, we can assume that he'll be prepared.

He also ended 2021 on fire, successfully defending his World Wide Technology Championship title at Mayakoba and then defeating the elite field at Tiger Woods' Hero World Challenge.

Scottie Scheffler - World No. 11

In one sense, the Texas-based Scottie Scheffler looks ripe for winning at the top level and yet, in another, he hasn't even won on the PGA Tour yet!

Let's deal with the first aspect: since he graduated to the PGA Tour he's played six Majors and finished top 20 in all of them, with four reaping top 10s. He has also impressed in the World Golf Championship, especially this year. He was fifth at the Workday Championship, runner-up in the Dell Technologies Match Play and 14th in the St Jude Classic.

So what of the other side of the argument? He did lead November's Houston Open after 54 holes before being passed in the final round and it will nag away at him that he's yet to taste victory.

Might he break the duck in the best way possible?! It's not the daftest thought. Maybe the PGA Championship? He was second after three rounds before finishing tied fourth in 2020 and added tied eighth at Kiawah Island in 2021.

Sam Burns - World No. 12

Sam Burns started 2021 outside the world's top 150 ranked players and has ended it 12th. The reason for that spectacular rise is two wins (the Valspar Championship and Sanderson Farms Championship), two seconds (the Byron Nelson Championship and WGC St Jude Invitational) and another 14 top 25 finishes.

In terms of his Major hopes it might be noted that those four highlights (and indeed most of his best golf thus far) has come on Bermuda grass greens - which he won't face in 2022. But the two results which kickstarted his 2021 did come on Major Championship-hosting layouts. He was third heading into the final round at Torrey Pines in January (finishing T18th) and third at Riviera in February (he led almost all week).

Getting into a play-off at the WGC St Jude is also a good sign - first-time Major winners tend to have contended in elite competition (Majors or WGC) ahead of their breakthrough. Burns is yet to experience the heat of Major battle so gaining that is probably a first target. His current best finish is T29th at the 2019 PGA Championship in just six starts.

READ MORE: The top Major performers of 2020/21: Which players were best for golf punters?

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