10 Notable One Hit Wonders on Tour
EVERY man and woman who decides to follow sport for a living does so for one reason and one reason alone – to feel the adrenaline pumping through their body when that special moment arrives, when they hold off all-comers to win.
It is extremely difficult to win golf tournaments. Just think about it – every Thursday you stand on the first tee knowing that, first of all, you need to play well enough to make the cut and get through to the weekend. If you play well enough to manage that, you then need to hold off everybody else who has made it through to the weekend. Every week, some 150-plus golfers will be in the field, and you have to beat each and every one of them to pick up that trophy, to experience that special feeling of walking down the 72nd fairway and accept the applause of the galleries before picking up that trophy.
For some golfers it never happens, and for others it may only happen once in a career. Here we take a look at 10 one-hit wonders, men and women who climbed the mountain once on the main tour but were never (or haven't yet) been able to do so again.
Anybody who has ever watched Ormsby play will tell you that he is a terrific golfer, with few weaknesses. How, then, do you explain the fact that it took him 13 years and 264 attempts before he landed the Hong Kong Open, still his only win on the European Tour?
Like Lee Westwood, Foster hails from Worksop. But the pair have little else in common. While Westwood is one of the European Tour’s most prolific winners, life has been rather more difficult for the immensely likeable Foster. He turned professional in 1995 but had to wait six years before winning twice on the Challenge Tour, earning his European Tour card. He won 2003 Dunhill Championship in South Africa in a six-man playoff. It should have been the start of big things, but it turned out to be his only victory
Mackenzie’s only triumph came at the 2002 Novotel Perrier Open de France, which came in his 509th start – a European Tour record. And it only happened when, considering laying up at the par-five 72nd hole, he was persuaded by his caddie to go for the green and produced one of the best shots of his life. After turning pro in 1981, he went on to play in 605 tournaments.
The Englishman was what could best be described as a time-served journeyman. In 619 starts after turning pro in 1982 he managed just one victory, at his 472nd attempt when, after six runner-up finishes, he won the 2000 Brazil Rio de Janeiro 500 Years Open. But then he turned 50 and, remarkably, won both the Senior US Open and Senior PGA Championship in 2012.
Kim joined the Futures Tour when she was only 19 years old and won three times, progressing to the LPGA Tour in 2004. The following year she changed her first name to Birdie and, lo and behold, won the 2005 US Women’s Open when she holed a bunker shot to hold off Morgan Pressel and Brittany Lang. Sadly, she ultimately lost her LPGA card and ended up back on Futures Tour.
There was a time when it seemed certain that Lunke was going to become a serial winner on the LPGA Tour. From 2002 through to 2008 she played in 21 women’s majors and a host of other tournaments. And in only her second season on tour, Link won the 2003 US Women’s Open, despite a final round of 75. She came back on the Monday to face Kelly Robbins and Angela Stanford in a playoff, and beat them both. It was her only professional victory.
Micheel turned professional in 1992 and was expected to enjoy a successful career on the PGA Tour. He won a couple of minor events, on the Asian Tour and on the Nationwide Tour, but he never quite fulfilled his potential on the PGA Tour – until the 2003 US PGA Championship. From nowhere, Micheel shot rounds of 69, 68, 69 and 70 to beat Chad Campbell by two shots. It was his one and only victory.
Reavie won in his 28th PGA Tour appearance, claiming the 2008 Canadian Open, but there has been nothing since. He missed almost all of 2014 because of a wrist injury, but admits that even before that he had been struggling with his mental approach. “I started trying too hard because it was so much fun getting to play in the good tournaments — the Masters, all the fun tournaments,” Reavie said. “I put more pressure on myself, and I played worse because of it.”
After 169 starts, Merrick earned his first career PGA Tour win at the Northern Open in 2013, beating Charlie Beljan on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. It earned him his third career Masters invitation and his first at a major since the US PGA Championship in 2010. His victory earned him a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and put him in the top-100 in the sport’s world rankings, moving from 241st to 74th. Sadly, it didn’t last.
McGirt turned professional back in 2004 and spent several years battling away on various mini tours before finally finding his way to the PGA Tour in 2011 but he only lasted a season, having to head back to qualifying school. He won his card back immediately. He had three runner-up finishes before his first win at age 36 in June 2016 at Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village. It was his 165th start on the PGA Tour, and he won on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff with Jon Curran.It was McGirt's first professional win of any kind since his mini-tour victory nine years earlier in 2007. He earned $1.53m for winning the Memorial - he had picked up $16,000 for that earlier win.
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