WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Golfers Who Won Majors And Then Disappeared

ian woosnam

Photo: sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Yesterday, 25-year-old Keegan Bradley came out of nowhere to win the PGA Championship in a thrilling playoff.With the win, Bradley adds his name to the list of golf unknowns who burst onto the scene in majors.

Some of these players used their major championships as springboards to long and illustrious careers.

But others faded into obscurity — unable to regain the extraordinary form that made them major champions in the first place.

Bill Rogers (1981 British Open)

THEN: Rogers won the 1981 British Open by four strokes. He only managed to make $5,000 on the tour from then until he quit golf in 1988.

NOW: Rogers is the director of golf development at the University of Texas San Antonio.

He's also been to China and Argentina as part of his Christian missionary work.

Source: San Antonio Express-News

Ian Woosnam (1991 Masters)

THEN: The 5'4' Welshman burst onto the scene in the late 80s, rising to No. 1 to the world before winning the 1991 Masters. He won 10 more tournaments in Europe, but never won again the U.S.

NOW: In a 2006 interview, Woosnam explained his steady downfall after the Masters, saying, 'The ambition went out of my life a little bit. I should have said, 'Let's carry on and try to win more majors', but I didn't.'

Now, he's still golfing on the senior tour in Europe, but he's currently contemplating retirement.

Source: The Independent

Ian Baker-Finch (1991 British Open)

THEN: The Aussie won the 1991 British Open, and then suffered an epic collapse that makes Tiger Woods' drought look like child's play. Baker-Finch missed 32 straight cuts from 1994 to 1997.

NOW: He's in your living room most weekends, working for CBS as a greenside commentator.

Source: Golf Digest

Steve Jones (1996 US Open)

THEN: Jones won the 1996 US Open by one stroke over Tom Lehman and Davis Love III.

NOW: Jones found moderate success after his US Open win, but he's been devastated by injuries since 1998.

He's currently fighting for a place onto the Champions Tour after not making any money on golf since 2007.

Source: Golf Channel

Paul Lawrie (1999 British Open)

THEN: He won the 1999 British Open after Jean Van de Velde's infamous collapse. He did little of note after that, losing his PGA tour card when his five-year major championship exemption expired in 2004.

NOW: Lawrie is still playing on the European Tour, although not spectacularly. The Telegraph described his season as 'a humdrum year' back in July.

Source: The Telegraph

David Duval (2001 British Open)

THEN: Duval was the No. 1 golfer in the planet and a Sports Illustrated cover star two years before he won the 2001 British Open. Shockingly, he hasn't won since.

NOW: The perpetually injured Duval is still only 39-years-old, and he's holding out hope to find his once-dominant form.

Source: Men's Journal

Rich Beem (2002 PGA Championship)

THEN: Beem outlasted a furious Tiger Woods rally to win the 2002 PGA by one stroke.

NOW: Beem has rescided back into the obscurity that defined his pre-2002 career. He's ranked 809 in the world, and lost his PGA Tour card two weeks ago.

Source: PGA Tour

Ben Curtis (2003 British Open)

THEN: Curtis came out of nowhere to win the 2003 British Open by a stroke over Thomas Bjorn and Vijay Singh.

NOW: He's probably had the best post-major career of any of these players, with three top-10 finishes in majors. Although this year he plummeted to 206th in the world rankings, down from 24th in 2008.

Source: PGA Tour

Shaun Micheel (2003 PGA Championship)

THEN: Micheel won his first and only tournament, the 2003 PGA Championship, over Chad Campbell by two strokes.

NOW: He nearly walked away from the game earlier this year. At last week's PGA Championship in Atlanta, he shot an opening-round 66, but ended up finishing in 74th place.

Source: Washington Post

Tiger Woods (2008 US Open)

Well, you know.

Now check out where some other flashes in the pan ended up:

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: High School Phenoms Who Flopped >>

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