Andrew Redington/Getty Images
The Rush: Like Donald, Westwood has experienced the pride of rising to No. 1 in the world rankings. Yet just like his fellow countryman, he’s never tasted the sweet thrill of victory in a major championship despite more than enough talent to do so.
The Englishman has certainly had his opportunities, including a final-round lead at the Open Championship this past July, but simply hasn't executed the crucial shots down the stretch to escape the very top of this somewhat dubious list.
By far one of the best chances of his career to win a major, Westwood’s British Open hopes were dashed by a final-round 75 as he watched Mickelson blow past him on Muirfield’s back nine. It was certainly a bitter setback for the Brit, who struggled at the PGA Championship just a month later en route to a tie for 33rd.
That said, there’s still plenty of reason to believe Westwood can ultimately break through. In his past eight major starts, he’s finished in the top 10 four times, proving he still has plenty of game to challenge for that title.
At the age of 40, however, the window to get it done is growing smaller, and the two-time PGA Tour winner must capitalize on an opportunity like he had at Muirfield the next time one presents itself.
The Wall: Too many times in his impressive career, Westwood has been undone by an unsteady short game and inconsistent putter.
Take this past season for example. In overall putting, he ranked 166th on tour, and in the vital strokes gained-putting category, he was an equally pedestrian 168th. Likewise, the world’s 23rd-ranked golfer was only 162nd in greens in regulation from 75 to 100 yards out.
Those stats bear out Westwood’s inability to capitalize on enough scoring opportunities or to save crucial strokes when needed down the stretch of a big tournament.
Couple those short-game issues with the mounting pressure of Father Time, and one can understand why Westwood has struggled so mightily to turn contention into victory.
2014 Outlook: While it’s fair to suggest time is running thin on Westwood, it’s also evident by his play at Muirfield in July and at the Masters the past two years that he still has the game to win one of golf’s biggest prizes.
The Englishman is worthy of his top spot on this list, but by extension, he’s also among the most capable of playing his way off of it in 2014. We’re not necessarily calling for the victory, but expect Westwood to give himself a real chance in at least a couple majors next year.