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Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy or Jordan Spieth? Who is best major performer of 2010s?


The 148th Open at Royal Portrush was the last major of the decade, so we have looked at the best performers from the past 40 events.

The decade in majors began with Phil Mickelson wearing his third Green Jacket back in April 2010 and it ended with Shane Lowry winning his maiden major at The Open on Sunday.

We have looked back at the 40 majors and produced a five-player shortlist of the best major performers, taking into consideration the manner of their victories and the consistency they have shown.

Brooks Koepka

Koepka has been the consistent force at the majors, having won four of his last 10 appearances.

His first triumph came at the 2017 US Open, where he matched Rory McIlroy for the lowest score at 16 under.

After missing the 2018 Masters following wrist surgery, Koepka recovered to successfully defend the US Open and he then won his third major at the PGA Championship at Bellerive.

Brooks Koepka posing with the Wanamaker Trophy after retaining the PGA Championship in Bethpage, New York
Image: Koepka has successfully defended both the US Open and PGA Championship

Koepka, who has only ever missed two cuts in the 24 majors he has entered, regained his world No 1 ranking with another successful defence at the PGA Championship earlier this year.

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The 29-year-old also arrived in Northern Ireland with the opportunity to become the first player ever to post top-two finishes in all four majors of a calendar year but had to settle for tied-fourth.

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Jordan Spieth

Spieth won three majors in a two-year span between 2015 and 2017 and finished second at the PGA Championship - the one major he is yet to secure - during that time.

He tied Tiger Woods' 1997 score record of 18-under at Augusta as he won his maiden major at the Masters in 2015, becoming the second-youngest player to win the Green Jacket.

The then-21-year-old made it back-to-back major triumphs at the US Open at Chambers Bay, finishing one stroke clear of Dustin Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen.

Jordan Spieth with the US Open trophy
Image: Jordan Spieth, like Rory McIlroy, is just one major victory away from completing the career Grand Slam

Spieth, who suffered a back-nine collapse at the 2016 Masters, won his third and most recent major at The Open two years ago overcoming Matt Kuchar down the stretch of a thrilling final round.

A tied-third finish at the PGA Championship earlier this year represented a return to form for Spieth, who has slipped to world No 37 having not won since his victory at The Open.

Rory McIlroy

Five years have passed since McIlroy last won a major, but the Northern Irishman unquestionably remains a significant presence at the majors.

McIlroy endured a fourth-round collapse at Augusta in 2011 but redeemed himself a couple of months later with a dominant performance at the US Open, finishing eight shots clear of Jason Day in second.

Another eight-shot margin of victory - this time a record - would follow at the 2012 PGA Championship as he regained the world No 1 ranking.

After a disappointing campaign in 2013, McIlroy reasserted himself on the major stage by winning The Open and PGA Championship back-to-back.

LOUISVILLE, KY - AUGUST 10:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses with the Wanamaker trophy after his one-stroke victory during the final round of the 96
Image: Rory McIlroy poses with the Wanamaker trophy after his one-stroke victory in 2014

Ten top-10 finishes mixed with five missed cuts, the latest coming at Royal Portrush, have followed and the Northern Irishman will once again face the burden of expectation as he seeks to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta next April.

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson has not fallen outside the world's top 50 during the last quarter of a century and the feat was recognised with a special award in the lead-up to The Open.

The 49-year-old, whose first major title came at the Masters in 2004, has won two more of the sport's biggest events in the past decade to take his haul to five.

Image: Phil Mickelson came from five strokes back to clinch The Open in 2013

Mickelson won his third Green Jacket at the 2010 Masters, with his six-iron from the pine straw at the 13th in the final round a memorable moment in the tournament's history.

A three-year wait followed for his next major win before he produced the "round of my career" to win The Open at Muirfield, admitting he doubted he would ever develop his game for links golf.

The American is the only active player, other than Tiger Woods, to have won more than four majors and has also finished second five times in the past 10 years, including at the US Open in 2014 which remains elusive.

Tiger Woods

Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer have each won two majors since 2010, but Tiger Woods' 15th major title at the Masters in April carries a special significance.

His triumph at Augusta in April could very well prove to be the crowning moment in his career. The 43-year-old had not won a major since the 2008 US Open and his best result this decade had been tied-third at The Open in 2012.

Tiger Woods celebrates after sinking his putt to win The Masters 2019
Image: Tiger Woods celebrates after sinking his putt to win the Masters for a fifth time

In between then he had suffered personal turmoil and injury heartache yet capped off a remarkable comeback to the sport from spinal fusion surgery two years earlier.

Woods also impressed at The Open last year finishing tied-sixth, having held the outright lead at one stage during the final round, before finishing second behind Koepka at his best in the PGA Championship a month later.

Since winning his fifth Green Jacket, Woods has not been able to play with the same verve and vigour, cutting an anguished expression as he missed the cut at Royal Portrush.

Men's golf major championship winners: 2010-2019

Year Masters PGA Championship US Open The Open
2019 Tiger Woods Brooks Koepka Gary Woodland Shane Lowry
Masters US Open The Open PGA Championship
2018 Patrick Reed Brooks Koepka Francesco Molinari Brooks Koepka
2017 Sergio Garcia Brooks Koepka Jordan Spieth Justin Thomas
2016 Danny Willett Dustin Johnson Henrik Stenson Jimmy Walker
2015 Jordan Spieth Jordan Spieth Zach Johnson Jason Day
2014 Bubba Watson Martin Kaymer Rory McIlroy Rory McIlroy
2013 Adam Scott Justin Rose Phil Mickelson Jason Dufner
2012 Bubba Watson Webb Simpson Ernie Els Rory McIlroy
2011 Charl Schwartzel Rory McIlroy Darren Clarke Keegan Bradley
2010 Phil Mickelson Graeme McDowell Louis Oosthuizen Martin Kaymer

Who has been the best major performer of the last decade? Cast your vote above!

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