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Cameron Young is being labelled with the tag that nobody wants on the PGA Tour. 

He’s become known as the “The Nearly Man.”

Young, 26, sits just outside the top 20 in the world rankings, has banked over $14million in five years on the PGA Tour and has established himself as one of the circuit’s most consistent performers.

Yet a breakthrough victory still painfully eludes him.

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Sunday’s final round at the Valspar Championship was seen as the perfect opportunity for Young to notch his first win after he surged into contention on the back nine at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort.

He birdied 11, 12 and 14 and shared the lead with the unfancied Peter Malnati with two holes to play. But once again, Young failed to seize the moment.

The American missed an 18-footer for birdie on the par-3 17th, then pulled his tee shot well left into the trees on 18. He did well to find the green with his approach, but left his 51ft birdie try nine feet short and finished his tournament with an ugly three putt.

While Malnati closed out his first victory in nine years by two shots, Young’s travails on 18 were all too familiar and a microcosm of a career that has promised so much but has so far failed to deliver on huge potential.

As noted by the stats guru Justin Ray, Young now has the record for most runner-up finishes on the PGA Tour without a victory since 1983.

In 60 starts, he has finished second seven times, with two further third place finishes. His runner-ups have come at the  Sanderson Farms Championship, The Genesis Invitational, Wells Fargo Championship, The Open, Rocket Mortgage Classic, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and now the Valspar.

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Those near misses saw winners including Cam Smith, Max Homa, Sam Burns (twice), Tony Finau and Joaquin Niemann. A shootout against Malnati will be viewed as a golden chance wasted.

“I think I kept myself in it mentally really well today,” Young said after his latest disappointment. “I hit a couple shots I was really proud of late … I think I handled my own thoughts really well and, for me, that’s a big win regardless of the outcome.”

Young is widely viewed too good not to be a PGA Tour winner, but for now, the wait goes on.

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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