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The third men’s major of the year is upon as the game’s biggest stars head to Los Angeles Country Club this week for the 2023 US Open.

There are ten past champions in the 156-player field, including Jon Rahm, who is among the pre-tournament favourites.

But even some of the most celebrated players in golfing history have failed to win an event that is often regarded as the ultimate major test.

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Here is a look at five of the biggest names to miss out on US Open glory…

Sam Snead

Sam Snead won seven majors, shares the PGA Tour title record with Tiger Woods and is one of the greatest players of all time. But Snead did not complete the grand slam during his decades of sustained success, famously finishing runner-up at the US Open on four occasions. His two nearest misses came eight years apart.

At the 1939 tournament at Philadelphia Country Club, it is noted that Snead was unaware that he only needed a par to secure victory on the 18th green. Without the luxury of a scoreboard, he had assumed he needed birdie to have a chance, opted against the conservative approach and ended up make triple bogey. And in 1947, he missed a putt no more than three feet on the final playoff hole to lose out to Lew Worsham in even more chastening circumstances.

Phil Mickelson

It has seemed for a long while Phil Mickelson is destined to end his career missing the one tournament victory that would complete the fabled career grand slam. He has finished runner-up on an unprecedented six different occasions, with a series of painful near misses. Defeat to Geoff Ogilvy in 2006 was surely the most devastating, however.

Mickelson stood on the 18th with a one-shot lead knowing par would be enough for victory, but he ended up losing out on a playoff after an errant tee shot lead to a sorry double bogey on his 72nd hole. Most recently, Mickelson lost out to Justin Rose at Merion in 2013 after holding the overnight lead at the end of all of the first three rounds. He lost his lead on Sunday with a double bogey on the third and carded three more bogeys to finish two short.

It would be quite something if he ends his US Open heartache this week in Los Angeles.

Greg Norman

The LIV Golf chief is famously amongst the least clinical major championship converters in history. He has won the Open twice, but has had almost too many near misses to recall. He held 54-hole leads in this tournament at Shinnkecock HIlls in 1986 and 1995, and lost out to Fuzzy Zoeller in a playoff at Winged Foot in 1984.

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Sir Nick Faldo

Faldo certainly had the game to win what is typically known as the toughest major, but the US Open eluded him during his gilded career. His unfailing accuracy from the tee and grinding capabilities to eke out a score were what made him such a major force. But he came up just short in this championship, most notably losing out to Curtis Strange at Brookline in 1988. He had a makeable putt to seal victory, but had to settle for an 18-hole Monday playoff, which Strange won by four shots.

Seve Ballesteros 

The Spaniard won perhaps the two most coveted majors, hoisting three Claret Jugs and slipping into two Green Jackets during his iconic career. He was a man who was inspired for the big occasion, but he never had success in the US Open or PGA Championship. Ballesteros’ highest finish in the US Open was third place at the Olympic Club in San Francisco in 1987, a tournament that was won by the American Scott Simpson.

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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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