Golf: On Tiger's tail: Four Americans awaiting a major break

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The Independent Online
David Duval

One of the most prolific winners - of dollars rather than titles. A record rookie year in 1995 has been followed up with a total of $2,431,917 earned in two and a half seasons. Yet at 25 is better known as a runner- up than a winner. Final-round stroke average pales in comparison to that for the first three rounds. "When he finally wins one, he'll win a bunch more," Fred Couples said. Father and uncle both golf pros. Took week off to caddie for his dad, Bobby, on his Senior tour debut last year. At present 15th on the US money list with $502,215.

Justin Leonard

Named by Cosmopolitan magazine as one of the top-25 most eligible bachelors in the world. US amateur champion in 1992 and a Walker Cup player the following year. Last year graduated to the US President's Cup team, winning the Buick Open by five shots. Still uses persimmon woods, ranking 133rd in driving distance, 40 yards behind Tiger Woods. Major championship form improving: fifth at the US PGA last August and seventh in the US Masters this year. At present 51st on US money list with $224,260. Turns 25 next Sunday.

Paul Stankowski

Practised on the concrete floor of his garage before heading to Augusta and finishing fifth at the Masters. Previous major record read: three missed cuts and one 47th. Hawaiian Open victory in February was the 27-year-old's second win. Last year became only player to win back- to-back on the Nike and regular tours. Added win in Japan at end of season. Seventh on money list with $708,830 and, like Tolles and Duval, on verge of Ryder Cup. Does not appreciate relative attention on him compared with a certain emerging superstar.

Tommy Tolles

Equalled the best final round score of 67 to sneak into third place at the Masters, some 13 strokes behind Tiger Woods. Also shot a 67 on the final day of the US PGA last year to be third, one shot behind the Mark Brooks-Kenny Perry playoff. Major record, however, not yet backed up by a win on the tour. A 30-year-old whose long apprenticeship in the lower reaches of the game included a spell on the South African tour, where he met his wife, Ilse. Has been known to shave his head. Standing 11th on the US money list with $546,123.

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