Ahead of Todd Hamilton's return to Royal Troon, we asked 20 European Tour players if they would prefer one Major Championship or ten European Tour titles

One Major Championship or ten European Tour titles?

The last time The Open Championship was staged at Royal Troon, little-known Todd Hamilton outdueled Ernie Els to secure his first and only Major victory.

It was undoubtedly a moment of glory, but what has he achieved since then? In the last 12 years, he’s registered just three top 10s on the PGA Tour. He only earned $20,898 last year.

Naturally, such figures give rise to an interesting question: would you rather enjoy a spell of sustained success, or be a one-hit wonder before disappearing back into obscurity?

We asked 20 European Tour players if they would prefer one Major Championship or ten European Tour titles, with many giving fascinating responses. The best of the quotes and the final tally are below…

Graeme Storm: “One Major, because it’s the most prestigious thing you can achieve in golf. It’s what everyone plays for. But I’d say going forward people would take a Gold Medal over ten European Tour titles. I’ve only won one event, and I’m happy with that!”

Scott Hend: “If I could pick the ten European Tour events, then I’d take that option. But if not, give me The Open or The Masters. That way, I can play until I’m 65, or until they tell me to go away!”

Matteo Manassero: “Winning a Major is what you grow up dreaming about. We all know golf and understand how hard it is to win on tour, but compare those titles to a Claret Jug or a Green Jacket and there’s only one winner.”

Related: A morning with Matteo Manassero

Trevor Fisher Jnr: “It’s a difficult one and there’s not much in it. Ten titles is a great career, and I’d rather have Luke Donald’s career than Todd Hamilton’s. Where is he now? But a Major, everyone wants one and it’s just that moment of glory.”

Simon Dyson: “Winning a Major is what everyone plays for, but look at someone like Henrik Stenson. He’s not won a Major and he’s had a hell of a career. I’d imagine it’s a 50-50 split to this question. I’m sure Lee Westwood would trade everything in for a Major.”

Eddie Pepperrell: “I’d go with ten tour titles, because consistency is greatness. If you can win ten tour titles, you’re a very good player. I’m not going to say anyone can win a Major, but you can have that one great week. For me, you have to look to be consistent because consistency shows that you have control, and that’s what ten tour titles would represent.”

Mikko Ilonen: “Tough one, but If I win one Major I probably win another ten regular tour events after that, so I’ll take the Major.”

Mike Lorenzo Vera: “Ten European Tour events, because that makes you a much more consistent player. I know winning a Major is awesome, but if you win ten times on the European Tour, you probably have a couple of Ryder Cup appearances, too. I was actually wondering this myself the other day, and asking if I’d rather have Lee Westwood’s career, or Todd Hamilton’s. Definitely Lee Westwood or Colin Montgomerie.”

Lucas Bjerregaard: “If you gave me ten European Tour titles I definitely wouldn’t mind that, but just to beat all the best players in the world when they are all gathered in one place would be really special, so I’ll take the Major.”

Lee Slattery: “Definitely one Major. I just think it’s why we play golf. You’re definitely seen in a different light if you’re a Major Champion. I mean Paul Lawrie, for example, I know he’s won more than one tour event, but look back at the 1999 Open and what it did for him as a golfer, and the respect he got from other golfers because of it.”

Troy Merritt: “I’d take ten PGA Tour titles. I just think that it’s constant validation that you belong, rather than being a one-hit wonder in a Major. If you win one Major then I think you definitely want to win a second.”

Oli Wilson: “I’d have to go one Major. My goal has always been ten European Tour events, and I’ve got nine to go! If you win ten European Tour events you’ve had a very good career. However, you remember Major Champions. You leave your mark. To win on the greatest stage we have in golf would be pretty special.”

Final tally:

Major: 14
10 titles: 3
Undecided: 3