Butler Cabin, Augusta National (c) Burgh Golfer

Friday, September 3, 2010

PGA Tour Scoring Average

There is always a lot of discussion around who the greatest player was that ever played the game of golf. Certainly, Jack Nicklaus currently is as he holds the record for the most number of major wins. That is the widely accepted barometer of how to measure the greatest player ever. Also, since Tiger Woods is approaching Jack's record the talk about him being the greatest is also on the front of everyone’s mind. Since most of us follow golf on a current events basis I thought it would be fun and interesting to look at the PGA scoring average of past years. The Scoring average for me also provides a good barometer of who the greatest players were in the game. Scoring average also depicts great play over an entire season not just in a few events.

I find it interesting that when the discussion of the great players of all time comes up many of the names on this list are part of that discussion. Interestingly enough Tiger Woods has had the lowest scoring average eight times (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009). Jack Nicklaus on the other hand, has NEVER (officially) held the lowest scoring average at the end of the season. That is because Jack never met the tours eligibility requirements for enough rounds played. Ironically enough, he also led the tour in scoring average eight times. He just never won the Vardon Trophy for his efforts. So, if you have a moment click on the link in this blog. You can check out the names of the winners on the list for every year dating back to 1947. Again, it is interesting to see the names of the greats in this format versus all of the talk being about major championship wins which gets all of the attention. There is one last point I would like to mention. The player who wins the title for lowest scoring average each year wins the Vardon Trophy named after the great English Golfer Harry Vardon.

Recent History

Year Player Average

2010 Matt Kuchar 69.62 (YTD as of 8-31-10)

2005 Tiger Woods 68.66

2000 Tiger Woods 67.79 (this year is widely recognized as his greatest year in golf)

1995 Greg Norman 69.06

1990 Greg Norman 69.10

1985 Don Pooley 70.36

1980 Lee Trevino 69.73

1975 Bruce Crampton 70.51

1970 Lee Trevino 70.61

1965 Billy Casper 70.85

1960 Billy Casper 69.95

1955 Sam Snead 69.86

1950 Sam Snead 69.23

Other Years of Note

1984 Calvin Peete 70.56

1961 Arnold Palmer 69.85

1945 Byron Nelson 68.34 (this record stood until 2000 when Tiger Woods broke it)

1948 Ben Hogan 69.30

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