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Most Wins on Tour (with strength of field adjustments)


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#31 Dave230

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 04:58 AM

I liked it OP, good effort.

It is tougher to win on the PGA Tour than it was in 1944, that's just a fact. There were no European players back then, there wasn't even any international players, they bullied Bobby Locke off the Tour.

Win tallies from the past 25 years are underrated, you get 20 wins and you're not even in the top 30 of all-time, which doesn't accurately reflect how good you have to be to get to 20 wins these days.

I would say that majors shouldn't be tampered with however. Modern players have an advantage with the majors. The strength of field goes out the window when Ben Hogan only played in one Open in his lifetime...and won it. Hogan couldn't even attempt the Grand Slam then. All players pre-1960s have a disadvantage, because they would not travel to every major, every year. All players pre-1930s have a big disadvantage in that, the Masters hadn't even been invented yet! So the major totals are fairer left as they are.


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#32 widow-maker

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 08:54 AM

So, in 2059 when Tiger Woods dies, he'll be down to 8 Majors?  Tiger certainly wouldn't have the skill or determination to adapt.  

Maybe there is a way for Tiger to become the all time Major winner, though.  Sometime in the 2040's he'll pass Jack on the chart only to be overtaken in the 2080's by Jordan Spieth's 6 real Major wins.

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#33 bscinstnct

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 09:07 AM

View Postwidow-maker, on 14 March 2018 - 08:54 AM, said:

So, in 2059 when Tiger Woods dies, he'll be down to 8 Majors?  Tiger certainly wouldn't have the skill or determination to adapt.  

Maybe there is a way for Tiger to become the all time Major winner, though.  Sometime in the 2040's he'll pass Jack on the chart only to be overtaken in the 2080's by Jordan Spieth's 6 real Major wins.

Yup. But, Jack will be down to 6, Hogan will be at 0.

Whoever wins 2 Majors in 2138 will be GOAT.

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#34 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 09:28 AM

View Postlowheel, on 13 March 2018 - 11:56 PM, said:

View PostShilgy, on 13 March 2018 - 11:38 PM, said:

It's possible that in 30 years or so we'll look back and discuss how this era was lacking. Perhaps out of the 2.5 billion folks in China and India new stars will emerge. But for now we can see that each successive era has become stronger and stronger. The idea of pure win totals because you beat whoever is in the field does not work. Is a club championship won at Oakmont against 50 plus caps the same as winning at Podunk club against a dozen 10 handicappers? Of course not. So beating a handful of US club pros is not the same as beating a world class field today.
  Further, fields were decimated by two world wars. Yes, perhaps a few majors were not added to totals because they were not held in those years but then it's also really hard to call a win in 1945 the equal of a win today.

Its hard for you...

I think Shilgy has some sort of "bat signal" type thing. It notifies him whenever a generational topic comes up. That way he can always come in and post the same thing. Not that all of us don't have a certain topic we do the same with.
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#35 NevinW

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 09:54 AM

I might buy the idea that wins prior to WW2 or the Korean War are devalued compared to today.  I have been going to PGA golf tournaments since the early 1970's and despite what people think here, a major in 1975 is not that much different than a major today and the game isn't as different as it was before world war II.  I saw Nicklaus, Watson, Palmer, Trevino etc. play and I have seen Woods, Day, Johnson, Spieth etc. play and they were ALL really, really good.  I seriously doubt that Harry Vardon or Frances Ouimet could hang with today's players but I have absolutely no doubt that Nicklaus or Watson could.  Sure, players today are bigger and stronger on average than 30 years ago but they also play a ball that doesn't take as much inherent skill to control.  I feel very comfortable comparing win totals after 1960.


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#36 Shilgy

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 09:59 AM

View Postdeadsolid...shank, on 14 March 2018 - 09:28 AM, said:

View Postlowheel, on 13 March 2018 - 11:56 PM, said:

View PostShilgy, on 13 March 2018 - 11:38 PM, said:

It's possible that in 30 years or so we'll look back and discuss how this era was lacking. Perhaps out of the 2.5 billion folks in China and India new stars will emerge. But for now we can see that each successive era has become stronger and stronger. The idea of pure win totals because you beat whoever is in the field does not work. Is a club championship won at Oakmont against 50 plus caps the same as winning at Podunk club against a dozen 10 handicappers? Of course not. So beating a handful of US club pros is not the same as beating a world class field today.
  Further, fields were decimated by two world wars. Yes, perhaps a few majors were not added to totals because they were not held in those years but then it's also really hard to call a win in 1945 the equal of a win today.

Its hard for you...

I think Shilgy has some sort of "bat signal" type thing. It notifies him whenever a generational topic comes up. That way he can always come in and post the same thing. Not that all of us don't have a certain topic we do the same with.
It's just my opinion-and some others as well have the same. You and Low do not. That's cool by me.  In another century we can still debate whether Hogan or Snead should be number 3, won't that be fun?
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#37 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 10:07 AM

View PostShilgy, on 14 March 2018 - 09:59 AM, said:

View Postdeadsolid...shank, on 14 March 2018 - 09:28 AM, said:

View Postlowheel, on 13 March 2018 - 11:56 PM, said:

View PostShilgy, on 13 March 2018 - 11:38 PM, said:

It's possible that in 30 years or so we'll look back and discuss how this era was lacking. Perhaps out of the 2.5 billion folks in China and India new stars will emerge. But for now we can see that each successive era has become stronger and stronger. The idea of pure win totals because you beat whoever is in the field does not work. Is a club championship won at Oakmont against 50 plus caps the same as winning at Podunk club against a dozen 10 handicappers? Of course not. So beating a handful of US club pros is not the same as beating a world class field today.
  Further, fields were decimated by two world wars. Yes, perhaps a few majors were not added to totals because they were not held in those years but then it's also really hard to call a win in 1945 the equal of a win today.

Its hard for you...

I think Shilgy has some sort of "bat signal" type thing. It notifies him whenever a generational topic comes up. That way he can always come in and post the same thing. Not that all of us don't have a certain topic we do the same with.
It's just my opinion-and some others as well have the same. You and Low do not. That's cool by me.  In another century we can still debate whether Hogan or Snead should be number 3, won't that be fun?

No, its cool Shilgy.  I wasn't even arguing about it (we've been down that road enough already :) ).  I do think  that we all have certain topics that we feel strongly about that we usually end up posting about. And those of us that have been here awhile have all said the same things to each other (over and over again). And I don't think any of us have every changed the others mind!

See any thread with a title saying something to the effect of how bad jeans and those who wear them are, and you can bet I'll be in the middle of the postings.

Edited by deadsolid...shank, 14 March 2018 - 10:12 AM.

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#38 Dave230

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 10:55 AM

View Postwidow-maker, on 14 March 2018 - 08:54 AM, said:

So, in 2059 when Tiger Woods dies, he'll be down to 8 Majors?  Tiger certainly wouldn't have the skill or determination to adapt.  

Maybe there is a way for Tiger to become the all time Major winner, though.  Sometime in the 2040's he'll pass Jack on the chart only to be overtaken in the 2080's by Jordan Spieth's 6 real Major wins.

This is certainly one of the flaws in this reasoning, I don't think sports necessarily evolve as much as people think. But in terms of the PGA Tour wins, you can't compare the global Tour today to the Tour of the past.

Who knows how many tournaments Peter Thomson would have won if he was full-time on the PGA Tour? Or Henry Cotton? Bobby Locke won 8 times in two years, then was banned and never really came back. There was a legendary golfer from Ireland, Christy O'Connor Snr, who was considered one of the best we ever produced. Never played in a single major in the US.

It's only when you get to the 70s and 80s that players get a fair crack of the whip, and only really in the WGC era that we have a situation where the best players in the world are playing against each other on a somewhat consistent basis.

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#39 widow-maker

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 11:52 AM

View PostDave230, on 14 March 2018 - 10:55 AM, said:

View Postwidow-maker, on 14 March 2018 - 08:54 AM, said:

So, in 2059 when Tiger Woods dies, he'll be down to 8 Majors?  Tiger certainly wouldn't have the skill or determination to adapt.  

Maybe there is a way for Tiger to become the all time Major winner, though.  Sometime in the 2040's he'll pass Jack on the chart only to be overtaken in the 2080's by Jordan Spieth's 6 real Major wins.

This is certainly one of the flaws in this reasoning, I don't think sports necessarily evolve as much as people think. But in terms of the PGA Tour wins, you can't compare the global Tour today to the Tour of the past.

Who knows how many tournaments Peter Thomson would have won if he was full-time on the PGA Tour? Or Henry Cotton? Bobby Locke won 8 times in two years, then was banned and never really came back. There was a legendary golfer from Ireland, Christy O'Connor Snr, who was considered one of the best we ever produced. Never played in a single major in the US.

It's only when you get to the 70s and 80s that players get a fair crack of the whip, and only really in the WGC era that we have a situation where the best players in the world are playing against each other on a somewhat consistent basis.
I can certainly abide by the theory that it's more difficult today because of a deeper competitive field.  But I'm not buying that Ben Hogan couldn't win the same amount of majors if alive today.  The guy lived out of his car and paycheck to paycheck in his early days on tour.  How good could he have been if given the conditions and situation of today's player?  Airplanes, a putting coach, perfectly balanced clubs and putters, more time to practice with a less exacting travel schedule, a ball that plays straight and true, personal physical conditioning coaches, perfect greens, fairways that run.   To make a chart suggesting that their Major wins are fractional... it's demeaning to what these players accomplished in far more difficult conditions even if the fields weren't as deep.  

I think that if you drop Tiger or Jack in any decade... they win.  Even if it's 20 years from now.  It's the intestinal fortitude that they have to achieve, combined with the physical gifts that others also share.  If you're THAT guy, you find a way and you do it.  DJ's got as much talent as Tiger and Jack, but he's not Tiger or Jack and he never will be.  I wouldn't make that same claim about Hogan.  Hogan might actually be better if he played now than when he played in the early 50's.

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#40 AmazinBlue

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 12:25 PM

Unfortunately, there will be endless comparisons to attempt to prove one player, one era etc is greater than another.  Statistics are a great vehicle to try to prove an opinion.  When you get down to the real truth Tiger and Jack are head and shoulders above all others as the greatest to play this wonderful game.  I see Jack's 18 Majors as the milestone to end all discussions of GOAT, but again that is an opinion.  When you add in 2nds and top 10s it is no longer a competition.

Tiger's winning pct of tournaments entered is unequaled, and frankly is ridiculous and probably untouchable.  His dominance for a 10-year period is incredible.  In the end you can make a case for either one and everyone has their opinion.  Not sure there is a true right answer.

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#41 Golfnutgalen

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 02:59 PM

The early tour players stars were absolutely dominant, Bobby Jones won half the PRO majors he played in (7/14) or 43% including the US and British Amateurs (13/30). His arch rival Walter Hagen won something like 11/38 up to his 40th birthday (or 11/31 up to his last win) and that is excluding the Masters and 24 other majors which were cancelled or which he simply did not attend in his prime. If they had the opportunity to play in the same number of majors the pros do nowadays then their records would have been staggering. By my count Woods has already attended 76 majors, Phil has played in 100, and Jack played in 106 up to his last win in '86. You could certainly make the argument that Harry Vardon, Bobby Jones, and Ben Hogan (to name a few) were better than Nicklaus based on their win percentage in regular or major events, but people like me would say that Jack is better because he faced MUCH stiffer competition. You could also use the 18>13 approach, but that seems a bit unfair to Bobby because he hardly played in any majors. In other words, if we dismiss the level of competition than I would be making the case for Bobby Jones (or maybe Hogan or Nelson) as the greatest of all time. Instead I have actually made the case that Nicklaus is far better than those earlier players. This is just an opinion piece, I could be totally wrong about all this.

Nicklaus and Woods is a much more comfortable comparison because many of those scenarios do not apply with a slight edge to Nicklaus because of the 4 additional majors if we compare the numbers straight up without any adjustments. Woods does have 10 more regular event wins though which are often forgotten about. Again, I give the edge to Woods because of the stiffer competition with far more worldwide players and far fewer club professionals attending events to name just a couple factors.

That said, both of these lists alone don't give us a full picture. You can still make the argument that Nicklaus was better than Tiger because of his insane number of top 10 finishes or 19 2nd place finishes in the majors. I guess I will leave it at that.

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#42 redfirebird08

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 03:38 PM

View PostGolfnutgalen, on 14 March 2018 - 02:59 PM, said:

The early tour players stars were absolutely dominant, Bobby Jones won half the PRO majors he played in (7/14) or 43% including the US and British Amateurs (13/30). His arch rival Walter Hagen won something like 11/38 up to his 40th birthday (or 11/31 up to his last win) and that is excluding the Masters and 24 other majors which were cancelled or which he simply did not attend in his prime. If they had the opportunity to play in the same number of majors the pros do nowadays then their records would have been staggering. By my count Woods has already attended 76 majors, Phil has played in 100, and Jack played in 106 up to his last win in '86. You could certainly make the argument that Harry Vardon, Bobby Jones, and Ben Hogan (to name a few) were better than Nicklaus based on their win percentage in regular or major events, but people like me would say that Jack is better because he faced MUCH stiffer competition. You could also use the 18>13 approach, but that seems a bit unfair to Bobby because he hardly played in any majors. In other words, if we dismiss the level of competition than I would be making the case for Bobby Jones (or maybe Hogan or Nelson) as the greatest of all time. Instead I have actually made the case that Nicklaus is far better than those earlier players. This is just an opinion piece, I could be totally wrong about all this.

Nicklaus and Woods is a much more comfortable comparison because many of those scenarios do not apply with a slight edge to Nicklaus because of the 4 additional majors if we compare the numbers straight up without any adjustments. Woods does have 10 more regular event wins though which are often forgotten about. Again, I give the edge to Woods because of the stiffer competition with far more worldwide players and far fewer club professionals attending events to name just a couple factors.

That said, both of these lists alone don't give us a full picture. You can still make the argument that Nicklaus was better than Tiger because of his insane number of top 10 finishes or 19 2nd place finishes in the majors. I guess I will leave it at that.

If it's a close race between 4-5 people, Bobby Jones has the ultimate ace in the hole with his creation of The Masters.

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#43 buckeyefl

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 04:47 PM

View PostGolfnutgalen, on 13 March 2018 - 06:09 PM, said:

Yes, I'm going down this rabbit hole!

First off, a refresher for the total number of wins in the PGA Tour's history:

1.       Sam Snead – 82 wins
2.       Tiger Woods – 79 wins
3.       Jack Nicklaus – 73 wins
4.       Ben Hogan – 64 wins
5.       Arnold Palmer – 62 wins
6.       Byron Nelson – 52 wins
7.       Billy Casper – 51 wins
8.       Walter Hagen 45 wins
9.       Phil Mickelson 43 wins
10.   Carey Middlecoff  40 wins
11.   Gene Sarazen 39 wins
12.   Tom Watson 39 wins
13.   Lloyd Mangrum 36 wins
14.   Vijay Singh 34 wins
15.   Horton Smith 32 wins
16.   Harry Cooper 31 wins
17.   Jimmy Demaret 31 wins
18.   Leo Diegel 30 wins
19.   Gene Littler 29 wins
20.   Paul Runyan  29 wins
21.   Lee Trevino 29 wins
22.   Henry Picard 26 wins
23.   Tommy Armour 25 wins
24.   Johnny Miller 25 wins
25.   Gary Player 24 wins


Now it's taken me a while to get this far, but I truly believe now we overvalue Snead, Hogan, and even my favorite Nelson. I am going to attempt to reconcile this disparity by assigning a point formula which artificially lowers the totals the farther back in history we go. This is something a bit akin to the owgr formula in which you lose points over a 2 year stretch. In no way am I saying this is definitive because many of the numbers were chosen by guesswork. I believe this is actually being generous to the old timers (pre-Nicklaus) and the actual truth of the matter would be skewed further towards the modern players. Nevertheless here we go:

Wins in each decade valued at:

1890s - 1900s, = .25
1910s, 1920s, = .3-.4
1930s, 1940s, = .5-.6
1950s, 1960s, = .65-.7
1970s, 1980s = .75-.8
1990s, 2000s, = .85- .90
2010s, = .95

1.       Tiger Woods 70.75 wins
2.       Jack Nicklaus 62.5 wins
3.       Sam Snead 49.35 wins
4.       Arnold Palmer 42.3 wins
5.       Ben Hogan 38.85 wins
6.       Billy Casper 38.35 wins
7.       Phil Mickelson 37.4 wins
8.       Tom Watson 30.4 wins
9.       Byron Nelson 30.25 wins
10.   Vijay Singh 30.2 wins,
11.   Carey Middlecoff 24.9 wins
12.   Lloyd Mangrum, 22.45 wins
13.   Lee Trevino 21.85 wins
14.   Gene Littler 19.95 wins
15.   Johnny Miller 19.15 wins
16.   Walter Hagen 18 wins
17.   Gene Sarazen 17.6 wins
18.   Jimmy Demaret 17.5 wins
19.   Gary Player 17.3 wins
20.   Ernie Els 16.9 wins
21.   Raymond Floyd 16.85 wins
22.   Greg Norman 16.6 wins
23.   Davis Love III 16.45 wins
24.   Dustin Johnson 16.05 wins
25.   Nick Price 15.3 wins

Remove Tiger and Nicklaus' position is totally dominant Using this method. Using this formula for the majors we get:


1.       Jack Nicklaus 14.05 majors
2.       Tiger Woods 12.5 majors
3.       Gary Player 6.45 majors
4.       Tom Watson 6.25 majors
5.       Ben Hogan  5.7 majors
6.       Bobby Jones 5.6 majors (including the Amateurs)  
7.       Nick Faldo 5.0 majors
8.       Arnold Palmer  4.85 majors
9.       Phil Mickelson 4.6 majors
10.   Lee Trevino 4.5 majors
11.   Sam Snead 4.35 majors
12.   Walter Hagen 4.2 majors
13.   Seve Ballesteros 3.95 majors
14.   Rory McIlroy  3.8 majors
15.   Ernie Els 3.6 majors
16.   Bobby Locke 3.2 majors
17.   Gene Sarazen 3.2 majors
18.   Peter Thompson 3.3 majors
19.   Raymond Floyd 3.05 majors
20.   Jordan Spieth 2.85 majors
21.   Byron Nelson 2.7 majors
22.   Padraig Harrington 2.7 majors
23.   Vijay Singh 2.65 majors
24.   Nick Price  2.55 majors
25.   Billy Casper 2.1 majors

And again the official tally for comparison:


1.       Jack Nicklaus 18 majors
2.       Tiger Woods 14 majors
3.       Bobby Jones 13 majors
4.       Walter Hagen 11 majors
5.       Ben Hogan 9 majors
6.       Gary Player 9 majors
7.       Tom Watson 8 majors
8.       Sam Snead 7 majors
9.       Arnold Palmer 7 majors
10.   Gene Sarazen 7 majors
11.   Harry Vardon 7 majors
12.   Lee Trevino 6 majors
13.   Nick Faldo 6 majors
14.   Phil Mickelson 5 majors
15.   Seve Ballesteros 5 majors
16.   Byron Nelson 5 majors
17.   James Braid 5 majors
18.   J H Taylor 5 majors
19.   Peter Thompson 5 majors
20.   Ernie Els 4 majors
21.   Rory McIlroy 4 majors
22.   Raymond Floyd 4 majors
23.   Willie Anderson 4 majors
24.   Jim Barnes 4 majors
25.   Bobby Locke 4 majors
26.   Tom Morris Sr. 4 majors
27.   Tom Morris Jr. 4 majors
28.   Willie Park Sr. 4 majors

The tally of majors for Hogan or Hagen seems a bit unfair I know, but the truth is they hardly played in any! Hogan for example won his 9 majors in just 33 starts whereas Nicklaus won his 18th in his 106th event.

Alright, I expect to get flamed for this.

Don't worry, winter will end soon. Sheeesh

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#44 Frank-0-Sport

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 06:43 PM

Greetings ...

First of all, I agree with many of those herein that era-to-era comparisons (includes players, courses, available equipment, rules of play, money or points lists) are simply not possible.

What's left? Well, how about just finishes -- IE, 1st/2nd/3rd/Top-5/Top-10/Top-25 ?? Look at records of players like Nicklaus, Hogan, Palmer, Nelson, Snead, Woods, Mickelson and the like. If they weren't holding the winner's trophy, then they were not that far off from claiming it.

Consider also this -- Nicklaus may have at times beaten players like Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Tom Weiskopf or Johnny Miller, but sometimes he also beat the likes of a Grier Jones or Bruce Lietzke. Likewise, Tiger Woods could take down guys like Ernie Els, David Duval, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, but he could also  take down (albeit via extra holes) the likes of a Billy Ray Brown or Rocco Mediate. The point here is that no matter what about the competition, the course, the conditions, the equipment or rules, the greatest players in the history of the game found a way to consistently win, or at least be within site of the top spots of nearly every event they played.

That's good enough for me!

Edited by Frank-0-Sport, 15 March 2018 - 06:45 PM.


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