NEWS

The 7 players with the most PGA Tour wins in their 30s

By T.J. Auclair
Published on


It may be hard to believe given what we've seen by the likes of 20-somethings Rory McIlroy (14 wins), Jordan Spieth (11) and Justin Thomas (8) these last several years, but the "prime years" for PGA Tour players is typically when they're in their 30s.
 
There have been exceptional performances by players in their 20s, no doubt. Tiger Woods tops that list, having racked up an incredible 46 of his 79 Tour wins to date while under the age of 30. That's an amazing 16 victories more than the next-best on the list -- Jack Nicklaus -- with 30.
 
 
So since those years in the 30s have been so special for legendary players, let's take a look at the seven best.
 
1. Arnold Palmer
 
Overall PGA Tour wins: 62
Wins in his 30s: 44
Majors in his 30s: 6 (1960, 1962, 1964 Masters; 1960 U.S. Open; 1961, 1962 Open Championship)
Notes: All but one of Palmer's seven career majors came in his 30s. The one outlier was his first major, the 1958 Masters at age 28 (he would turn 29 later that year).
 
2. Ben Hogan
 
Overall PGA Tour wins: 64
Wins in his 30s: 43
Majors in his 30s: 9 (1951, 1953 Masters; 1948, 1950, 1951, 1953 U.S. Open; 1953 Open Championship; 1946, 1948 PGA Championship)
Notes: Hogan won all nine of his majors in his 30s and, remarkably, seven of those came after his near-fatal car accident in 1949.
 
3. Jack Nicklaus
 
Overall PGA Tour wins: 73
Wins in his 30s: 38
Majors in his 30s: 7 (1972, 1975 Masters; 1972 U.S. Open; 1970, 1978 Open Championship; 1971, 1973, 1975)
Notes: Nicklaus would also win the 1980 U.S. Open and PGA Championship, as well as the 1986 Masters after the age of 40.
 
4. Sam Snead
 
Overall PGA Tour wins: 82
Wins in his 30s: 37
Majors in his 30s: 6 (1949, 1952 Masters; 1946 Open Championship; 1942, 1949, 1951 PGA Championship)
Notes: Six of Snead's seven major titles came in his 30s. The lone exception was the 1954 Masters, which he won at age 41. Snead won his first major, the 1942 PGA Championship, on May 28, 1942 -- one day after turning 30.
 
5. Byron Nelson
 
Overall PGA Tour wins: 56
Wins in his 30s: 35
Majors in his 30s: 3 (1942 Masters; 1945 PGA Championship)
Notes: Incredibly, 18 of Nelson's 35 wins in over his 30s came in a single season. That was in 1945 and included a record stretch of 11 consecutive wins.
 
6. Billy Casper
 
Overall PGA Tour wins: 51
Wins in his 30s: 34
Majors in his 30s: 2 (1966 U.S. Open; 1970 Masters)
Notes: The oft-overlooked Casper turned in all but 17 of his 51 career wins while in his 30s. He won the 1959 Masters while in his late 20s.
 
7. Tiger Woods
 
Overall PGA Tour wins: 79 (as of March 21, 2018)
Wins in his 30s: 33
Majors in his 30s: 4 (2006, 2007 PGA Championship; 2006 Open Championship; 2008 U.S. Open)
Notes: In a way, you have to wonder how many more wins Woods could have racked up in his 30s if it weren't for all those health issues. But, in 2018, he's showing signs of the old Tiger and giving hope that he may have a lot of great golf left in him for his 40s. For the record, the most wins by a player in his 40s is 22 by Vijay Singh. Next best? Sam Snead with 17. Woods is still looking for his first.
 

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