Who is the best golfer without a PGA Tour victory?

By Daniel Wilco
Published on
Who is the best golfer without a PGA Tour victory?

One hundred and eighty events. Six runner-up finishes. And then finally, mercifully, a win.

That was Kevin Chappell’s career history when the 30-year-old won his first-ever PGA Tour event at the Valero Texas Open in late April. Those runner-up finishes, three third places, and 21 top 10s all came in his nine-year career before that first victory.

And, as Sergio Garcia left us wondering who the Best Golfer to Have Never Won a Major was after his dramatic Masters victory last month, Chappell's victory got us thinking about something. Who is the best active player without a PGA Tour win to his credit?

We looked at six categories:

  • Number of Tour events played
  • Runner-up finishes
  • Third-place finishes
  • Top-10 finishes
  • Top-25 finishes
  • Career earnings

The raw data is presented in an interactive table below, but here are a few takeaways.

In terms of events played without a win, Brett Quigley is unrivaled. The 47-year-old has played in 407 Tour events without winning. He's finished in the top 25 in almost 21 percent of those and was second five times.

If instead you based your search solely on coming close without closing, Briny Baird is your man. The 44-year-old Floridian finished second six times and third twice in his 379 career events.

In terms of continued success, Jeff Overton — the only American to ever qualify for a Ryder Cup team without a PGA Tour win — holds the lead. Overton has finished in the top 10 in almost 11 percent of his 293 career PGA Tour events, more than any player on this list. He's been out with an injury this season but has averaged 26 events a year since 2006 (and banked $12,790,635).

And in perhaps one of the most important categories — career earnings — another name surfaces. That’d be 42-year-old Brian Davis, who has racked up $13,295,212 in his 23-year career, a greater sum than all other golfers in consideration. 

Which one of those qualifies a player for the title of The Best Golfer to Have Never Won a PGA Tour Event is up for discussion, but we'll let you look at the data yourself:

Editor's note: Charlie Wi has indicated he's likely played his last PGA Tour event. Brandt Jobe is now active on the PGA Tour Champions. We included both for comparison's sake.