Find out why these golfers are the best.
No list of the top 10 golfers would be complete without the phenomenon that is Tiger Woods. Destined for a fabulous golf career at the young age of two when he appeared on The Mike Douglas Show, this sporting icon won three straight Junior Amateurs, then three straight U.S. Amateurs and in 1997 he became the youngest-ever winner of The Masters. Woods went on to win four straight major championships starting with the 2000 U.S. Open and is only the second player after Jack Nicklaus to win each of the grand slam events at least twice. With 12 major titles to his name, Woods has been awarded the PGA Player of the Year a record eight times and continues to knock down records, securing him a top spot on the list of the top 10 golfers.
With 18 major championship wins, the Golden Bear may well be the most famous professional golf player of all time. He dominated the sport from the 1960s on through to the 1980s. After winning the U.S. Amateur Open twice he went on to win 18 majors ? six Masters, four U.S. Opens, three British Opens and five PGA championships. In 1963 he became the youngest Masters champion and 23 years later, in 1986, he became the oldest. Between 1962 and 1986 he won 70 events on the PGA tour, which is a record only bettered by Sam Snead. Named Golfer of the Century in 1996 by American sports writers, Nicklaus is arguably the greatest golfer of all time.
A highly popular player, Arnold Palmer had his own fan club called Arnies’ Army, who followed his play religiously. Arnold won the U.S. Amateur Open in 1954 and turned pro a few months later. His first PGA tour win came in 1955 when he won the Canadian Open. His esteemed career continued when he won the masters four times between 1958 and 1964, the 1960 U.S. Open and the British Open in 1961 and 1962. A great competitor and rival with Nicklaus for the top spot of the tour, Palmer was the first player to win one million dollars on the tour and between 1955 and 1973 he won 62 PGA events. His greatest year was 1960, when he won eight events.
Snead holds the record for the most PGA tournaments with a total of 82 and 135 victories around the world during his esteemed career. His victory in 1965 made him the oldest winner of a PGA Tour event when he won the Greater Greensboro open at age 52. He won seven majors between 1942 and 1954 but famously threw away his chance to win the U.S. Open in 1939 when he led for 71 holes before taking an eight on the last hole. Known for his folk-like style and straw hat, Snead liked to play tournaments barefoot, which set him apart from the dignified image of the PGA; however, he earned the respect of the golf world and was bestowed the nickname Slammin’ Sammy. Snead has been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The only woman ever to play in the PGA, this LPGA dominator has earned her spot on the top 10 golfers. With 69 official LPGA titles under her belt, Sorenson tops the LPGA money list with earnings of over $200 million dollars. The winner of eight straight Player of the Year awards, Sorenson is the only female golfer to have shot a 59 in competition and holds various records in the sport of golf.
In 1974 at the age of 16, the Spanish born Ballasteros turned pro; in 1976, he finished second in the Open championship. He won the European Tour of Merit in the same year and repeated the feat in the following two years. He went on to win the Tour of Merit five times and won five major tournaments, including The Masters and The Open.
Jones started playing golf at the tender age of six and won his first title at the age of nine when he won the Junior Club Championship at the East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of 14 he secured a top-10 finish in his first major tournament, the U.S. Amateur Championship. Although his career was short in relation to most golfers, Jones won the Open three times, the British Amateur Championship, the U.S. Open four times and the U.S. Amateur Championship four times. He won all the majors in one year and in only eight years of professional play, managed to win 13 national championships.
Player was the most successful non-American golf player in the history of the game and paved the way for South African players. During his career, he won nine majors and is one of only five golfers to win all four. He won the World Title Match Play title five times, the Australian Open seven times, the South African Open 13 times and won the Brazilian Open with the only 59 ever shot in a national open. With at least 166 professional wins under his belt, Gary Player deserves his spot on the list of top 10 golfers.
This British player won the British Open five times between 1975 and 1983 and eight majors overall. Jack Nicklaus’s greatest later-career opponent, Watson won 39 events on the PGA tour including two masters and a U.S. Open. He won six PGA Tour Player of the Year Awards and led the money list five times. Between 1978 and 1982 he dominated the sport, overtaking Nicklaus for the number one position and was named the PGA Player of the Year an impressive six times.
This American player is considered one of the best golf pros of all time. Nicknamed The Hawk, Hogan won 63 professional tournaments between 1938 and 1959. In February of 1949, Hogan and his wife survived a near-fatal collision when the car they were riding in hit head-on with a grey hound bus. Although doctors said he would never play golf again, Hogan came back and in 1953 had the best year of his career when he won five of the six tournaments he entered and the first three championships of the year, which came to be known as The Hogan Slam. Hogan left his mark on the game of golf and earned his place on the list of the top 10 golfers.