Scottie Scheffler Wins PGA Tour Player of the Year; Who Are the Other 17 Golfers to Win the Award Since 1990?

Scottie Scheffler Wins PGA Tour Player of the Year; Who Are the Other 17 Golfers to Win the Award Since 1990?

After an incredible year that included his first ever major championship at The Masters, Scottie Scheffler has been named 2022 PGA TOUR Player of the Year. He finished the 2021-22 season with four PGA TOUR wins and won $14,046,910 in earnings – the most in PGA history. 

Scheffler received 89% of the votes for Player of the Year, with Rory McIlroy and Cameron Smith receiving the other 11%. He became the No. 1 player in the world on March 27th and has maintained the position for 24 weeks now. He plays the game with class, humility, and grace.

With his latest achievement, Scheffler became the first golfer in PGA TOUR history to win the Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year, PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year, and PGA TOUR Player of the Year – he won Rookie of the Year in 2020 and Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year in 2019.

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Past PGA TOUR Player of the Year Winners

Scottie Scheffler Wins PGA Tour Player of the Year; Who Are the Other 17 Golfers to Win the Award Since 1990?
Tony Bowler / Shutterstock

The PGA TOUR Player of the Year, also known as the Jack Nicklaus Award, was introduced in 1990 and is administered by the PGA TOUR. The award is not to be confused with the PGA Player of the Year, which was introduced in 1948 and is administered by the PGA of America. 

The winner of the PGA Tour Player of the Year is voted on by the players by way of ballot. Three players are nominated, while other players vote for who they think is most deserving of the three – in order to vote, the golfer must’ve played in at least 15 official FedExCup events this year.

Since its introduction, 18 players have been named PGA TOUR Player of the Year – five players have won the award more than once. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the 17 golfers – not named Scottie Scheffler – who have been named PGA Tour Player of the Year since 1990. 

17. Patrick Cantlay (2021)

Patrick Cantlay, also known as ‘Patty Ice,’ is a 30-year-old American golfer who turned professional in 2012 after playing two years of golf at UCLA. To date, his highest ranking in the Official World Golf Ranking was No. 3 – which he achieved recently on January 23, 2022. 

Over the past decade, Cantlay has earned eight wins on the PGA TOUR. He was the FedEx Cup Champion and PGA TOUR Player of the Year in 2021, is the two-time reigning champion at the BMW Championship, and his best finish at a major was tied-3rd at the PGA Championship.

16. Dustin Johnson (2020, 2016)

Dustin Johnson, also known as DJ, is a 38-year-old American who turned professional in 2007 after playing collegiate golf at Coastal Carolina University. He has spent 135 weeks as the No. 1 golfer in the world and is one of five golfers to win PGA TOUR Player of the Year twice.

Johnson has earned 24 PGA TOUR wins since turning pro, including the 2016 U.S. Open and 2020 Masters Tournament. He was also the FedEx Cup Champion in 2020 and placed second at both the PGA Championship and The Open Championship. He has since joined LIV Golf.

15. Rory McIlroy (2019, 2014, 2012)

Rory McIlroy is a 33-year-old golfer from Northern Ireland who turned professional in 2007 after several years of amateur golf. He’s one of just two golfers to ever win PGA TOUR Player of the Year three times, doing so in 2012, 2014, and 2019. He has 34 PGA TOUR wins under his belt.

McIlroy has spent 106 weeks as the No. 1 golfer in the world. He’s a four-time major champion, including the PGA Championship (2012, 2014), The Open Championship (2014), and the U.S. Open (2011). He’s also a three-time FedEx Cup Champion (2016, 2019, 2022) – most all-time. 

14. Brooks Koepka (2018)

Brooks Koepka is a 32-year-old American golfer who turned professional in 2012 after playing collegiate golf at Florida State University. He has spent a total of 47 weeks as the No. 1 golfer in the world, first achieving that title on October 21, 2018 – in the midst of an incredible run. 

Between 2017 and 2019, Koepka was not only named PGA TOUR Player of the Year, but he was also named PGA Player of the Year twice and won all four of his major championships in that span – the PGA Championship in 2018 and 2019, and the U.S. Open in 2017 and 2018. 

13. Justin Thomas (2017)

Justin Thomas is a 29-year-old American golfer who turned pro in 2013 after attending the University of Alabama. He had an incredible 2017 campaign, being named PGA TOUR Player of the Year, PGA Player of the Year, and FedEx Cup Champion all in the same season.

Thomas has 15 pro wins on the PGA TOUR, including the PGA Championship in 2017 and 2022. He has spent a total of five weeks as the No. 1 player in the world, first earning the title on May 13, 2018. As of right now, he’s the current No. 7 player in the world behind Jon Rahm

12. Jordan Spieth (2015)

Jordan Spieth is a 29-year-old American golfer who turned professional in 2012 after playing collegiate golf at the University of Texas. He was named the No. 1 player in the world for the first time on August 16, 2015 and has held that title for a total of 26 weeks throughout his career. 

Spieth already has 13 PGA TOUR wins under his belt, including three major championships. In 2015 alone, he won the Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, FedEx Cup Championship, and was named the PGA TOUR Player of the Year. He also won The Open Championship in 2017. 

11. Tiger Woods (2013, 2009, 2005-2007, 1999-2003, 1997)

Perhaps the greatest golfer of all-time, Tiger Woods turned professional in 1996 after playing two years of collegiate golf at Stanford University. He has 82 PGA Tour wins (tied for most all-time), 15 major championships (second most all-time), and 683 weeks as world No. 1. 

If you thought McIlroy being named PGA TOUR Player of the Year three times was impressive, then prepare for your jaw to drop because Tiger has won the award 11 times – including five consecutive years between 1999 and 2003. He’s also a two-time FedEx Cup Champion.

10. Luke Donald (2011)

Luke Donald is a 44-year-old English golfer who turned professional in 2001 after playing collegiate golf at Northwestern University. He was initially named the No. 1 player in the world on May 29, 2011 and has held that position for a total of 56 weeks throughout his career. 

Over the past two decades, Donald has earned himself five PGA TOUR wins. His best season was 2011, when he was named PGA TOUR Player of the Year, PGA Player of the Year, Race to Dubai Winner, European Tour Golfer of the Year, and European Tour Players’ Player of the Year.

9. Jim Furyk (2010)

Jim Furyk is a 52-year-old American golfer who turned pro in 1992 after playing college golf at the University of Arizona. He’s currently the owner of the lowest score in PGA TOUR history with a 58 at the 2016 Travelers Championship. He has 17 professional  wins on the PGA TOUR. 

In 2010, Furyk was named PGA TOUR Player of the Year, PGA Player of the Year, and won the FedEx Cup Championship. He won his only major championship at the 2003 U.S. Open and was recently named the PGA TOUR Champions Rookie of the Year for the 2021-22 season. 

8. Pádraig Harrington (2008)

Pádraig Harrington is a 51-year-old Irish golfer who turned professional in 1995 after several years on the amateur circuit. His highest ranking was No. 3 in the world, which he achieved on July 20, 2008. Throughout his 27-year career, he has earned himself 35 professional wins. 

While only six of those pro wins have come on the PGA TOUR, he won when it mattered most. He has three major championships under his belt, including the PGA Championship in 2008 and The Open Championship in 2007 and 2008 – hence why he won PGA TOUR Player of the Year. 

7. Vijay Singh (2004)

Vijay Singh, also known as ‘The Big Fijian,’ is a 59-year-old Fijian golfer who turned pro in 1982 after a very successful amateur career. He was initially named the No. 1 player in the world on September 5, 2004 and held the position for a total of 32 weeks throughout his illustrious career. 

Singh has 64 professional wins to his name, 34 of which came on the PGA TOUR. He was named PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year in 1993, PGA TOUR Player of the Year in 2004, FedEx Cup Champion in 2008, and was even inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006. 

6. Mark O’Meara (1998)

Mark O’Meara is a 65-year-old American golfer who turned professional in 1980 after playing several years of college golf at Long Beach State University. His highest world ranking was No. 2, which he achieved on September 6, 1998. He has 16 professional wins on the PGA TOUR.

Of those 16 wins, two of them were at major championships – he won The Open Championship and the Masters Tournament in 1998, the same year he was named PGA TOUR Player of the Year. Perhaps his highest honor was being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2015.

5. Tom Lehman (1996)

Tom Lehman is a 63-year-old American golfer who turned professional in 1982 after playing collegiate golf at the University of Minnesota. He was named the No. 1 player in the world on April 20, 1997 and spent one week in that position. He had five wins on the PGA TOUR. 

His best season came in 1996 when he was not only named PGA TOUR Player of the Year, but also won the Vardon Trophy and Byron Nelson Award. It’s also the year he won his lone major championship – winning the 1996 The Open Championship. He was a 1994 Masters runner-up.

4. Greg Norman (1995)

Greg Norman, also known as ‘The Great White Shark,’ is a 67-year-old Australian golfer who turned professional in 1976 and retired in 2009 – though he has been flirting with a comeback. He spent a total of 331 weeks as the No. 1 player in the world, first achieving the title in 1986. 

Norman was already a two-time winner at The Open championship – 1986 and 1997 – before being named the 1995 PGA TOUR Player of the Year. He has 20 PGA TOUR wins to his name and 88 professional wins in total. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001.

3. Nick Price (1994, 1993)

Nick Price is a 65-year-old Zimbabwean retired golfer who turned professional in 1977 – though he didn’t join the PGA TOUR until 1983. He was named the No. 1 player in the world on August 14, 1994 and went on to hold that position for a total of 44 weeks throughout his career. 

Price earned 18 wins on the PGA TOUR and 48 wins total as a professional. Between 1992 and 1994, he won The Open Championship once, the PGA Championship twice, and PGA TOUR Player of the Year twice. He’s one of three players to win Player of the Year two years in a row.

2. Fred Couples (1992, 1991)

Speaking of players to be named PGA TOUR Player of the Year two years in a row, Fred Couples did so in 1991 and 1992. The 62-year-old American golfer turned professional in 1980 after playing collegiate golf at the University of Houston. He has 15 wins on the PGA TOUR. 

Between 1991 and 1992, Couples won the Masters Tournament, was named PGA TOUR Player of the Year twice, PGA Player of the Year once, won the Byron Nelson Award twice, and the Vardon Trophy twice. He was eventually  inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2013. 

1. Wayne Levi (1990)

Wayne Levi is a 70-year-old American golfer who turned professional in 1973 after playing collegiate golf at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego. He has earned 20 wins as a professional, 12 of which have come on the PGA TOUR and two on the Champions TOUR.

Levi’s highest world ranking was No. 16, which he achieved on May 5, 1991. He never played at The Open Championship and his best major finish was tied-11th at the Masters Tournament. He was named PGA TOUR Player of the Year in 1990, the same year he secured four of his wins.

Who Might Win PGA TOUR Player of the Year in 2023?

Scottie Scheffler Wins PGA Tour Player of the Year; Who Are the Other 17 Golfers to Win the Award Since 1990?
Gary Yee / Shutterstock

Being named the PGA TOUR Player of the Year is a massive honor for any golfer – an honor that only 18 players have achieved and an honor that usually doesn’t come to the same golfer twice. With that said, Scottie Scheffler is in line to be one of the few that does exactly that. 

At just 26 years old, Scheffler still has a lot of his best golf to play, so I can see him winning at least one more Jack Nicklaus Trophy in the years ahead. The same goes for Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, and Patrick Cantlay – any of them could win the award for the second time. 

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Cameron Smith was a player that I could see winning it for the first time, but he’ll be leaving the PGA TOUR to join the LIV Tour. Other players that could win it next season include Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Matt Fitzpatrick, Will Zalatoris, Tony Finau, and Jordan Spieth

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