Friday, 15 February 2013

25 Greatest Male Golfers of All-Time - The Results

19-11.

NINETEEN
 Ernie Els
Two-time winner of The Open Championship (2002, 2012)
Two-time winner of the U.S. Open (1994, 1997)
Two-time winner of the WGC-Cadillac Championship (2004, 2010)
65 Professional titles
27 wins on the European Tour
19 wins on the PGA Tour
Career Money Leader on the European Tour
Seven appearances in the Presidents Cup (International Team)

With one of the most fluid and graceful swings in the modern game, Ernie Els is one of the greatest players of his generation. A four-time major champion, who has carried on the legacy of Gary Player, as being a truly international player, with victories in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. As his dramatic victory at the 2012 Open Championship illustrated, there is still much potential left in the popular South Afican.

EIGHTEEN
 Greg Norman
Two-time winner of The Open Championship (1986, 1993)
Spent 331 weeks as World Number One
89 Professional Wins
20 Wins on the PGA Tour
14 Wins on the European Tour
31 Wins on the PGA Tour of Australia
Three-time winner of the PGA Tour Money List
Eight runner-up finishes in Major Championships

Greg Norman is arguably the most recognisible golfer to emerge in the last two decades of the 20th century. Having taken up the game at the age of 15, he won his first professional title seven years later. A truly dominant world player, Norman led the World Golf Rankings for the second longest period, only behind Tiger Woods. Despite two Open victories, Norman suffered from heartache in the other majors. The latest of which came in 2008, at Royal Birkdale, when, at the age of 53, Norman finished 3rd in the Open Championship. Had he won more majors, Norman would have finished much higher on this list. However, at his best, he was one of the most impressive players ever seen, and certainly one of the greatest players of his generation.

SEVENTEEN
 Phil Mickelson
Three-time winner of The Masters Tournament (2004, 2006, 2010)
Winner of the 2005 PGA Championship
Five-runner up finishes in the U.S. Open
41 Wins on the PGA Tour
Nine appearances in the Ryder Cup (Team USA)

Quite simply one of the most talented players of his generation. Mickelson has thrilled galleries for over 20 years, as his swashbuckling style has long seen him positioned as one of the most exciting players of the modern era. Major success came late, but since then he has one four majors, including three at Augusta National, a course which allows his incredibly creative short-game to flourish. One of the most popular players of the 21st century, Mickelson has the potential achieve much more, as he enters his 40s.


SIXTEEN
 Billy Casper
Winner of the 1970 Masters Tournament
Two-time winner of the U.S Open (1959, 1966)
51 Wins on the PGA Tour
Five-time winner of the Vardon Trophy (Lowest Scoring Average on the PGA Tour)
Eight-time member of the USA Ryder Cup Team
Nine Wins on the Champions Tour

If there is an overlooked player in the history of the game, it is Billy Casper. Overshadowed by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player, Casper won 27 PGA Tour events between 1964 and 1970 (More than Jack Nicklaus). One of the finest putters of all-time, Casper was a devastating player at his peak, winning in 16 consecutive seasons. Underrated, but worthy of every mention he has retrospectively received, Billy Casper is one of the all-time Greats.

FIFTEEN
 Lee Trevino
Six-time Major Champion
Two-time Winner of the U.S. Open (1968, 1971)
Two-time Winner of The Open Championship (1971, 1972)
Two-time Winner of the PGA Championship (1974, 1984)
89 Professional Wins
29 Wins on the PGA Tour
29 Wins on the Champions Tour (Including Four Majors)

There have been few greater characters, or better players, than Lee Trevino. One of the most gifted shot-makers of all-time, Trevino was blessed with incredible talent, hidden behind an outgoing personality. Fans flocked to watch him all over the world, to be entertained, both by his game, and sense of humour.  For all of these factors, Trevino is rightly regarded as one of the greatest golfers in the history of the game.


FOURTEEN
 Gene Sarazen
Achieved the Career Grand Slam
Winner of the 1935 Masters Tournament
Two-time Winner of the U.S. Open (1922, 1932)
Winner of the 1932 Open Championship
Three-time Winner of the PGA Championship (1922, 1923, 1933)
39 Wins on the PGA Tour
Invented the Modern Sand Wedge
 Honorary Starter at the Masters (1981-1999)
Commentator of Wonderful World of Golf

'The Squire', one of the greatest, most iconic, and influential, players of all-time. On the course, one of only five players to achieve the Career Grand Slam. Off the the course, a popular figure who helped grow the game, hosting the popular series 'Wonderful World of Golf'. He also invented the Modern Sand Wedge, which he first used to winning success at the 1932 Open Championship. Sarazen hit the 'shot heard round the world', at the 1935 Masters, as his 4-wood on the 15th found the hole for a rare albatross. Sarazen inspired many. An innovator, a legend, and one of the very greatest. Many will wonder why he didn't finish higher.

THIRTEEN
 Harry Vardon
Six-time Winner of The Open Championship (1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911, 1914)
Winner of the 1900 U.S. Open
Runner-up in the 1913, and 1920, U.S. Opens
Popularised the 'Vardon Grip' used by most Golfers to this day.

Harry Vardon, being winner of The Open on a record six times is enough to be considered one of the greatest. But his influence spread further. Travelling to the United States, he helped grow the popularity of the sport, losing to Francis Ouimet in 1913. Vardon popularised the overlapping grip, still the most common grip used by golfers of all-standards. Vardon was one of the most dominant players of his era, and a pionner in the early days of professional golf. Truly deserving of his place amongst the Greats.


TWELVE
 Nick Faldo
Three-time Winner of The Masters Tournament (1989, 1990, 1996)
Three-time Winner of The Open Championship (1987, 1990, 1992)
World Number One for 98 Weeks
40 Professional Titles
30 Wins on the European Tour
11 Appearances in the Ryder Cup (Record Points Winner)

Nick Faldo, an individual who polarised opinion, but his ability under pressure, and talent, were undisputed. Showing tremendous strength to rebuild his swing, in the mid-1980s, in order to become a successful player in major championships. A strategy that most certainly worked. One of Europe's greatest players, and remains the last Englishman to win a Major. Since the end of his playing career, Faldo set up the 'Faldo Series', which has provided opportunities for talented young golfers under the age of 21 from around the world both male and female. There are over 7,000 participants each year and there are 38 tournaments in 28 different countries. Rory McIlroy, and Yani Tseng, are amongst those who have participated. Since 2007, he has been CBS' lead Golf Analyst. A brilliant player, an author of influential instructional books, a broadcaster, and a promoter of youth golf worldwide. Faldo is one of the Greatest.
 
ELEVEN
Byron Nelson
Two-time Winner of The Masters Tournament (1937, 1942)
Winner of the 1939 U.S. Open
Two-time Winner of the PGA Championship (1940, 1945)
52 Wins on the PGA Tour
Winner of 18 Events in 1945 (Including 11 in a row)
Made 113 consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour
Host of the Byron Nelson Championship

Lord Byron Nelson. One of the finest players of all-time, in addition to being one of the most iconic, and influential. His achievements, over a short career, were astonishing. But his later legacy, in promoting the game, and acting as an elder statesmen; hosting the Byron Nelson Championship, and in his capacity as an honorary starter as the Masters; Nelson remained firmly in the public eye, and served as an icon to many. Any reasonable discussion on the Greatest Golfers of All-Time would have Byron Nelson firmlly in the forefront. 

TOP TWENTY FIVE
25 - John Henry Taylor
24 - Rory McIlroy
23 - Tom Morris, Sr. 
22 - Bobby Locke
21 - Raymond Floyd 
20 - Peter Thomson
19 - Ernie Els
18 - Greg Norman
17 - Phil Mickelson
16 - Billy Casper
15 - Lee Trevino
14 - Gene Sarazen
13 - Harry Vardon
12 - Nick Faldo
11 - Byron Nelson

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