The Best of Professional Golf

Flip Through the Golf Record Books of the PGA and European Tours

Since the turn of the 20th century, golf has become a popular sport not only in its homeland of Scotland but in the United States and around the world as well, with a vast number of professionals earning international fame and setting records in the sport.

From the PGA Tour and its sister tournament the LPGA Tour to the U.S. Women's Open and Ryder Tournament records, read on to discover some of the worst and greatest major games in golf history, with links to the individual tournaments as well as major Tours and the records that go with them.

PGA Tour Records

Golf ball on a tee with the foot of a male golfer in the background.
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Did you know that Kevin Steelman holds the PGA Tour record for most consecutive birdies to earn a win for seven in a row at the 2014 Travelers Championship? Or that the best 72-hole total in PGA Tour history is held by Justin Thomas at 253 strokes at the 2017 Sony Open?

Click the above link to discover such records as the highest total number of wins, the best 72-, 18- and 9-hole stroke totals, youngest and oldest to win PGA Tour tournament, and much more—in other words, you'll find PGA Tour records!

The PGA Tour, which is open to international competitors, is known as the highest level of professional golf in America, with some of the best golfers in the world holding multiple titles on the Tour.

LPGA Tour Records

Karen Stupples of England hits a tee shot.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

 Like the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour is the highest level of professional competition for golfers, only this Tour is exclusively for women, and the records held by the powerful female golfers rival those of the men's Tour. 

Karen Stupples, Angela Stanford, and Hee Young Park hold the record 72-hole low score on the LPGA Tour at 258, just 5 behind the lowest strokes on the PGA Tour held by Justin Thomas at 253 strokes.

In Gee Chun's 21-under record winning total in relation to par also rivals the record for lowest on the PGA Tour, proving that women are just as strong as men in the sport.

Masters Records

Masters Tournament board
Ryan Schreiber/Flickr/cc 2.0

Each year, the Masters Tournament is held at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, where PGA Tour members from around the world come to compete in one of the Tour's four major championship tournaments.

The course itself is ranked as one of the toughest in golf, so it's no surprise that the Golf Club keeps track of records of competitors for the annual tournament.

Highlights include Jack Nicklaus' record 7 wins, Tiger Woods as the youngest winner at 21 for the 1997 Masters, and Woods' and Jason Spieth's lowest 72-hole score at 270.

PGA Championship Records

Walter Hagen
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Considered to be the best of the best of PGA Tour championships, the annual PGA Championship challenges golfers at a variety of different courses each year.

Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus hold the record for most wins at the PGA Championships with five each, and Tiger Woods ranks third with four wins himself.

At the 2001 PGA Championship, David Toms won with the lowest 72-hole stroke count in the history of the tournament with 265 and Jason Day won the 2015 tournament with the lowest score in relation to par at 20-under.

U.S. Open Records

settings U.S. Open - Final Round
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The United States Open Golf Championship is held each year and is the second major championship of the PGA Tour. The United States Golf Association keeps track of records on this particular tournament.

Rory McIlroy holds the current record for the lowest 72-hole score at 268 and the lowest score in relation to par for his 16-underperformance at the 2011 U.S. Open.

There are four record-holding all-time winners of the tournament: Willie Anderson (1901, 1903, 1904, 1905), Bobby Jones (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930),  Ben Hogan (1948, 1950, 1951, 1953), and  Jack Nicklaus (1962, 1967, 1972, 1980).

U.S. Women's Open Records

Rumi Yoshiba of Japan plays a tee shot on the 15th hole during the third round of the LPGA Tour Championship Ricoh Cup 2016 at the Miyazaki Country Club on November 26, 2016 in Miyazaki, Japan. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images).
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Separate from the LPGA Championship and Tour but just as challenging for competitors is the U.S. Women's Open, hosted by the USGA — which governs both male and female professional and amateur golfers.

Just two strokes behind the men's best score of 268, 270 is the lowest record score at the U.S. Women's Open, held by Annika Sorenstam for her performance at the 1996 tournament.

What's more impressive is that women are tied with men for the lowest score in relation to par, held by the 1999 champion Juli Inkster at 16-under.

British Open Records

146th Open Championship - Final Round
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Open Championship, also known as the British Open, is held annually in the United Kingdom and serves as a major championship to test European and American golfers alike on some of the toughest and oldest courses in professional golf.

Explore some of the best and worst in this particularly challenging tournament in the above link, and be sure to check out the European Tour, which is a separate Tour than the PGA.

Ryder Cup Records

Ryder Cup displayed at the 2008 PGA Show
Dan Perry/Wikimedia Commons

This selection of records for the biennial, U.S. vs. Europe competition includes the winning percentages for individual players as well as a slew of other great bests and worsts of the difficult international tournament.

Phil Mickelson has made the most appearances for the U.S. team while Nick Faldo has for the European team, both playing for their respective countries 11 times.

Since the tournament is a team endeavor, individual athletes are rewarded records for their performances compared to the rest of the field each year as if it were as stroke play instead of a match play tournament.