Winning After 40 on the PGA Tour

Vijay Singh
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It's often said that professional golf is a young man's (or woman's) sport, but it's not always the case — several golfers have won a number of tournaments on the PGA Tour after they turned 40 years of age, but Vijay Singh holds the record for most wins with 22 victories since making it "over the hill."

The second-runner-up, Sam Snead won an impressive 17 tournaments after his 40th birthday, which accounted for 21 percent of his 82 career wins — Singh, on the other hand, won the majority of his PGA Tour titles in his 40s, with only 12 victories before.

Kenny Perry won 11 titles after turning 40, and only won three other titles before as a professional golfer. Similarly, Julius Boros earned 10 of his 18 victories after his 40th birthday, and Steve Stricker won nine out of his 12 career wins.

Rounding out the bottom of the list of PGA Tour records for the number of titles held by a golfer over 40 are Gene Littler and Dutch Harrison, who both earned seven victories later in their lives.

The Truth About Older Golfers

This fun record isn't necessarily indicative of a professional golfer's proficiency in the sport as much as it is a way of categorizing winners as golfers may compete in the PGA Tour at any age over 18, and may continue to do so well into their later years. However, professional golfers also have the option to join the PGA Tour Champions after the age of 50 — so many of the record holders won the bulk of their post-40 wins within the decade.

As long as a golfer is able to qualify for second rounds of competition or places well in tournaments, there's no reason to assume a golfer's abilities atrophy with age — though admittedly some professionals' accuracies and aim do decline as years go on.

Snead, on the list at 17 post-40 victories, is actually the oldest winner in PGA Tour history with his 1965 win at the age of 52; he later competed at several Tour Champions events but retired from the sport altogether before his death is 2002.

The Golden 40s

As mentioned before, some golfers won a majority of their PGA Tour titles in their 40s, unlike young up-and-comers like Tiger Woods of the late 90's and early 2000s, and there's a reason that the PGA Tour offers an additional competition for golfers over the age of 50 — the 40s, for most, are the golden age of golf, at least in terms of experience, physical fitness, and mental sharpness.

By the time a professional golfer reaches 40, chances are they've been at the game for a while, with few exceptions, which results in a player who has experienced just about every great and terrible stroke in the game, especially on professional PGA Tour courses, which serves as an advantage to newer players to the game who might not have seen or experienced courses like the most challenging on the Tour.

Similarly, golfers in their 40s are at their peak mental and physical fitness, resulting in long drives down the fairway, consistent shots each round, and an overall better focus and ability to control exactly where the ball is going — often resulting in yet another win in the regular competition before retiring to the PGA Tour Champions League.