PGA Tour Golfers With the Most Wins in One Year

PGA Tour Records: Golfers With Biggest Single-Season Win Totals

Byron Nelson tees off in the 1945 Chicago Victory Open
Byron Nelson in 1945, the year he won 18 PGA Tour titles. Bettmann/Getty Images

Everyone knows that Byron Nelson holds the record for most wins in one season on the PGA Tour. We'll start with that year, then go over the other double-digit win seasons (there have been only three, aside from Nelson's record). And we'll conclude by listing the 8- and 9-win PGA Tour seasons, which are fairly rare themselves.

18 Wins: The PGA Tour Single-Season Record

The record for most victories in a single PGA Tour season is 18, set by Byron Nelson in 1945. It's one of the most-famous years in PGA Tour history, and not just for that ridiculous number of wins.

Those 18 wins by Nelson included one streak of wins in 11 consecutive tournaments. Because of World War II, only one major championship was played in 1945 (the PGA Championship), but Nelson won that, too.

In one particular tournament, Nelson set the 72-hole tour scoring record of 259, a score that wasn't bettered for another 10 years, and was bettered only once until 1989. And Nelson finished in the Top 10 in every tournament he played in 1945, including seven runner-up finishes.

For these and other reasons, Nelson's 1945 season is considered by many golf historians the greatest year in PGA Tour history. And his 18 overall wins that year is a single-season PGA Tour record that is very unlikely to ever again be approached, much less bettered.

The Other Double-Digit, Single-Season Win Totals

Ben Hogan, eventual winner, drives from the 10th tee during the Goodall Round-Robin Tournament at Winged Foot Club, June 6, 1946
Ben Hogan in 1946, the year he won 13 times on the PGA Tour. Bettmann/Getty Images

How many times has a golfer won 10 or more tournament in a single PGA Tour season? Including Nelson's 18 in 1945, it has happened only four times. Of the other three such seasons, two of them were accomplished by Nelson's great rival, Ben Hogan. In 1946—just one year after Nelson's record-setting season—Hogan won 13 tournaments, including the PGA Championship. That number is second-best in PGA Tour history.

Hogan also won 10 tournaments in 1948, among them the PGA Championship and U.S. Open. That total is fourth-best in PGA Tour single-season wins.

In third place with an 11-win season is Sam Snead, whose big year was 1950. (Nelson, Hogan and Snead were all born in 1912, and are the only three golfers with single-season PGA Tour win totals of 10 or more.) Snead's 11-win year in 1950 did not include any wins in majors.

The 8- and 9-Win PGA Tour Seasons

Tiger Woods watches the ball during the Williams World Challenge in December 2000.
Tiger Woods in 2000, the year he won nine times on the PGA Tour. Donald Miralle/Getty Images

We include these, as well, because there have been relatively few of them: Only three 9-win years and only nine 8-win seasons (and only three of those 12 have happened in the 21st century). Plus, only nine golfers account for the 12 years.

9 Wins in a PGA Tour Season

Runyan is probably the least-recognized name, today, that appears among the list of golfers with the most wins in a single season on the PGA Tour. But he is a World Golf Hall of Fame member, a two-time major championship winner, and went on to be renowned as a golf instructor. Neither of his majors (the 1934 and 1938 PGA Championships) happened during his 9-win year of 1933, however.

8 Wins in a PGA Tour Season

Woods is the only golfer to win eight or more times in one year in three different PGA Tour seasons. If you're wondering where Jack Nicklaus is, the Golden Bear's highest single-season win total was seven. (There have been 13 7-win seasons in Tour history, most recently by Woods in 2007.)