Top 10 players of the decade on PGA TOUR Champions
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Written by Bob McClellan @ChampionsTour
The past decade has been a boon for PGA TOUR Champions. Purses have risen, crowds continue to support the legends of the game in record numbers, and millions of dollars have been generated for charities far and wide.
On the course, Bernhard Langer was the dominant force of the past 10 years. No one came close to winning as much as the German, who seems only to get better with age.
Here’s a look at the top 10 players of the past decade strictly based on number of wins. There’s no reason to make this a subjective ranking. Top 10s are nice, but these guys are here to win. To a man they will tell you the same.
In the case of a tie, the player who had won the most in the least events got the edge.
Starts from 2010-19: 210.
The skinny: In 2016 I called Langer the Champions Tour’s answer to Benjamin Button. He was 59 at the time. All he has done since then is win 11 more times. His 32 titles during the past decade include 11 majors. He has won at least twice a year since 2012. He won 14 times in his five years on PGA TOUR Champions, when most people believe the window is the widest. But Langer has 26 titles since as he continues to chase Hale Irwin’s all-time mark of 45.
2. Fred Couples Age: 60. Starts from 2010-19: 109 Wins: 13. The skinny: Couples’ injury problems have been well documented. Who knows how many wins a perfectly healthy Couples would have posted? There’s a lot to be said for his win percentage here. Thirteen wins in only 109 starts means Couples has won once for every 8.3 times he has teed it up. Only Langer can boast of a better mark. Couples hasn’t added to his win total since 2017. He played 12 times in 2019 and had a runner-up finish at the DICK’S Sporting Goods Open on the strength of a final-round 63.
4. Tom Lehman Age: 60. Starts from 2010-19: 190. Wins: 11. The skinny: Lehman has won at least once in eight of the past 10 years, including a win in 2019 at the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. He had five top 10s this past season and finished 23rd in the Schwab Cup standings. He might not be the consistent force he once was, but he still remains capable of winning nearly any time he tees it up.
6. Miguel Angel Jimenez Age: 55. Starts from 2010-19: 82. Wins: 8. The skinny: Jimenez has won every 10.25 times he tees it up, an impressive clip. He also has won at least once in each of his six seasons on PGA TOUR Champions. He won two majors in 2018, and he won twice in 2019. Yes, the wacky warmup routines, the wine and the cigars are fun, but when the Spaniard is on his game he can play with anybody.
8. Colin Montgomerie Age: 56. Starts from 2010-19: 141. Wins: 7. The skinny: The Scotsman won in 2019 (a playoff event, no less) after missing the winner’s circle in 2018. He had a solid year, finishing fifth in the Schwab Cup race on the strength of 10 top-10 finishes. He also counts three majors among his seven victories.
10. Jerry Kelly Age: 53. Wins: 6. The skinny: The Wisconsin native won three times in 2019 to tie McCarron for most victories this year and stay on his heels in the Schwab Cup race. He got off to a slow start because of an elbow problem for which he underwent a non-surgical procedure on Feb. 11 to stimulate healing in a joint. Prior to it he was having trouble holding onto his clubs. All three of his wins came after the calendar turned to June.