Wondering who has been successful in the PGA Tour's flagship event and so-called Fifth Major? You've come to the right place

The PGA Tour’s flagship event was the brainchild of then commissioner Dean Beman and inaugurated in 1974. It originally moved between several courses before settling in its current home of TPC Sawgrass, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, in 1982 – a course by architect Pete Dye is best known for its iconic island green 17th hole. Generally known as The Players, the tournament is generally considered the strongest field in golf, so there’s a reason they call it the Fifth Major. Here is the full rundown of Players Championship winners…

Players Championship winners

As ‘The Players Championship’

2022: Cameron Smith (-13)
2021: Justin Thomas (-14)
2020: Abandoned due to Covid 19 pandemic
2019: Rory McIlroy (-16)
2018: Webb Simpson (-18)
2017: Si Woo Kim (-10)
2016: Jason Day (-15)
2015: Rickie Fowler (-12)
2014: Martin Kaymer (-13)
2013: Tiger Woods (-13)
2012: Matt Kuchar (-13)
2011: KJ Choi (-13)
2010: Tim Clark (-16)
2009: Henrik Stenson (-12)
2008: Sergio Garcia (-5)
2007: Phil Mickelson (-11)
2006: Stephen Ames (-14)
2005: Fred Funk (-9)
2004: Adam Scott (-12)
2003: Davis Love III (-17)
2002: Craig Perks (-8)
2001: Tiger Woods (-14)
2000: Hal Sutton (-10)
1999: David Duval (-3)
1998: Justin Leonard (-10)
1997: Steve Elkington (-16)
1996: Fred Couples (-18)
1995: Lee Janzen (-5)
1994: Greg Norman (-24)
1993: Nick Price (-18)
1992: Davis Love III (-15)
1991: Steve Elkington (-12)
1990: Jodie Mudd (-10)
1989: Tom Kite (-9)
1988: Mark McCumber (-15)

Tiger Woods Players Championship

As the ‘Tournament Players Championship’

1987: Sandy Lyle (-14)
1986: John Mahaffey (-13)
1985: Calvin Peete (-14)
1984: Fred Couples (-11)
1983: Hal Sutton (-5)
1982: Jerry Pate (-8)
1981: Raymond Floyd (-3)
1980: Lee Trevino (-10)
1979: Lanny Wadkins (-5)
1978: Jack Nicklaus (+1)
1977: Mark Hayes (+1)
1976: Jack Nicklaus (-19)
1975: Al Geiberger (-10)
1974: Jack Nicklaus (-16)

Records

Lowest score to par: -24 (Greg Norman, 1994)
Largest margin of victory: 7 strokes (Steve Elkington, 1997)
Most wins: 3 (Jack Nicklaus 1974, 1976, 1978)
Other multiple winners: Fred Couples (1984, 1996), Steve Elkington (1991, 1997), Hal Sutton (1983, 2000), Davis Love III (1992, 2003), Tiger Woods (2001, 2013)

Venues

1982-2022: TPC Sawgrass (Stadium course), Florida
1977-1981: Sawgrass Country Club, Florida
1976: Inverrary Country Club (East course), Florida
1975: Colonial Country Club, Texas
1974: Atlanta Country Club, Georgia

Did you know?

The Players Championship title has never been successfully defended.

Jack Nicklaus came closest when he won his three titles in the first five years of the tournament’s existence – all on different courses – while of the five players to have won twice in the TPC Sawgrass era, the shortest span between victories was six years when Steve Elkington won in 1991 and 1997).

According to Wikipedia, the best finish by a defending champion is tied-5th – Nicklaus in 1977, Tom Kite in 1990, and Hal Sutton in 2001.

The closest any defending champion has got to the eventual winner in terms of strokes is four – Nicklaus 1977, Lee Trevino in 1981, ark McCumber in 1989, and Adam Scott in 2005.

The defending champion has missed the cut on 10 occasions, most recently Rory McIlroy in 2021, and has not participated on three occasions – Jerry Pate in 1983, Elkington in 1998, and Tiger Woods in 2014.

The most recent top-10 finish for a defending champion was in 2005, when Scott finished in tied-8th.

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