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Rory McIlroy

Which players will benefit from autumn majors?

Let's take a look at the stats to see exactly which of the game's biggest names will be licking their lips at the majors being played late in the year
 

The PGA Tour have announced they plan to return with a revised schedule, of which the first four events will be played behind closed doors.

The 13-week, 14 event run starts as early as June 11 with the Charles Schwab Challenge, and ends at the Tour Championship in September.

Not only that, they have released the 2021 schedule up until Christmas.

So now it gets a bit complicated with the majors. The Masters, PGA Championship and US Open have already been rescheduled for later in the year while the Open just isn’t happening at all.

But the way in which they fall is now different again – and that’s before you factor in the new PGA Tour season technically starting in September.

The PGA is before the FedEx Cup Play-offs and therefore part of this season. While the US Open and Masters, in September and November respectively, will be part of the 2021 schedule. You know what that means? One major this season and SIX next! Well, not quite. There will be three majors in 2020 and four in 2021. But bear with me.

We could have situations so unlikely that they almost certainly won’t happen but are still possible. For example, one player could win four majors in a season and not even come close to a Grand Slam.

Or one player could win five, or even six majors in a single season. That has never happened before. I mean, it obviously won’t but bloody hell it’s fun thinking about it.

And what about the race to be the next player to get their career Grand Slam?

At the start of the year Rory McIlroy, needing just the Masters, was next in line, then Jordan Spieth at the PGA Championship followed by Phil Mickelson at the US.

And who would have ruled out Brooks Koepka of winning at Augusta and Royal St George’s to beat all of them to it? Now he has to wait until next July to have a chance of doing it – presuming he succeeds in one of his two shots at slipping into a Green Jacket between now and then.

You can go down some seriously interesting rabbit holes when you start looking at who will and won’t benefit from autumn majors.

As hilarious as it is to think that Fall Series specialist Brendan Todd will end 2020 a three-time major champion, let’s look at the top 20 in the world to see how many wins they have between August and December.

You know, just for fun…

1. Rory McIlroy: 25 PGA and European Tour wins/9 between August and December (36%)

2. Jon Rahm: 9/3 (33%)

3. Brooks Koepka: 8/2 (25%)

4. Justin Thomas: 12/8 (67%)

5. Dustin Johnson: 21/4 (19%)

6. Adam Scott: 22/10 (45%)

7. Patrick Reed: 8/3 (38%)

8. Patrick Cantlay: 2/1 (50%)

9. Webb Simpson: 6/3 (50%)

10. Tommy Fleetwood: 5/2 (40%)

11. Tiger Woods: 90/33 (37%)

12. Xander Schauffele: 4/2 (50%)

13. Bryson DeChambeau: 6/3 (50%)

14. Justin Rose: 18/9 (50%)

15. Marc Leishman: 6/3 (50%)

16. Tony Finau: 1/0 (0%)

17. Matt Kuchar: 9/3 (33%)

18. Gary Woodland: 4/1 (25%)

19. Louis Oosthuizen: 9/1 (11%)

20. Shane Lowry: 5/2 (40%)

And a few select others…

24. Paul Casey: 17/5 (29%)

27. Rickie Fowler: 7/1 (14%)

28. Francesco Molinari: 7/2 (29%)

31. Lee Westwood: 27/13 (48%)

32. Henrik Stenson: 15/8 (53%)

38. Sergio Garcia: 25/12 (48%)

49. Graeme McDowell: 14/3 (21%)

51. Jason Day: 12/3 (25%)

53. Bubba Watson: 12/0 (0%)

56. Jordan Spieth 11/1 (9%)

58. Ian Poulter: 13/8 (62%)

61. Phil Mickelson: 46/7 (15%)

So the key takeaways from this?

  • JT is nailed on
  • Poults and Westy will not have a better chance at breaking their major duck
  • And keep an eye on the Ice Man too
  • Scotty has a decent chance at another Jacket
  • Bubba does not
  • Nor does my boy Jordan
  • Koepka will just win all three because he doesn’t care what time of year the major is

It is, after all, difficult to argue with with numbers. Or Koepka’s major record.

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Alex Perry

Alex Perry

Alex has been the editor of National Club Golfer since 2017. A Devonian who enjoys wittering on about his south west roots, Alex moved north to join NCG after more than a decade in London, the last five of which were with ESPN. Away from golf, Alex follows Torquay United and spends too much time playing his PlayStation or his guitar and not enough time practising his short game.

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