(Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
With the second World Golf Championship of the 2018 PGA Tour season taking place this past weekend in Mexico City, I believe it is a good time to take a look back at Tiger’s dominance in World Golf Championships throughout his career. Tiger’s play in World Golf Championships when he was in his prime, give us some of the most eye-popping stats in golf history that solidify him as one of the best, if not the best player to ever play the game.
A World Golf Championship, or WGC for short, features the best players from around the world and presents some of the most exclusive and best fields you can have in the game of golf. Only players in the top-60 in the Official World Golf Rankings can qualify for a WGC. The first three WGC’s were created in 1999 and they were called the Accenture Match Play Championship (now Dell Technologies Match Play), the NEC Invitational (now Bridgestone Invitational) and the American Express Championship (now Mexico Championship). The fourth and final WGC, the HSBC Champions in China, was added to the schedule in 2009. WGC’s provide the golfing world an opportunity to watch the best players in the world and add four more prestigious tournaments throughout the season outside of the four majors.
Tiger’s dominance in the WGC’s started from the inception. Tiger went on to win 10 of the first 20, 16 of the first 32, and 18 of the first 48. Yes, you read that correctly. If the only tournaments that Tiger won throughout his career were the 18 WGC’s, those 18 wins would rank him in a tie for 43rd all time in PGA Tour wins. Furthermore, here is a list of prominent golfers who are currently under the age of 45 and have less than 18 careers victories on Tour: Dustin Johnson (17), Rory McIlroy (13), Adam Scott (13), Zach Johnson (12), Jason Day (11), and Jordan Spieth (11). All of those players have combined to win 11 WGC’s. Again, Tiger has won 18. Only three other golfers other than Tiger have won more than two WGC’s and they are Dustin Johnson (5), Phil Mickelson (3 after winning last weekend in Mexico) and Geoff Ogilvy (3). Tiger’s average margin of victory in the fifteen-stroke play WGC’s (3 wins came in match play format) is 3.4 shots. Tiger has even won one WGC by seven strokes, two by eight strokes and one by an astounding eleven strokes.
Tiger’s success in WGC’s has subsided for the time being due to his injuries in the last couple of years that has led him to plummet in the Official World Golf Rankings which has made him ineligible to qualify. The last WGC he played in was all the way back in 2014 at the WCG Bridgestone Invitational where he withdrew citing back issues. Even though Tiger has not won a WGC since 2013, the statistics still hold as absolutely and utterly absurd. I believe his 18 wins will never even come close to being topped in the future due to the tough competition on the PGA Tour and because of how insane 18 wins actually is. Everyone always mentions Tiger’s 79 career wins and 14 major wins when talking about Tiger’s legacy. However, I believe 18 WGC wins is almost as impressive as both. I just wish there were WGC’s in the time of Jack Nicklaus’ prime so we could compare.
Most all-time PGA TOUR victories. (n.d.). Retrieved March 04, 2018, from https://www.pgatour.com/statsreport/2013/08/04/most-all-time-pga-tour-victories.html
Qualifiers for majors, WGCs and THE PLAYERS. (n.d.). Retrieved March 04, 2018, from https://www.pgatour.com/fantasy/major-qualifiers.html
Tiger Woods. (2018, March 03). Retrieved March 04, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_Woods
World Golf Championships. (2018, March 03). Retrieved March 04, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Golf_Championships
World Golf Championships: Overview & History. (n.d.). Retrieved March 04, 2018, from https://www.worldgolfchampionships.com/overview.html
List of golfers with most PGA Tour wins. (2018, March 03). Retrieved March 04, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_golfers_with_most_PGA_Tour_wins