Since the “Tiger-Era” has come and gone, and briefly come back on several occasions, there have been a few openings for some of the younger guys on tour, and even some of the veterans who have not quite made the jump, to get their piece of the cake and post a win. Unlike Tiger, who in his career has won 79 PGA tournaments (14 of which were Major Championships) for an incredible win ratio. Most PGA tour professionals win around 1% of tournaments they enter, if not less. Tiger has been number one in the world, thanks to all these wins, for an astonishing 673 weeks in total.
Getting that first win under the belt early is what really matters for some of these young pros. Even for the older guys who are ready to make a Darren Clarke run for it and try to win their first major in their forties, the all important first win is the catalyst for change in their careers.
This list is a collection of first time winners from the 2013 PGA Tour Season and the start of the current season that has already seen some of the less experienced guys claim a win. Much like the Luke Donalds and Lee Westwoods of the game who have gone so far in their careers without a major championship, there are some guys on this list who have made a fantastic career so far on tour without getting that first win. Some guys find themselves comfortably in the top 20 of the FedEx cup points list or in the top 50 of the official World Golf Ranking and yet they have never lifted a trophy on the PGA Tour.
4 John Merrick – 2013 Northern Trust Open ($1.2 Million Dollars)
3 Michael Thompson – 2013 Honda Classic ($1.1 Million Dollars)
2 Ken Duke – 2013 Travelers Championship ($1.1 Million Dollars)
1 2.Billy Horschel – 2013 Zurich Classic of New Orleans ($1.2 Million Dollars)
This is certainly not the only list in golf that Jordan Spieth will find himself topping thanks to his amazing play. Spieth won his first PGA tournament when he was still a teenager after beating out Canada’s David Hearn, and defending champion Zach Johnson in a playoff at the 2013 John Deere Classic to take home the big paycheck. Having played in fewer events than anyone on this list (38 in total), Spieth is the highest ranked player on the list as he sits just outside the top ten in 12th spot. Being born in 1993, Spieth had likely not even picked up his first golf club by the time Ken Duke was already a pro – he climbed the ranks fast as soon as he found his way on to the tour in 2012. The 2013 season was a phenomenal start for the Texan as he made 18 cuts in 23 starts and found himself in the top ten another eight times alongside his victory. He also managed to make the cut at the Open Championship at Muirfield on his first attempt and closed out his season after making just shy of $4 million dollars.
So far in 2014, he has made all but one cut (six out of seven tournaments) and has finished in the top ten three times already. The money he earned last year obviously didn’t quite cut it as he has already banked over $1.5 Million this year in winnings. Jordan Spieth is certainly one to watch out for at the top of the leaderboard in both regular PGA tournaments as well as the Major Championships this year. If he finishes the season outside the top ten, it would be a big surprise.
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