Five unbreakable PGA Tour records

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December 15th, 2020

Records are meant to be broken — or at least that’s the well-worn phrase. But some records are so remarkable, so incredible, that it’s hard to imagine anyone will top them.

It’s amazing how much can happen over around 6,600 yards and 280 odd swings of a club. History can be made, names can become legendary, and records can be set.

Here are five PGA Tour records that will never be broken.

5. Largest final-round comeback: 10 strokes

Paul Lawrie, 1999 Open Championship

The Open at Carnoustie was the scene of one of the biggest major meltdowns in golf history, and fate handed the Claret Jug and a record comeback to local lad Paul Lawrie.

Lawrie started the day at 10-over, with Frenchman Jean van de Velde on level par and with a five-stroke lead over the rest of the field.

Lawrie had a fantastic day. He shot a 67, which was one of the best rounds of the week. That moved him to 6-over, so he still needed plenty of help from van de Velde, and he got it!

The Frenchman had a three-stroke lead approaching the final hole of the final round and seemed destined for the title. However, in the worst choke in golfing history, van de Velde made a mess of the 18th and shot a triple-bogey to end up in a playoff with Lawrie and Justin Leonard.

Lawrie won the four-hole aggregate playoff by three strokes to bag his only major title. It’s difficult to see a collapse the level of van de Velde’s again.

4. Youngest winner: 18 years, 6 months, 9 days

Charles Kocsis, 1931 Michigan Open

Charles Kocsis won the Michigan Open three times, but his first was the most notable. Kocsis couldn’t drink, smoke, or gamble, but he made golfing history and a record that has stood for almost nine decades.

Jordan Spieth was more than 16 months older when he won the 2013 John Deere Classic, and Matthew Wolff was 20 years old when he won the 2019 3M Open. Chilean star Joaquin Niemann was considered a young hotshot when he won the Greenbrier classic last year, but even then, he was more than two years older than Kocsis when he won his first Michigan Open.

Kocsis’ win is remarkable, and it is incredibly hard to see this record being beaten anytime soon.

3. Fewest putts, 72 holes: 92

David Frost, 2005 MCI Heritage

South African David Frost finished 38th at the MCI Heritage in 2005, but it had nothing to do with missed putts!

His record, set at Harbor Town, has only been threatened once in the 15 years since, as Brian Gay took 93 putts in the 2013 World Golf Championship at Doral.

If this record is going to be beaten, it is going to be at Harbour Town in South Carolina. The slick, firm Bermuda grass greens are all small. They average 3,700 square feet, and the average green on Tour is 6,600 square feet. Four of the top six scores in this category were set at Harbour Town.

It would take a serious performance to beat it.

2. Most wins by a player older than 40: 22

Vijay Singh

The saying "Life begins at 40" was written for the "Big Fijian," Vijay Singh. A 34-time winner on the PGA Tour, only 12 came before his 40th birthday.

Since he turned 40 in February of 2003, Singh won the PGA Championship and the FedEx Cup, among others. In a remarkable two years between his 40th and 42nd birthday, Singh won 13 PGA Tour events and took the world No. 1 ranking from Tiger Woods.

Singh’s 22 wins after 40 surpassed the record of 18 that had stood since the early 1960s and was held by Sam Snead. Singh’s record looks set to last even longer.

1. Major wins: 18

Jack Nicklaus

This the obvious one to make the list — and a record that surely will not be beaten in my lifetime.

Jack Nicklaus, the "Golden Bear," holds the record for most major wins. He claimed six Masters, five PGA Championships, four U.S. Opens and three Open Championships. Nicklaus bagged his 18 Majors over a quarter-century and wrote his name into the sport’s record books.

The only man to come close is Woods, who has won 15 majors. From 1997 to 2008, Tiger racked up 14 major wins and was on track to smash Nicklaus’ record before his first knee surgery. Plagued by injuries and then scandal, it wasn’t until the 2019 Masters that Woods was able to win his 15th major, but it’s incredibly difficult to see the 45-year-old winning another three.

Nicklaus is untouchable.