Vardon Trophy Winners on the PGA Tour

PGA of America Award for Season's Lowest Scoring Average

Golfer Lee Trevino pictured in 1990.
Lee Trevino was a five-time winner of the Vardon Trophy for low scoring average on the PGA Tour.

Eric Renard/Corbis via Getty Images

 

The Vardon Trophy is awarded annually to the PGA Tour's leader in season scoring average. It is one of the oldest continuously awarded trophies in men's professional golf, dating to 1937. The trophy is named after Harry Vardon, who was one of golf's first international stars in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

When the award was first given, in 1937, it was awarded on the basis of a points system that took in multiple achievements in addition to scoring average.

It was awarded based on that point system only five times. Following the break for World War II, beginning in 1947, the award was given on the basis of golfers' seasonal, per-round scoring average. In 1988, the trophy began going to the golfer with the lowest adjusted scoring average (which takes into account course played and strength of field) over a minimum of 60 rounds played on the PGA Tour.

The yearly list of winners appears below.

Vardon Trophy Is Not Given Out By the PGA Tour

Although the Vardon Trophy is given out to the PGA Tour's lowest scorer, it is not awarded by the PGA Tour. Instead, it is awarded by the PGA of America, the trade organization for PGA Professionals (club pros) and the group that runs the PGA Championship and co-manages the Ryder Cup.

This stems from the fact that the PGA Tour originated as part of the PGA of America, something that is no longer the case. Beginning in 1980, the PGA Tour launched its own award for low season scoring average, called the Byron Nelson Award.

The Nelson award has slightly different criteria compared to the Vardon award; therefore, it occasionally produces a different winner.

The Golfer With the Most Vardon Trophy Awards

It's not even close: Tiger Woods won the Vardon Trophy nine times (so far) in his career. His first win was for the 1999 PGA Tour season, when his scoring average was 68.43.

Woods' most-recent Vardon Trophy award season was 2013, with an average of 68.99.

Multiple Winners of the PGA Vardon Trophy

In addition to Woods, there are 13 other golfers who have won the Vardon Trophy two or more times. This is the list:

  • 9 times—Tiger Woods
  • 5 times—Lee Trevino, Billy Casper
  • 4 times—Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead*
  • 3 times—Greg Norman, Tom Watson, Ben Hogan*
  • 2 times—Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Nick Price, Fred Couples, Tom Kite, Bruce Crampton, Lloyd Mangrum, Dustin Johnson

(*Snead's and Hogan's totals include years during the brief period when the Vardon Trophy was awarded through a points formula, rather than based on scoring average.)

List: All Winners of the PGA Vardon Trophy

Winners are listed along with their scoring averages:

2018: Dustin Johnson, 68.70
2017: Jordan Spieth, 68.85 scoring average
2016: Dustin Johnson, 69.17
2015: Jordan Spieth, 68.91
2014: Rory McIlroy, 68.83
2013: Tiger Woods, 68.99
2012: Rory McIlroy, 68.87
2011: Luke Donald, 68.86
2010: Matt Kuchar, 69.61
2009: Tiger Woods, 68.05
2008: Sergio Garcia, 69.12
2007: Tiger Woods, 67.79
2006: Jim Furyk, 68.86
2005: Tiger Woods, 68.66
2004: Vijay Singh, 68.84
2003: Tiger Woods, 68.41
2002: Tiger Woods, 68.56
2001: Tiger Woods, 68.81
2000: Tiger Woods, 67.79
1999: Tiger Woods, 68.43
1998: David Duval, 69.13
1997: Nick Price, 68.98
1996: Tom Lehman, 69.32
1995: Steve Elkington, 69.92
1994: Greg Norman, 68.81
1993: Nick Price, 69.11
1992: Fred Couples, 69.38
1991: Fred Couples, 69.59
1990: Greg Norman, 69.10
1989: Greg Norman, 69.49
1988: Chip Beck, 69.46
1987: Dan Pohl, 70.25
1986: Scott Hoch, 70.08
1985: Don Pooley, 70.36
1984: Calvin Peete, 70.56
1983: Raymond Floyd, 70.61
1982: Tom Kite, 70.21
1981: Tom Kite, 69.80
1980: Lee Trevino, 69.73
1979: Tom Watson, 70.27
1978: Tom Watson, 70.16
1977: Tom Watson, 70.32
1976: Don January, 70.56
1975: Bruce Crampton, 70.51
1974: Lee Trevino, 70.53
1973: Bruce Crampton, 70.57
1972: Lee Trevino, 70.89
1971: Lee Trevino, 70.27
1970: Lee Trevino, 70.64
1969: Dave Hill, 70.34
1968: Billy Casper, 69.82
1967: Arnold Palmer, 70.18
1966: Billy Casper, 70.27
1965: Billy Casper, 70.85
1964: Arnold Palmer, 70.01
1963: Billy Casper, 70.58
1962: Arnold Palmer, 70.27
1961: Arnold Palmer, 69.85
1960: Billy Casper, 69.95
1959: Art Wall, 70.35
1958: Bob Rosburg, 70.11
1957: Dow Finsterwald, 70.30
1956: Cary Middlecoff, 70.35
1955: Sam Snead, 69.86
1954: Dutch Harrison, 70.41
1953: Lloyd Mangrum, 70.22
1952: Jack Burke, 70.54
1951: Lloyd Mangrum, 70.05
1950: Sam Snead, 69.23
1949: Sam Snead, 69.37
1948: Ben Hogan, 69.30
1947: Jimmy Demaret, 69.90

Vardon Trophy Points Winners
(From 1937 through 1941, the Vardon Trophy was awarded on a points basis, with points earned through various achievements throughout the year.)

1941: Ben Hogan, 494 points
1940: Ben Hogan, 423
1939: Byron Nelson, 473
1938: Sam Snead, 520
1937: Harry Cooper, 500