Oldest First-Time Winner in PGA Tour History

Which golfer has the distinction of being the oldest ever at the time he earned his first PGA Tour victory? And just how old was he? The answers to those questions are: John Barnum and 51 years old.

PGA Tour's Oldest First-Time Winner: John Barnum

John Barnum was born in 1911, so at the time of the PGA Tour Cajun Classic in 1962, he was already over 50. In fact, when he won the tournament, Barnum was 51 years, 1 month and 5 days old. And that makes him the oldest-first time winner in PGA Tour history.

At the time, Barnum was just the second golfer over age 50 to win a PGA Tour event. And all these years later, he is still on the list of oldest PGA Tour winners.

Barnum had won multiple regional tournaments in Michigan prior to the 1962 Cajun Classic, which was played in Lafayette, Louisiana. It was a 63 in the third round that powered Barnum's win, which was by six strokes over runner-up Gay Brewer.

Barnum was using a Ping putter during his win, so he also has the distinction of being the first golfer to win on the PGA Tour using a Ping putter.

Oldest First-Time PGA Tour Winners Since 1970

What about other golfers who were "old" at the time of their first PGA Tour wins? Since 1970, four golfers over the age of 43 have become first-time winners:
  • Ed Dougherty was 47 years, 8 months and 19 days old when he won the 1995 Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic
  • Ken Duke was 44 years, 4 months and 25 days old when he won the 2013 Travelers Championship
  • Alex Cejka was 44 years, 3 months, 6 days old when he won the 2015 Puerto Rico Open
  • Greg Kraft was 43 years, 11 months, 19 days old when he won the 2008 Puerto Rico Open
Two of the above wins happened in the same tournament, in Puerto Rico. That tournament was (at the time of those two wins) an opposite-field tournament, which thinned the depth of the field and opened up opportunities for more golfers.

Note that of the five golfers mentioned — Barnum, Dougherty, Duke, Cejka and Kraft — none ever won a second time on the PGA Tour.

More PGA Tour records:

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