Most Top 10 Finishes in Single Season on the PGA Tour

What is the PGA Tour record for most Top 10 finishes by a golfer in a single season? That record is 31 — one golfer in PGA Tour history finished in the Top 10 in 31 tournament during a single season. And that golfer was named Jug.

Nicknamed Jug, actually. Harold "Jug" McSpaden finished in the Top 10 in 31 tournament during the 1945 PGA Tour season. That was the same year that Byron Nelson recorded 18 victories, another all-time record.

This record — most Top 10s in a year on the PGA Tour — is probably one of the safest in golf. Think about it: Few golfers even enter 31 PGA Tour events in a single season, much less finish in the Top 10 in that many.

McSpaden's exploits in the 1945 season were undoubtedly aided by the fact that fields were thinned out due to many golfers' service in the military in the last year of World War II. But, in fact, most of the big names on the PGA Tour played at least partial seasons in 1945.

As for McSpaden, of his 31 Top 10s, 13 of them were second-place finishes — that is also an all-time PGA Tour record. He entered 35 tournaments, finished in the Top 10 in 31 of them, won once, was runner-up 13 times, finished third another five times. That's 19 out of 35 starts in the Top 3. Another nine times he was fourth or fifth, so make that 28 out of 35 starts in the Top 5 (yes, another record, although tied with Nelson).

McSpaden's one win during the year (he had 17 PGA Tour wins for his career) was at the 1945 Miami Four-Ball, a team tournament in which he was partnered by Nelson. Nelson and McSpaden were good friends, and they finished 1-2 so often in 1945 that the media dubbed them the "Gold Dust Twins."

McSpaden finished outside the Top 10 in only four of 35 starts in 1945: 11th in the Greater Greensboro Open, tied for 17th in the 1945 PGA Championship, tied for 12th in the Nashville Invitational, and 11th in the Tulsa Open.

How does McSpaden's record 31 Top 10 finishes in a single PGA Tour compare to the best single-year number of Top 10s by some of the game's greats? For the sake of comparison, here are the most Top 10s in a single season by several famous golfers:

  • Byron Nelson, 30 (also in 1945)
  • Ben Hogan, 27
  • Sam Snead, 23
  • Billy Casper, 22
  • Arnold Palmer, 20
  • Jack Nicklaus, 17
  • Tiger Woods, 17
  • Tom Watson, 17
  • Lee Trevino, 14

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