Yearly 'Total Strokes Gained' Leaders on the PGA Tour

Rory McIlroy has led the PGA Tour in Total Strokes Gained several times

Total Strokes Gained (officially named "Strokes Gained: Total") is a PGA Tour scoring statistic. It was introduced only in 2016, but has been calculated back to the 2004 season.

The Tour's own definition of Total Strokes Gained is this: "The per round average of the number of strokes the player was better or worse than the field average on the same course & event." It requires a complex mathematical formula to compute. But, basically, it is a stat that compares a golfer's performance to that of the average performance of all the other golfers in the field, at each tournament the golfer plays. The result is a number that tells you how many actual strokes better or worse than the field that golfer was.

Tiger Woods has led Total Strokes Gained most often, five times. Woods is also the only golfer so far to have a Total Strokes Gained average higher than 3.000, something Woods did in three years. So, of course, Woods holds the record for highest Total Strokes Gained average at 3.443 in 2006.

One way of understanding "Strokes Gained: Total" (often referred to by the abbreviation SG: Total), using that Woods number from 2006, is this: Imagine a PGA Tour event where the field average is even par. Woods' 3.443 in 2006 meant that he would have started that tournament, essentially, at 3-under par (more specifically, with a 3.443-stroke advantage over the field average).

PGA Tour 'Strokes Gained: Total' Leaders By Year

2021 — Jon Rahm, 2.098
2020 — Jon Rahm, 1.823
2019 — Rory McIlroy, 2.551
2018 — Dustin Johnson, 2.372
2017 — Rickie Fowler, 2.265
2016 — Jason Day, 2.084
2015 — Henrik Stenson, 2.210
2014 — Rory McIlroy, 2.266
2013 — Steve Stricker, 2.193
2012 — Rory McIlroy, 2.406
2011 — Luke Donald, 2.278
2010 — Steve Stricker, 1.818
2009 — Tiger Woods, 3.189
2008 — Phil Mickelson, 1.818
2007 — Tiger Woods, 3.092
2006 — Tiger Woods, 3.443
2005 — Tiger Woods, 2.401
2004 — Tiger Woods, 2.382

PGATour.com, in its Stats section, abbreviates Strokes Gained as "SG," and lists its Total Strokes Gained numbers under the headline, "SG: Total."

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Photo credit: "Rory Mcilroy" by internetsense is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

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