Most Birdies in a PGA Tour Tournament: The All-Time Record

If you want to win a golf tournament, you better make some birdies. The PGA Tour golfers we discuss in this article made a lot of birdies: They are the record-holders and the runners-up in the category of most birdies in a 72-hole tournament on the PGA Tour.

A couple things might jump out at you from the list below. One is that every golfer who is in the running for this record had his birdie-binge tournament from 1998 to today, the majority since 2006. Another is that not every golfer below won his tournament! You'd think a golfer who is challenging the PGA Tour record for most birdies in a single tournament would, naturally, win. But some of these golfers didn't. Because even when you're making a slew of birdies, bogeys and worse are still out there looming.

The Record: 32 Birdies

Thirty-two birdies in 72 holes. That's good! And three PGA Tour golfers share the record: Mark Calcavecchia, Paul Gow and Jon Rahm. Calcavecchia did it first, and Gow joined him in the 2001 season; Rahm joined the party in the 2021-22 season.

Calcavecchia's birdie barrage led him to victory in the 2001 Phoenix Open. He carded scores of 65-60-64-67 for a total of 256, 28-under par. That total is very significant because, at the time, it established a new 72-hole scoring record (since broken) on the PGA Tour, breaking Mike Souchak's mark of 257 set in 1955. (Calcavecchia, by the way, once led the PGA Tour's birdie average stat for a season.)

Gow's 32 birdies helped him to a final score of 266 (22-under par) at the 2001 B.C. Open. His scores were 69, 65, 66 and 66. But Gow didn't win the tournament — he lost a playoff to Jeff Sluman.

Rahm also didn't win his tournament, which was the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions. He finished second by one stroke to Cameron Smith, who also appears on the list below. On the par-73 Kapalua course in Hawaii, Rahm had rounds of 66, 66, 61 and 66.

So when Calcavecchia broke the record at the 2001 Phoenix Open, whose record did he break? As you'll see on the list below, quite a few golfers have recorded 31 birdies in a 72-hole PGA Tour event. But at the time of Calc's birdie binge, only one golfer had done so: John Huston, at the 1998 Hawaiian Open. It was Huston's record Calc lowered.

The List: Most Birdies in PGA Tour Tournament (72 Holes)

32 birdies

  • Mark Calcavecchia, 2001 Phoenix Open: Scored 65-60-64-67 for a 28-under total of 256. Won the tournament.
  • Paul Gow, 2001 B.C. Open: Scored 69-65-66-66 for a 22-under total of 266. Finished second after losing playoff.
  • Jon Rahm, 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions: Scored 66-66-61-66 for a 33-under total of 259 (par-73 course). Finished second.

31 birdies

  • John Huston, 1998 United Airlines Hawaiian Open: Scored 63-65-66-66 for a 28-under total of 260. Won the tournament.
  • Phil Mickelson, 2006 BellSouth Classic: Scored 63-65-67-65 for a 28-under total of 260. Won the tournament.
  • Tommy Gainey, 2008 Children's Miracle Network Classic: Scored 68-66-66-64 for a 24-under total of 264. Finished in second place.
  • Steve Stricker, 2010 John Deere Classic: Scored 60-66-62-70 for a 26-under total of 258. Won the tournament.
  • Nicholas Thompson, 2013 Humana Challenge: Scored 69-66-66-64 for a 23-under total of 265. Finished tied for sixth place.
  • Jeff Overton, 2013 Humana Challenge: Scored 69-71-66-64 for an 18-under total of 270. Finished tied for 27th place.
  • Andrew Landry, 2020 The American Express: Scored 66-64-65-67 for a 26-under total of 262. Won the tournament.
  • Joaquin Niemann, 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions: Scored 69-67-67-64 for a 25-under total of 267. Finished second after losing playoff.
  • Patrick Cantlay, 2021 BMW Championship: Scored 66-63-66-66 for a 27-under total of 261. Won a playoff to win the tournament.
  • Cameron Smith, 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions: Scored 65-64-64-65 for a 34-under total of 258 (par-73 course). Won the tournament.
  • Harry Higgs, 2023 The American Express: Scored 70-66-62-70 for a 20-under total of 268. Tied for 18th place.
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