The Youngest Winners in PGA Tour History

Jordan Spieth is one of the youngest PGA Tour winners
Who are the youngest golfers ever to win an official tournament on the PGA Tour? The record-holder was only 18 years old when he won on tour — and he never won another tour event.

Below you'll find information about that record-setting win, plus about the golfer who is the youngest since 1970 to win on the PGA Tour. You'll also see the lists of the 10 youngest PGA Tour winners, plus the youngest since 1970.

All-Time Record: Chuck Kocsis, Age 18

Chuck Kocsis was just out of high school and playing as an amateur when he won the 1931 Michigan Open, a victory that today is recognized by the PGA Tour as an official tour win. Kocsis was 18 years, 6 months, 9 days old at the time, making him the youngest winner ever on the PGA Tour.

A year earlier Kocsis had, at age 17, set a record that still stands as the youngest winner of the Michigan Amateur. And he won the Michigan Open two more times later on, but those later two victories are not counted as official tour wins.

The 1931 Michigan Open had a very weak field by tour standards, comprised mostly of golfers from across Michigan. But tour player Ralph Guldahl was there, and so was Al Watrous. And the big star was reigning British Open champion Tommy Armour.

Armour, in fact, rolled in a 45-foot eagle putt on the 72nd hole to tie 18-year-old Kocsis. Just about everyone who was aware of the tournament must have felt assured that the great "Silver Scot," Armour, would win the 18-hole playoff. But he didn't. Kocsis beat Armour by one stroke, 73 to 74.

For all but a brief, months-long period, Kocsis remained an amateur his entire life. He never again won a PGA Tour title.

Since 1970: Jordan Spieth, Age 19

The PGA Tour as we know it today was formalized as its own entity, separate from the PGA of America, during the late 1960s and early 1970s. So the year 1970 is often used as the starting point of the so-called "modern PGA Tour." In this case, that date doesn't really matter: When Jordan Spieth (pictured above) won the 2013 John Deere Classic at age 19, he was the first teenager since 1931 to win on the PGA Tour.

Spieth was 19 years, 11 months and 18 days old when he won the Deere in 2013. He came from behind in the final round with a 65 to finish at 265, forcing a sudden-playoff with Zach Johnson and David Heard.

All three players matched scores for the first four holes of the playoff. But Spieth won it on the fifth extra hole with a par. Spieth went on to a stellar PGA Tour career with multiple wins in major championships.

The List: All-Time Youngest Winners on the PGA Tour

  • 18 years, 6 months, 9 days: Chuck Kocsis (amateur), 1931 Michigan Open
  • 19 years, 4 days: Harry Cooper, 1923 Galveston Open Championship
  • 19 years, 2 months, 3 days: Ralph Guldahl, 1931 Santa Monica Open
  • 19 years, 10 months, 14 days: John McDermott, 1911 U.S. Open Championship
  • 19 years, 11 months, 18 days: Jordan Spieth, 2013 John Deere Classic
  • 20 years, 5 days: Gene Sarazen, 1922 Southern (Spring) Open
  • 20 years, 1 month, 15 days: Chick Evans (amateur), 1910 Western Open
  • 20 years, 1 month, 17 days: Joohyung Kim, 2022 Wyndham Championship
  • 20 years, 2 months, 9 days: Ralph Guldahl, 1932 Arizona Open
  • 20 years, 2 months, 23 days: Matthew Wolff, 2019 3M Open
  • 20 years, 4 months, 12 days: Francis Ouimet (amateur), 1913 U.S. Open Championship
A couple things to point out about the 11 tournaments and 10 golfers above: Guldahl is the one who appears twice on the list; three of the golfers were amateurs and all three of those remained lifelong amateurs; two of the youngsters won U.S. Opens. Harry Cooper, Guldahl, Sarazen, Evans and Ouimet are members of the World Golf Hall of Fame; McDermott should be and Spieth will be. Conclusion: Winning at a very young age on the PGA Tour is a strong indicator that a great career is coming.

(Note that Young Tom Morris won British Opens at age 17, 18 and 19, and those wins are counted as official by the PGA Tour. To avoid going back into the pre-1900 era, when record-keeping was, at best, spotty and incomplete, we have followed the PGA Tour's convention by sticking only to post-1900 tournaments in the list above.)

Youngest PGA Tour Winners Since 1970

  • 19 years, 11 months, 18 days: Jordan Spieth, 2013 John Deere Classic
  • 20 years, 1 month, 17 days: Joohyung Kim, 2022 Wyndham Championship
  • 20 years, 2 months, 23 days: Matthew Wolff, 2019 3M Open
  • 20 years, 6 months, 28 days: Phil Mickelson (amateur), 1991 Northern Telecom Open
  • 20 years, 9 months, 6 days: Tiger Woods, 1996 Las Vegas Invitational
  • 20 years, 9 months, 20 days: Tiger Woods, 1996 Walt Disney World Classic
  • 20 years 10 months 8 days: Joaquin Niemann, 2019 A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier
  • 20 years, 11 months, 24 days: Seve Ballesteros, 1978 Greater Greensboro Open
  • 20 years, 11 months, 28 days: Rory McIlroy, 2010 Quail Hollow Championship
Related articles: Photo credit: Peetlesnumber1, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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