Golfers Who Finished First or Second Most in Majors

Winning a major championship is the pinnacle achievement for most professional golfers. Those golfers who are in contention in a lot of majors might also record a few (or more) second-place finishes. If you can't win, you want to finish as high as possible, obviously. So which golfers have posted the most Top 2 finishes in majors?

There might be a few surprises on the list below (one of the golfers on it had zero wins in majors!), but most of the names are familiar. Jack Nicklaus is way out front of anyone else with a whopping 37 combined first- and second-place finishes in men's majors.

Tiger Woods, with 21, is the only other golfer to reach at least 20 combined firsts/seconds in majors. Some golfers rank high, though, because they had more runner-up showings than wins, golfers such as Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman.

The List: Combined First- and Second-Place Finishes in Majors

Included in the list are all golfers with at least five combined wins and runner-up finishes in majors.

Jack Nicklaus — 37 (18 wins, 19 seconds)
Tiger Woods — 21 (15 wins, 6 seconds)
Arnold Palmer — 17 (7 wins, 10 seconds)
Phil Mickelson — 17 (6 wins, 11 seconds)
Tom Watson — 16 (8 wins, 8 seconds)
Ben Hogan — 15 (9 wins, 6 seconds)
Gary Player — 15 (9 wins, 6 seconds)
Sam Snead — 15 (7 wins, 8 seconds)
Walter Hagen — 13 (11 wins, 2 seconds)
Harry Vardon — 13 (7 wins, 6 seconds)
J.H. Taylor — 12 (5 wins, 7 seconds)
Bobby Jones — 11 (7 wins, 4 seconds)
Gene Sarazen — 11 (7 wins, 4 seconds)
Byron Nelson — 11 (5 wins, 6 seconds)
Ernie Els — 10 (4 wins, 6 seconds)
Greg Norman — 10 (2 wins, 8 seconds)
Nick Faldo — 9 (6 wins, 3 seconds)
James Braid — 9 (5 wins, 4 seconds)
Raymond Floyd — 9 (4 wins, 5 seconds)
Lee Trevino — 8 (6 wins, 2 seconds)
Seve Ballesteros — 8 (5 wins, 3 seconds)
Peter Thomson — 8 (5 wins, 3 seconds)
Willie Park Sr. — 8 (4 wins, 4 seconds)
Jim Barnes — 7 (4 wins, 3 seconds)
Brooks Koepka — 7 (4 wins, 3 seconds)
Old Tom Morris — 7 (4 wins, 3 seconds)
Billy Casper — 7 (3 wins, 4 seconds)
Cary Middlecoff — 7 (3 wins, 4 seconds)
Jordan Spieth — 7 (3 wins, 4 seconds)
Payne Stewart — 7 (3 wins, 4 seconds)
Ben Crenshaw — 7 (2 wins, 5 seconds)
Craig Wood — 7 (2 wins, 5 seconds)
Bobby Locke — 6 (4 wins, 2 seconds)
Rory McIlroy — 6 (4 wins, 2 seconds)
Ralph Guldahl — 6 (3 wins, 3 seconds)
Dustin Johnson — 6 (2 wins, 4 seconds)
Johnny Miller — 6 (2 wins, 4 seconds)
Tom Weiskopf — 6 (1 win, 5 seconds)
Willie Anderson — 5 (4 wins, 1 second)
Young Tom Morris — 5 (4 wins, 1 second)
Jamie Anderson — 5 (3 wins, 2 seconds)
Nick Price — 5 (3 wins, 2 seconds)
Denny Shute — 5 (3 wins, 2 seconds)
Leo Diegel — 5 (2 wins, 3 seconds)
Jock Hutchison — 5 (2 wins, 3 seconds)
Alex Smith — 5 (2 wins, 3 seconds)
Sergio Garcia — 5 (1 win, 4 seconds)
Tom Kite — 5 (1 win, 4 seconds)
Louis Oosthuizen — 5 (1 win, 4 seconds)
Lanny Wadkins — 5 (1 win, 4 seconds)
Colin Montgomerie — 5 (0 wins, 5 seconds)

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