Who Has the Most Wins in The Players Championship?

The Players Championship is often called "the fifth major" of men's professional golf. It's an important tournament, and winning it is a big feather in one's cap for the golfers good (and lucky) enough to do so. Which golfer has the most wins in The Players?

Jack Nicklaus is the answer to that question. Which, in some ways, is both surprising (he was halfway through his career before The Players Championship began) and not surprising (he's Jack Nicklaus).

The record for most wins in The Players Championship is three. Nicklaus' three wins happened in 1974, 1976 and 1978. His 1974 win — by two strokes over J.C. Snead — was in the very first Players Championship (which, at the time, was named the "Tournament Players Championship").

(See also: Full list of Players Championship winners)

In 1976, Nicklaus won with Snead again as the runner-up, this time three behind the Bear. And Nicklaus' third victory in 1978 was by one stroke over Lou Graham.

But — trivia alert — none of Nicklaus' three victories in The Players Championship happened on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. TPC Sawgrass opened in 1980 and became the permanent site of The Players Championship in 1982. Nicklaus' first win happened at Atlanta Country Club, his second at Inverrary Country Club in Florida, and his third at Sawgrass Country Club in Florida. (Sawgrass Country Club and TPC Sawgrass are two different facilities.)

In the years since the tournament has been played on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass (every year since 1982), no golfer has won The Players Championship more than twice.

The List: Players Championship Multiple Winners

  • 3 wins — Jack Nicklaus, 1974, 1976, 1978
  • 2 wins — Fred Couples, 1984, 1996
  • 2 — Steve Elkington, 1991, 1997
  • 2 — Hal Sutton, 1983, 2000
  • 2 — Davis Love III, 1992, 2003
  • 2 — Tiger Woods, 2001, 2013
  • 2 — Scottie Scheffler, 2023, 2024
In 1976, Nicklaus became the tournament's first 2-time winner. It took 20 years before anyone else joined him — Fred Couples became the second 2-time champ in 1996. Unlike Nicklaus, however, all the other players listed above won their tournaments on the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course.

Of the multiple champions, only Woods also finished runner-up in The Players. He was second by one stroke to Sutton in 2000. Woods' first win in 2001 was the one that included his "better than most" putt on the 17th green.

Scheffler, in 2023-24, became the tournament's first, and so far only, back-to-back winner.

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