100 Best Modern Players
January 26, 2014
DANNY EDWARDSScore: 2.630 | Seasons: 1980-85 | Best season: 4.004 (1982) | Stroke differential: 0.744DANNY EDWARDSShares with No. 79 Nick Watney the distinction of never finishing second during his eligible seasons. Joined brother David, also a Modern 100 candidate, to claim the '80 Walt Disney World Team. Five years after his '77 Greensboro breakthrough Danny returned for another trophy, then added the '83 Miller High Life and '85 Pensacola before shrinking his competitive footprint to concentrate on business ventures.
TOM PURTZERScore: 2.651 | Seasons: 1980-91 | Best season: 5.143 (1991) | Stroke differential: 0.910TOM PURTZERFour of his five career titles after '80, with his '77 Glen Campbell showdown with No. 33 Lanny Wadkins not part of these computations. Par worked for him twice in playoffs: '89 Gatlin Brothers (Mark Brooks) and '91 NEC World Series (No. 18 Davis Love III, No. 86 Jim Gallagher Jr.), his last. One of the lowest major counts among Modern 100 players of his longevity (24), missing 10 cuts.
KEN GREENScore: 2.792 | Seasons: 1985-89 | Best season: 6.775 (1988) | Stroke differential: 0.650KEN GREENCompleted 17 full-time seasons but reached five-year minimum eligibility with five wins in that span. Winner of the inaugural International in '86, played in a modified Stableford format that saw him three points ahead of No. 38 Bernhard Langer. Lost an '88 Greensboro playoff to Sandy Lyle and to No. 11 Seve Ballesteros two months later at Westchester, but returned to North Carolina the following year to collect his fifth title, by two over No. 74 John Huston.
STEVE PATEScore: 2.907 | Seasons: 1987-98 | Best season: 7.388 (1991) | Stroke differential: 0.770STEVE PATEA pair of traffic accidents, one on-site at the '91 Ryder Cup and another near-fatal wreck in '96, intruded on a career that saw him prevail in the '88 T of C by a shot over No. 84 Larry Nelson and the '92 Buick Invitational. Rallied to post a sixth title at the '98 CVS Charity Classic. Went 0-3 in playoffs by bowing to players higher on this list: No. 65 Wayne Levi ('85 Atlanta), No. 44 Corey Pavin ('91 Atlanta) and No. 50 Loren Roberts (Byron Nelson).
SHIGEKI MARUYAMAScore: 2.912 | Seasons: 1999-2003 | Best season: 6.104 (2002) | Stroke differential: 0.712SHIGEKI MARUYAMAOnly the second Asian in the Modern 100 (No. 70 K.J. Choi) but with '01 Milwaukee became the first Japanese player to win on U.S. mainland and second on circuit (Isao Aoki, '83 Hawaiian). Earned his card with high finishes during the inaugural WGC season in '99 (Accenture Match Play quarters, sixth at NEC Invitational). Added '02 Byron Nelson and '03 Greensboro but never capitalized again, sharing fourth at the '04 U.S. Open. He returned to full-time status on the Japan PGA Tour in mid-'08.
FRED FUNKScore: 3.048 | Seasons: 1991-2007 | Best season: 6.406 (2002) | Stroke differential: 0.731FRED FUNKOne of two modern era victors beyond a 50th birthday and fifth-oldest victor in tour history thanks to '07 Mayakoba. Followed Craig Stadler ('03 B.C. Open) as the second player to win on the regular and Champions circuits in a season (Turtle Bay). Seven of eight victories in lower-profile events but at '05 Players he edged No. 20 Tom Lehman, No. 25 Luke Donald and No. 68 Scott Verplank. The lowest player on the list sporting double-digit totals of seconds (12) and thirds (10).
JODIE MUDDScore: 3.087 | Seasons: 1985-90 | Best season: 4.770 (1990) | Stroke differential: 0.608JODIE MUDDDistinctive top-line stats: six seconds in his first three eligible seasons without any victories, four titles in three years where he failed to place second. Missed nine cuts in a lethargic '85 before losing in extra holes at Sammy Davis Jr. (Phil Blackmar) and Texas (No. 78 John Mahaffey). Prevailed at '88 FedEx St. Jude, '90 Nelson (No. 84 Larry Nelson in a playoff), '90 Players and season-ending Nabisco Championship (Billy Mayfair in a playoff).
MATT KUCHARScore: 3.113 | Seasons: 2002-13 | Best season: 10.755 (2013) | Stroke differential: 0.728MATT KUCHARThe lowest Modern 100 spot for a player whose best season totals more than 10 points, thanks to posting negative totals in his first six years of eligibility. That includes '02: Honda win but only three other top 20s and missed a dozen cuts. He finally posted his second and third triumphs in playoffs ('09 Turning Stone over Vaughn Taylor; '10 Barclays over Martin Laird). Continued to raise his profile in '13, defeating No. 53 Hunter Mahan in the WGC-Accenture Match Play and adding the Memorial. His stroke differential is 1.535 in all rounds since Turning Stone.
ROCCO MEDIATEScore: 3.211 | Seasons: 1991-2010 | Best season: 6.251 (1991) | Stroke differential: 0.688ROCCO MEDIATECollected 24 top 10s in second through fourth seasons before '91 Doral, where he made 10-footers at the last two greens and took down No. 16 Curtis Strange with a Monday playoff birdie. Prevailed twice in Greensboro ('93, '02) and posted his last 19 years after Doral, holing out for eagle in every round at '10 Frys.com Open. The 47-year-old became the oldest known wire-to-wire winner in tour history two years after bowing to No. 1 Tiger Woods in a 19-hole U.S. Open playoff at Torrey Pines.
BILL GLASSONScore: 3.257 | Seasons: 1985-97 | Best season: 7.888 (1994) | Stroke differential: 0.764BILL GLASSONTour's '97 comeback player, who today is closing in on 20 surgical procedures to repair chronic health conditions, rebounded from a curtailed '96 for his final of seven victories ('97 Las Vegas). His first, '85 Kemper Open in his 32nd career start, saw his 66 erase a seven-shot deficit to No. 60 Larry Mize in the last 14 holes. Made just 22 starts in majors in eligible seasons, only one a top 10 (tied for fourth in '95 U.S. Open), missed nine cuts and withdrew twice.
GRAEME MCDOWELLScore: 3.297 | Seasons: 2005-13 | Best season: 7.093 (2011) | Stroke differential: 0.642GRAEME MCDOWELLThe only Modern 100 entrant qualifying under the provision allowing eligibility with two wins if at least one is a major. Only five players have fewer than his 105 eligible starts, a number depressed by a combined seven tournaments in '07-08. His '10 U.S. Open crown at Pebble Beach, which prompted taking tour membership the following month, was Europe's first since Tony Jacklin in '70. The only ranked player with a negative final-round stroke differential (-0.018), he has failed to better the field average by more than a shot in 43 of 67 attempts.
JEFF MAGGERTScore: 3.327 | Seasons: 1993-2006 | Best season: 10.042 (1994) | Stroke differential: 0.660JEFF MAGGERTAnother player with lengthy gaps separating his three wins. After '93 Disney World he had five dry seasons despite 10 seconds and four thirds. Captured the inaugural WGC-Match Play title in '99 at La Costa as the 24th seed, dispatching ninth-seeded Nick Price in the second round and top-seeded Tiger Woods in the quarters. But he endured another six fruitless years, this time with only two seconds and a trio of thirds in 180 starts, before the '06 FedEx St. Jude.
BOB TWAYScore: 3.480 | Seasons: 1986-2003 | Best season: 8.892 (1986) | Stroke differential: 0.854BOB TWAYComputations use 73 percent of 683 career starts -- he dipped below 25 tournaments only twice from '85 to '07. Bumper crop in '86, his sophomore season, yielded a tour-best four wins (Andy Williams, Westchester, Atlanta, PGA Championship) but only the fourth-best point total in this formula because 12 of 34 starts landed outside the top 25 or the cut. Notched four more wins in next 17 seasons, '89 Memorial and '03 Canadian Open among them. The last ended a seven-year winless span during which he had five or more top 10s all but '00. Tied for fifth in the '91 Open Championship, fifth and third in the '97 and '98 U.S. Opens.
KIRK TRIPLETTScore: 3.484 | Seasons: 1994-2006 | Best season: 6.026 (1995) | Stroke differential: 0.903KIRK TRIPLETTThe rare case of a three-time winner's best season containing nothing better than seconds (Buick Invitational, Hartford). Accumulated 39 career top-10s, with 34 in eligible seasons, before taking '00 Nissan Open by a shot over No. 30 Jesper Parnevik. Lost his lone playoff later that year against Michael Clark II (John Deere), then followed with '03 Reno-Tahoe and '06 Chrysler Tucson. The latter was his final career top 10 as elbow woes reduced him to exercising a major medical exemption.
JIM GALLAGHER JR.Score: 3.529 | Seasons: 1990-95 | Best season: 6.288 (1995) | Stroke differential: 0.753JIM GALLAGHER JR.Contended in the '91 and '92 PGA Championships, solo third behind John Daly at Crooked Stick and then tied for second behind No. 14 Nick Price at Bellerive. That was part of a busy six-year stretch that brought double wins in '93 (Anheuser-Busch, Tour Championship) and '95 (Greensboro, FedEx St. Jude). His opening 63 at Olympic Club in the Tour Championship was 8.067 shots better than the field average that day, remarkable considering he opposed the season's other 29 best players.
JEFF SLUMANScore: 3.560 | Seasons: 1986-2002 | Best season: 5.794 (1992) | Stroke differential: 0.897JEFF SLUMANA three-hole playoff loss to Sandy Lyle at the '87 Players signaled he was ready for his initial victory, which came on a closing 65 in the '88 PGA. That beat the field average at Oak Tree that day by 7.746 shots. He then went eight winless seasons, piling up eight runner-up showings including the '92 U.S. Open on another brutal closing round (Pebble Beach), before winning in five of his last six eligible years. He lost six playoffs through the '01 Nissan Open before a two-hole triumph over Paul Gow at the '91 B.C. Open.
LARRY NELSONScore: 3.705 | Seasons: 1980-88 | Best season: 8.005 (1988) | Stroke differential: 1.047LARRY NELSONAnother player losing a notable season because these computations begin in '80, the year after he secured the Jackie Gleason and Western Open. There are eight remaining titles that include three majors ('81 and '87 PGAs, '83 U.S. Open), two Atlanta Classics ('80 and '88) and 41 other top 10s. Lowest-ranked player with an all-rounds stroke differential exceeding 1, but his overall score is deflated by ranking 96th in percentage of missed cuts (28.9), which carry a small penalty in the formula.
STEVE JONESScore: 3.723 | Seasons: 1988-98 | Best season: 5.796 (1989) | Stroke differential: 0.888STEVE JONESEligibility spans 11 seasons but he counts only seven, thanks to sharing the most number of injury seasons with No. 68 Scott Verplank and No. 92 Rocco Mediate (four each). Won the '88 AT&T Pebble Beach and three in '89 (T of C, Bob Hope, Canadian) before severely injuring his left ring finger in a late '91 dirt-bike accident. Did not compete in '92-93 and made two late starts in '94 but burst forth with a tie for fourth at '95 Phoenix. The next year his surprise '96 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills made him the first champion out of sectional qualifying since Jerry Pate in '76. Three more titles through the '98 Quad Cities saw him rolling, but injuries returned in '02 and allowed only two top 25s the rest of his career.
PETER JACOBSENScore: 3.763 | Seasons: 1980-2003 | Best season: 7.906 (1984) | Stroke differential: 0.781PETER JACOBSENOnly four players among the Modern 100 own more than his 560 eligible starts, although only No. 42 Craig Stadler can match his 24 seasons. The '77 rookie rallied from six back the last day for his first win ('80 Buick-Goodwrench Open). Possesses two multiple-title seasons ('84 Colonial, Sammy Davis; '95 AT&T Pebble Beach, Buick Invitational) but went at least three winless years in the gaps -- and eight until concluding at '03 Hartford. There were plenty of chances, though: 15 seconds with three playoff losses, dropping the '85 Honda and '89 Western to pars, and solo thirds in the '83 and '86 PGA.
BOB ESTESScore: 3.768 | Seasons: 1993-2002 | Best season: 8.134 (1994) | Stroke differential: 1.033BOB ESTESHad a six-season gap between his inaugural title ('94 Texas Open, wire-to-wire after an opening 62) and next three ('01 St. Jude, Las Vegas, '02 Kemper). The strongest performance in the interim was '98, when he took seven top 10s as he shared second at Bay Hill and held 54-hole leads at Greensboro and St. Jude. Twice posted multiple top 10s in a season, '95 and '99, the latter when he had two career records: high major finish (Masters, tie for fourth) and overall top 10s (nine). Placement improved by having the sixth-best final-round stroke differential in second 50 (0.976).
CHAD CAMPBELLScore: 3.780 | Seasons: 2003-07 | Best season: 7.622 (2003) | Stroke differential: 0.648CHAD CAMPBELLShowed tremendous promise in '03 with a trio of seconds, including one at the PGA Championship, then became the first to make the Tour Championship his debut title. He captured the '04 Bay Hill by six shots over No. 66 Stuart Appleby only nine starts later, but has won just twice in his last 99 eligible starts. Subsequent playoff losses at the '09 Masters and the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals Open helped him to a 50th finish in that year's FedEx Cup standings, but since '10 he has cracked the top 10 just seven times in 109 events.
NICK WATNEYScore: 3.793 | Seasons: 2006-13 | Best season: 9.450 (2011) | Stroke differential: 0.760NICK WATNEYBegan eligibility with six top 10s in his second full season in '06, then capitalized at the '07 New Orleans in his 85th career start, days before his 26th birthday. Progressively more prominent wins followed: '09 Buick Invitational, '11 WGC-Cadillac and AT&T National and the '12 Barclays as the opening leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs. He nearly caught No. 61 Zach Johnson in another playoff event, the '13 BMW Championship, which helped him reach a fifth consecutive Tour Championship despite placing outside the top 25 or missing the cut in 16 of his 26 events in the regular season.
JOHN MAHAFFEYScore: 3.795 | Seasons: 1980-89 | Best season: 8.000 (1985) | Stroke differential: 1.124JOHN MAHAFFEYThe '78 PGA represented the second of 10 career victories, four of which were registered before these calculations began in '80. He took both the '84 Bob Hope and '85 Texas Open in two-hole playoffs, then nabbed a one-shot win over No. 60 Larry Mize for the '86 Players. At that point he had won in seven of nine seasons and closed with the '89 St. Jude, but never came close to duplicating his '78 PGA success in majors, with only one other top 10.
JOHN COOKScore: 3.808 | Seasons: 1981-2001 | Best season: 12.435 (1992) | Stroke differential: 0.822JOHN COOKCook prevailed from a five-way scrum, which included No. 35 Hale Irwin and No. 36 Ben Crenshaw, to capture his first victory at the '81 Bing Crosby. Two years later, he topped No. 63 Johnny Miller in a six-hole playoff at the '83 Canadian Open. In '92 he won two of his first three starts, finished second in the British Open and PGA and added a Las Vegas Invitational crown in October. Torn labrum and right-shoulder cysts forced '03 surgery and he placed in the top 25 only 11 times in his last 82 career starts.
STEPHEN AMESScore: 3.822 | Seasons: 2004-09 | Best season: 6.206 (2004) | Stroke differential: 0.983STEPHEN AMESOnly four wins in 142 eligible starts but interestingly never placed second in that stretch, although he was runner-up to Craig Perks in the pre-eligibility '02 Players. He broke through at the '04 Western Open and then in the '06 Players by six over No. 17 Retief Goosen. On the second-toughest closing day in the tournament's history, his 67 bettered the field average by 8.378 shots. It's not surprising, then, that he is one of 13 players in the Modern 100 with a higher final-round stroke differential (1.045) than all rounds.
BUBBA WATSONScore: 3.875 | Seasons: 2007-13 | Best season: 11.401 (2012) | Stroke differential: 0.737BUBBA WATSONHis '12 season, fueled by a memorable Masters playoff triumph, earns 97th-highest point total and represents the third-highest season produced by a player in the second 50. Two of his other three titles were FedEx Cup playoffs victories, too, although he dropped a three-hole playoff with Martin Kaymer for the '10 PGA. He'd be higher on the list were it not for his 88th-ranked final-round stroke differential (0.467), and his high missed-cut percentage (45 of 163 starts, 27.6), which is better than only seven other players.
JOHN HUSTONScore: 3.960 | Seasons: 1990-2003 | Best season: 8.655 (1998) | Stroke differential: 0.812JOHN HUSTONHis score of 3.942 is closest to the average point total of the 1,945 individual seasons crunched in this project. He was hardly average in some of his seven victories, however, beginning with breaking the 43-year-old tour record shared by Ben Hogan and Mike Souchak for lowest 72-hole total ('98 Hawaiian Open: 63-65-66-66). His low final-round stroke differential (0.510) minimizes some low numbers to win, such as a 62 at Disney World in '92.
BRANDT SNEDEKERScore: 3.968 | Seasons: 2007-13 | Best season: 8.575 (2013) | Stroke differential: 0.895BRANDT SNEDEKERThe '07 tour rookie-of-the-year recipient announced his presence with a course-record 61 at Torrey Pines North, a third to No. 1 Tiger Woods at that year's Buick Invitational, then a Wyndham victory in the last event before the playoffs. He topped No. 25 Luke Donald in two extra holes at the '11 Heritage and has won twice in each of his last two seasons, notably the '12 Tour Championship by three shots. He has also become less erratic in majors, where he missed eight of his first 15 cuts, by tying for third in the '12 Open Championship and sixth in the '13 Masters.
JAY HAASScore: 3.989 | Seasons: 1980-93 | Best season: 6.807 (1982) | Stroke differential: 0.975JAY HAASAlready a proven competitor with a '78 Andy Williams victory, he posted early consecutive multiple-win seasons in '81 and '82. His final victory at the '93 Texas Open pushed him to 3-0 in playoffs. Although he collected major top-10s all but one year from '82-87, he actually saw more success in those four events after '93. His career-best thirds came in the '95 U.S. Open and '99 PGA as he played another 12 seasons to moderate success after his eligibility ended.
MARK MCCUMBERScore: 4.046 | Seasons: 1980-94 | Best season: 9.910 (1994) | Stroke differential: 0.858MARK MCCUMBERThe memory of his '88 hometown Players Championship triumph by four shots -- then the event's second-widest margin -- obscures two Western Opens ('83, '89) and a stellar '94 season. That year he collected a second Anheuser-Busch, the Hardee's and a Tour Championship playoff over No. 39 Fuzzy Zoeller. A spinal-cord lesion diagnosed in '96, which doctors thought might have developed the previous year, abruptly curtailed his career: His last top 10 came two weeks after finishing second to No. 29 Tom Lehman in the '96 Open Championship.
K.J. CHOIScore: 4.053 | Seasons: 2001-11 | Best season: 8.559 (2007) | Stroke differential: 0.907K.J. CHOIOne of two Asians in the Modern 100 (No. 96 Shigeki Maruyama is the other), Choi drew global attention in '02 for his victory at the Compaq New Orleans, becoming the circuit's first South Korean champ and fourth Asian. A solid '07 saw him prevail at the Memorial and AT&T National en route to seven top 10s that year. His playoff victory over No. 40 David Toms at the '11 Players concluded a run of four starts no worse than a tie for eighth at the Masters, his third top 10 at Augusta National.
SCOTT SIMPSONScore: 4.054 | Seasons: 1980-98 | Best season: 8.137 (1987) | Stroke differential: 0.893SCOTT SIMPSONSurvived a showdown of Californians at Olympic Club to edge No. 7 Tom Watson for the '87 U.S. Open, and nearly added a second in '91 but bowed in an 18-hole playoff at Hazeltine National to No. 23 Payne Stewart. His first victory, well-timed considering this formula, was the '80 Western Open by five-shots over No. 24 Andy Bean. Simpson's last title, the '98 Buick Invitational, doubled as the third triumph by a San Diegan at Torrey Pines in six years.
SCOTT VERPLANKScore: 4.084 | Seasons: 1985-2007 | Best season: 6.953 (2001) | Stroke differential: 0.720SCOTT VERPLANKThe namesake for the Scott Verplank Rule, which, thanks to his '85 Western Open title, decrees that victories by amateurs count as bonus starts in their first point-accruing pro season. In the decade beginning with that '88 eligibility, he had three negative-point seasons and four more eliminated due to injury considerations. In his last 10 years, however, he won three events and in seven years bettered the Modern 100 season-point average of 3.942. A Dallas resident, his sentimental last victory at the '07 Byron Nelson occurred eight months after Nelson's death.
JASON DUFNERScore: 4.104 | Seasons: 2009-13 | Best season: 9.411 (2012) | Stroke differential: 0.829JASON DUFNERRebounded from his disappointing loss at the '11 Phoenix and PGA Championship playoffs, the latter to Keegan Bradley, by winning three times in 29 stroke-play events. Dufner's run began by topping No. 6 Ernie Els at '12 Zurich Classic of New Orleans and continued four weeks later at the HP Byron Nelson. He concluded his fifth season of eligibility with his first major victory, the '13 PGA Championship, by two shots over No. 13 Jim Furyk, and has finished tied for fourth in the last two U.S. Opens.
STUART APPLEBYScore: 4.125 | Seasons: 1997-2010 | Best season: 6.589 (1997) | Stroke differential: 0.713STUART APPLEBYEqualed Gene Littler's feat in taking three straight Mercedes Championships ('04-06), the first and last times with No. 5 Vijay Singh as runner-up and the middle time by rallying past Singh's 54-hole lead. He bowed out of a four-way, four-hole aggregate playoff in the '02 British Open captured by No. 6 Ernie Els. His best year on tour was in '97, where he won the Honda Classic. His next best came in '08 (6.509) where, although winless, he finished second in the WGC-Bridgestone, had six other top 10s and missed only two cuts.
WAYNE LEVIScore: 4.182 | Seasons: 1980-90 | Best season: 8.350 (1982) | Stroke differential: 1.025WAYNE LEVIA little more than half of his 540 career starts are eligible and include the last 10 of his 12 titles. Despite that total his schedule works against him in this formula. He never competed in the British Open and had only sporadic presence at the other three majors, with his best finish a tie for 11th at the '84 Masters. A four-victory '90 ranked as only 20th-best in points that season because of an all-rounds stroke differential of 0.514 and nine missed cuts, including both of his majors and the Players.
CHIP BECKScore: 4.214 | Seasons: 1983-92 | Best season: 8.305 (1989) | Stroke differential: 1.136CHIP BECKTwo of Beck's four wins came in '88, where he also added three seconds and won the Vardon Trophy for his low stroke average (69.46). His all-rounds stroke differential that year was 2.067. Runner-up finishes became more frequent, however, and even his winless '89 saw three of them en route to 15 in his 10 eligible seasons. His 59 at the '91 Las Vegas Invitation was the second in tour history and boasted a 10.516 stroke differential.
JOHNNY MILLERScore: 4.267 | Seasons: 1980-94 | Best season: 9.325 (1981) | Stroke differential: 1.240JOHNNY MILLERIf only the modern era were defined as beginning in '74 (eight wins), or '75 (four), or even '76 (three). Instead of having his entire 25 titles, the 41 percent of his career eligible under this formula accounts for seven wins, five seconds and five thirds in 171 starts. He won five times in '80-83, four of them at celebrity-hosted events, but never ranked higher than sixth in a season's point lineup. He saved his best for last at Pebble Beach, taking the AT&T National Pro-Am in '87 and then a surprising '94 encore.
DARREN CLARKEScore: 4.447 | Seasons: 2000-11 | Best season: 7.875 (2005) | Stroke differential: 0.933DARREN CLARKEOnly three victories in 86 eligible starts but they carry heft: '00 WGC-Andersen Consulting Match Play over No. 1 Tiger Woods, the '03 WGC-NEC Invitational and the '11 British Open. The last one came 20 years after his debut appearance in the oldest major, but the most recent of his trio of top 10s was a tie for third in '01. His final-round stroke differential (1.073) is 0.140 better than his all-rounds mark, a span trailing only No. 34 José Marîa Olazábal (0.316) and No. 45 Justin Rose (0.227). He's never shot better than 67 to close a week, which points to the difficulty of the scoring conditions he faces.
ZACH JOHNSONScore: 4.484 | Seasons: 2004-13 | Best season: 7.600 (2009) | Stroke differential: 0.968ZACH JOHNSONOne man who hopes the tour never abandons two particular states: seven of his 10 titles through '13 came in Georgia (including the '07 Masters), and Texas. Johnson did not register his second major top 10 until his 23rd start (10th in '09 PGA), by which time he'd missed the cut 12 times in those events. The Modern 100 formula's 50-percent bonus for majors assesses a hefty penalty for a guy who ranks just 26th in overall percentage of missed cuts (17.4).
LARRY MIZEScore: 4.498 | Seasons: 1983-93 | Best season: 8.012 (1987) | Stroke differential: 1.125LARRY MIZEHis hometown Augusta crowd loved his 72nd-hole birdie and '87 Masters playoff triumph over No. 2 Greg Norman and No. 11 Seve Ballesteros, a year he also took seconds at Atlanta and the Southern Open. Augusta National was a measure of revenge after losing to Norman the previous season in a Kemper Open playoff. Ending eligibility with final victory helps enormously: 48 percent of eligible career starts include only 58 missed cuts, other 52 percent has another 138.
DAVID FROSTScore: 4.545 | Seasons: 1986-97 | Best season: 8.921 (1987) | Stroke differential: 1.114DAVID FROSTFrost featured in the World Ranking's top 25 at some point in nine of his 12 eligible seasons. He won twice in '88 and then collected four crowns in 35 stroke-play starts across '92 and '93, culminating in back-to-back successes at the Canadian Open and Hardee's. In 1987 he became the last Byron Nelson Award recipient above 70 in adjusted stroke average (70.09), a year he had a 1.931 all-rounds stroke differential (and 1.811 in final rounds).
BRAD FAXONScore: 4.632 | Seasons: 1991-2005 | Best season: 8.925 (1996) | Stroke differential: 0.878BRAD FAXONDespite his eight victories, a 3-6 playoff record contributed to his 15 eligible second place finishes. His first win came at the '91 Buick Open over No. 64 Chip Beck in extra holes in his eighth full season, and he became the B.C. Open's first back-to-back champ in '00 after a Monday playoff over No. 96 Fred Funk during the previous season.
GEOFF OGILVYScore: 4.924 | Seasons: 2003-10 | Best season: 10.324 (2006) | Stroke differential: 0.811GEOFF OGILVYAnother guy who played well on big stages, his seven victories include the two WGC-Accenture Match Play Championships, a WGC-CA Championship, two consecutive Mercedes-Benz Championships and a U.S. Open. Only No. 1 Tiger Woods has more WGC crowns. Surprisingly, his final-round stroke differential is 0.247.
GIL MORGANScore: 4.935 | Seasons: 1980-90 | Best season: 10.010 (1983) | Stroke differential: 1.262GIL MORGANThird-highest ranking among those with three eligible wins, one shy of number he accumulated in '77-79. The 44 percent of career starts that do count toward the Modern 100 list include 13 of 21 career seconds and 16 of 21 career thirds. He made a specialty out of winning celebrity-hosted tournaments in career-best '83, shaking hands during trophy ceremonies with Joe Garagiola in Tucson and Glen Campbell in Los Angeles. Spent six winless years before '90 Kemper Open, which came after a second at L.A. and a playoff loss in Houston.
HENRIK STENSONScore: 5.007 | Seasons: 2007-13 | Best season: 12.251 (2013) | Stroke differential: 0.553HENRIK STENSONStenson has averaged 3.800 over six seasons, with two negative scores diminishing a stellar '09 which featured his Players Championship title and top 10s in the U.S. Open and PGA. He regained that form in '13, finishing second and third in the British Open and PGA, respectively, and winning the FedExCup Playoff title with two post-season victories. His win at the '13 Tour Championship pushed his point total to third-best for the season and 74th overall in the Modern 100.
KENNY PERRYScore: 5.024 | Seasons: 1991-2009 | Best season: 9.599 (2003) | Stroke differential: 0.913KENNY PERRYHis 14 victories are top the second 50, dating to '91 Memorial playoff against No. 35 Hale Irwin. The Memorial also keyed both his three-win seasons in '03 and '08, joining him with No. 1 Tiger Woods as the only three-time Memorial victors. Possesses fifth-longest span of eligible years without a negative-point season. Made sporadic appearances in majors (42 of possible 76), yet posted a second or third in three of them ('09 Masters, '03 U.S. Open, '96 PGA).
HUNTER MAHANScore: 5.031 | Seasons: 2007-13 | Best season: 6.824 (2009) | Stroke differential: 0.976HUNTER MAHANHis 48.6-percent pace of combined finishes outside the top 25 and missed cuts is lowest among players ranked outside top 50, pushing him within a fraction of that group. Excellent example of how this formula digs into stats to determine overall value of seasons. His double-win outings in '10 and '12 are edged by winless '09, when he took second at the AT&T National, a share of fourth at the Travelers and WGC-Bridgestone, and three major top 20s (led by tie for sixth at U.S. Open). The key factor was a career-best final-round stroke differential of 2.037, which trailed just No. 1 Tiger Woods (3.560) and No. 6 Ernie Els (2.240) that season.
MARK CALCAVECCHIAScore: 5.044 | Seasons: 1986-2007 | Best season: 8.523 (1989) | Stroke differential: 0.857MARK CALCAVECCHIAHis 591 eligible starts, representing 78 percent of his tour career, trail only No. 37 Scott Hoch (607) among Modern 100 members. His 13 victories span '86 Southwest Classic to '07 PODS Championship, with British Open in three-win '89 the gem. Another measure of longevity: His 57 top threes (27 seconds, 17 thirds) represent 12 starts fewer than entire eligibility of No. 9 Rory McIlroy. Stung by ranking 88th in final-round stroke differential (0.473).
STEWART CINKScore: 5.084 | Seasons: 1997-2009 | Best season: 9.212 (2004) | Stroke differential: 1.088STEWART CINKFirst player named Web.com Tour player of the year ('96) and PGA Tour rookie of year ('97) in successive seasons, the latter after first of two victories in Hartford ('08). That '04 best season his only multiple-win outing (Heritage, WGC-NEC Invitational), accompanied by eight other top 10s. Eligibility ended with stirring playoff showdown against No. 7 Tom Watson in '09 British Open at Turnberry. Fractionally better in final-round stroke differential (1.100), one of 13 players with that distinction.
LOREN ROBERTSScore: 5.135 | Seasons: 1989-2002 | Best season: 13.657 (1994) | Stroke differential: 1.062LOREN ROBERTSHis most successful season stands 54th-best in this formula, Nestlé Invitational win highlighting 12th full-time year on tour. Successful '95 defense at Bay Hill earned him distinction of first player to win same tour event for his first two titles since No. 27 Calvin Peete ('79, '82 Milwaukee). Two seasons with a trio of top 10s in majors: '94 (shared second in U.S. Open) and '00 (T-3 at Masters), but he missed 17 potential major starts, notably making a British Open debut in '94.
DUSTIN JOHNSONScore: 5.300 | Seasons: 2008-13 | Best season: 8.139 (2010) | Stroke differential: 0.802DUSTIN JOHNSONPunches through when in contention: seven victories against three seconds and three thirds. Posted a triumph in each of his six eligible seasons, beginning with breakthrough at '08 Turning Stone. Added '09-10 Pebble Beach Pro-Ams and '10 BMW Championship to become first since No. 1 Tiger Woods to win in first three seasons directly out of college. Only nine players in Modern 100 have weaker final-round stroke differentials (0.399).
HAL SUTTONScore: 5.353 | Seasons: 1982-2001 | Best season: 8.660 (1999) | Stroke differential: 0.970HAL SUTTONOnly seven players among the Modern 100 count more than his 20 seasons, with six of those years sporting multiple wins. Triumphed seven times in his 20s, once in his 30s and six in his 40s. Won the '83 Players and PGA, then came back 17 years later to successfully duel No. 1 Tiger Woods for a one-shot, wire-to-wire victory at TPC Sawgrass. Drops in ranking because his percentage of missed cuts (28.6) is worse than all but five players, all of whom rank 60th or lower.
LEE JANZENScore: 5.387 | Seasons: 1992-98 | Best season: 8.063 (1993) | Stroke differential: 1.005LEE JANZENPacked a lot into 193 eligible starts across seven seasons, only 31 percent of his tour career. In both his U.S. Open triumphs ('93, '98) edged No. 23 Payne Stewart, and his '95 Players saw him one ahead of No. 38 Bernhard Langer. Hurt slightly by all-round stroke differential (56th among Modern 100), although buoyed by ranking 43rd in final-round differential (0.863); also 73rd in top-10 percentage (18.7).
MIKE WEIRScore: 5.439 | Seasons: 1999-2007 | Best season: 15.215 (2003) | Stroke differential: 1.064MIKE WEIRPropelled into top 50 by furious '03, during which he missed one cut in 21 starts. Won Bob Hope and Nissan Open (Riviera) around a T-3 at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, then at Masters became first left-hander major champ since Bob Charles in '63. Three straight thirds, at Memorial, U.S. Open and Western Open, resulted in 35th-best season in Modern 100 computations. His eighth victory ('07 Fry's Open) means he shares honor of most tour wins by a Canadian with George Knudson ('61-72).
JUSTIN ROSEScore: 5.498 | Seasons: 2006-13 | Best season: 11.558 (2013) | Stroke differential: 1.088JUSTIN ROSEHad the Modern 100 been tabulated after '11 season he would have ranked in the mid-80s with 3.485 points. The best finishes in his first three eligible seasons were seconds, including '07 WGC-Bridgestone (in a season discarded due to back injury) and '08 Memorial. Next came a fallow '09. But he rebounded to reel off five wins in four seasons. Had placed in the top five of all four majors before his '13 U.S. Open triumph at Merion. That joined seconds at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Barclays for his lone entry among 100 best seasons.
COREY PAVINScore: 5.599 | Seasons: 1984-2006 | Best season: 13.348 (1994) | Stroke differential: 0.941COREY PAVINSurprisingly, he's the only one of a dozen men with 15 or more victories who ranks outside the top 30. His 578 starts are burdened by high rates of finishes outside the top 25 (35.6 percent) and missed cuts (26.1 percent). Winless in only three of his first 13 seasons, he then went 10 dry years before a doozy of a lone top 10 in '06. He started the U.S. Bank Championship with six straight birdies for an outward eight-under 26, career-low 61 (an 8.500 stroke differential that day) and went wire-to-wire for the win.
STEVE ELKINGTONScore: 5.614 | Seasons: 1990-99 | Best season: 9.677 (1995) | Stroke differential: 1.053STEVE ELKINGTONA 10-time winner who excelled at difficult venues: two Tournament of Champions ('92, '95), two Players ('91, '97), two Doral ('97, '99) and a '95 PGA at Riviera. Finished third in three other majors during eligibility ('93 Masters, '96 and '98 PGA). Health issues (wrist, hip, sinus) hobbled him in '00, and he posted only three top threes before joining Champions Tour -- but two were T-2s in majors ('02 British, '05 PGA).
CRAIG STADLERScore: 5.630 | Seasons: 1980-2003 | Best season: 13.050 (1982) | Stroke differential: 1.093CRAIG STADLERLeads all Modern 100 candidates with 24 eligible seasons, beginning his first tournament ('80 Bob Hope) the day No. 21 Sergio Garcia was born. That's also the first of his 13 titles, seven of which came in first three seasons. Despite taking '82 Masters, Tucson, Kemper and World Series of Golf, the PGA of America formula for player of the year favored No. 7 Tom Watson. His '82 performance ranks 65th overall in the Modern 100 formula. Won another World Series in '92, the year after taking a Tour Championship playoff at Pinehurst No. 2. One of two to win on tour in modern era after turning 50 ('03 B.C. Open), joining No. 95 Fred Funk.
JUSTIN LEONARDScore: 5.654 | Seasons: 1995-2008 | Best season: 9.993 (1999) | Stroke differential: 1.070JUSTIN LEONARDSeveral superlatives in first five of 12 wins: Ace in '96 Buick Open, rallied from five back at '97 British Open and '98 Players, first successful Texas Open defender ('00-01) since Arnold Palmer's three straight from '60. Qualified for Tour Championship in first nine eligible seasons, posting nothing worse than T-8 from '95-98. Dinged by missing cut in 20.5 percent of 381 eligible starts, including 28.8 percent in majors (15 of 52).
DAVID TOMSScore: 5.666 | Seasons: 1997-2011 | Best season: 8.671 (2001) | Stroke differential: 1.109DAVID TOMSThe '01 PGA came between wins at New Orleans and Kingsmill and he lost a four-way Tour Championship playoff to No. 46 Mike Weir. Twice logged double-digit top 10s in a season (12 in '02, 11 in '05), the latter bringing his only WGC title (Accenture Match Play). Had four winless years before most recent title in '11 Crowne Plaza at Colonial, where he opened 62-62.
FUZZY ZOELLERScore: 5.738 | Seasons: 1980-86 | Best season: 8.554 (1986) | Stroke differential: 1.261FUZZY ZOELLERHis 167 starts represent only 29 percent of his tour career, but he packs eight of 10 wins into that span. The rare player hurt with his eligibility ending in the season of his last victory. He logged only four runner-ups in his eligible years but had 10 seconds in '87-94, five of those in a '94 season that saw him finish third to No. 14 Nick Price at the British Open.
BERNHARD LANGERScore: 5.780 | Seasons: 1984-93 | Best season: 12.180 (1993) | Stroke differential: 1.270BERNHARD LANGEROnly German in World Golf Hall of Fame, he achieves the second-highest Modern 100 ranking for a player with three wins, thanks to '85 and '93 Masters. He is the last Augusta National winner to claim victory as well the following week, prevailing in a playoff against Bobby Wadkins at the '85 Heritage. His 122 eligible starts, 38 percent of his career, include a dozen major top 10s, highlighted by a second and three thirds in the British Open.
SCOTT HOCHScore: 5.790 | Seasons: 1980-2003 | Best season: 9.970 (1997) | Stroke differential: 1.135SCOTT HOCHHis 23 eligible seasons trail only No. 42 Craig Stadler (24) and he sprinkles 11 wins over 10 of those years. His '97 (Milwaukee win, 11 top 10s) followed closely by '94 (Bob Hope) and '01 (Greensboro, Western Open). Playoff losses came to players ranked much higher (No. 10 Nick Faldo in '89 Masters, No. 23 Payne Stewart in '95 Houston) while extra-hole wins include '03 Doral over No. 13 Jim Furyk.
BEN CRENSHAWScore: 5.934 | Seasons: 1980-95 | Best season: 10.263 (1988) | Stroke differential: 1.039BEN CRENSHAWTwo-time Masters champ ('84, '95) recorded at least one top 10 in a major in 11 seasons of eligibility. That includes nothing worse than a T-9 in all four majors in '87, a season he also shared ninth at the Players. He won in each of his last four eligible seasons, among them the '92 Western Open and '93 Bay Hill. Top 10s account for 24.4 percent of his 389 eligible starts, but the Modern 100 formula penalizes him significantly for missing the cut 22.6 percent of the time.
HALE IRWINScore: 5.948 | Seasons: 1980-94 | Best season: 11.281 (1990) | Stroke differential: 1.129HALE IRWINFirst 11 titles led by two U.S. Opens prior to 1980, but in '90 he became the oldest Open victor (45). Overlooked was that he won the Buick Classic the next week, the first to follow an Open with an official win since Billy Casper in '66. Irwin also saved two Memorials for the second half of his career and his last crown, the '94 Heritage at age 49, came at the same Harbour Town course where he posted his first win -- in '71.
JOSÉ MARIA OLAZÁBALScore: 6.048 | Seasons: 1990-2002 | Best season: 18.109 (1994) | Stroke differential: 1.078JOSÉ MARIA OLAZÁBALFive of his six wins occurred during part-time seasons, with a pair each in two prestigious events ('94 and '99 Masters, '90-91 NEC World Series of Golf, in '90 by 12 shots). One of 13 players with larger final-round store differential (1.394) than all rounds, but his 0.316-shot advantage is largest in Modern 100. Final of six victories ('02 Buick Invitational) made him first player in 13 years to win after making the cut on the number.
LANNY WADKINSScore: 6.065 | Seasons: 1980-92 | Best season: 11.049 (1985) | Stroke differential: 1.207LANNY WADKINSJust 47 percent of 692 career starts are eligible and he has a solid pre-'80 résumé: seven wins including '78 PGA, nine seconds including '70 Heritage Classic as an amateur. Still, two of five multiple-win seasons count, in '82 (Phoenix, T of C, Buick Open) and '85 (Hope, Los Angeles, Disney; PGA of America player of year). Big presence in big events: dozen runner-up weeks include three PGAs ('82, '84, '87) and a U.S. Open ('86).
STEVE STRICKERScore: 6.195 | Seasons: 1996-2012 | Best season: 11.922 (2009) | Stroke differential: 0.952STEVE STRICKERThe quintessential slow starter: five of his first 10 seasons have negative point totals. He's stellar since then, though, becoming one of nine players with three consecutive seasons among the 100 best ('09-11, nine of his 12 wins). Has second-worst all-rounds stroke differential among top 50 players thanks to formative seasons, but since '07 he is 1.497 in all rounds, 1.061 in final rounds.
PADRAIG HARRINGTONScore: 6.622 | Seasons: 2000-08 | Best season: 12.828 (2008) | Stroke differential: 1.213PADRAIG HARRINGTONLast man to win consecutive majors ('08 British Open, PGA) is also the last to successfully defend at a major ('07-08 British). Rare player whose eligibility started with at least 20 percent of starts in top 10 in part-time season, first victory coming in his 63rd career start (Honda Classic). Another win would add '09 eligibility, which featured top-six finishes in all four FedExCup Playoff starts.
JESPER PARNEVIKScore: 6.693 | Seasons: 1996-2001 | Best season: 9.421 (1997) | Stroke differential: 1.339JESPER PARNEVIKStruggles during intervening years fog the memory of the brilliance he hinted at with five runner-ups in '97, including British Open. Second Swede to win on tour (Gabriel Hjertstedt) with a three-shot cushion in the '98 Phoenix Open over a quartet of chasers that included No. 7 Tom Watson. He then won four more times in next 66 starts, through '01 Honda Classic. His '00 numbers, however, are eliminated from calculations as an injury season as shoulder pain in early June led to September surgery.
BRUCE LIETZKEScore: 6.702 | Seasons: 1980-94 | Best season: 12.158 (1981) | Stroke differential: 1.438BRUCE LIETZKEOne of the game's hot-stove topics is how high he might rank had he not vacationed during summer months; never made more than 20 starts after '89, played last U.S. Open in '85 and last British Open in '81. Texan was double winner in four events, including Colonial ('80, '92) and Byron Nelson ('81, '88). Only man in each field when first three 59s recorded on tour: '77 Danny Thomas Memphis (Al Geiberger), '91 Las Vegas (No. 64 Chip Beck), '99 Bob Hope (No. 8 David Duval).
MARK O'MEARAScore: 6.812| Seasons: 1984-98 | Best season: 11.427 (1998) | Stroke differential: 1.214MARK O'MEARAMasters-British Open double in '98, his sixth multiple-win year, made him at 41 the oldest to collect multiple majors in a year and pushed season overall onto the list of 100 best. His 16 victories, most by any player outside Modern 100 top 20, are dulled by having 49 percent of his 387 eligible starts outside top 25 or missing the cut.
CALVIN PEETEScore: 6.856 | Seasons: 1980-86 | Best season: 10.327 (1982) | Stroke differential: 1.546CALVIN PEETEThe most accurate ball-striker of the modern era (arguably) was the most successful African-American prior to No. 1 Tiger Woods. He capitalized with amazing frequency when in contention: 11 wins in '82-87 against four seconds and two thirds. Titles included '85 Players and '86 Tournament of Champions, the latter by six shots. All-round stroke differential of 1.731 in '84 Vardon Trophy season.
PAUL AZINGERScore: 6.876 | Seasons: 1986-2000 | Best season: 9.832 (1993) | Stroke differential: 1.363PAUL AZINGERVictorious in seven consecutive seasons beginning with '87 titles in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Hartford and ending with three more in '93 culminated by PGA Championship. Five seasons had double-digit top-10 finishes, with 10 of 12 in '93 being T-3 or better. Received tour Comeback Award after beating cancer and breaking six-year winless streak at '00 Sony Open in Hawaii, his 12th win.
LUKE DONALDScore: 6.928 | Seasons: 2002-13 | Best season: 14.753 (2011) | Stroke differential: 1.222LUKE DONALDOne of only 13 players in Modern 100 with a final-round stroke differential (1.228) higher than his all-round mark. Won as '02 rookie (Southern Farm Bureau Classic). His '11 showing ranks as 39th-best season: WGC-Accenture Match Play win, fourth in Masters and Players, eighth in PGA. Three top threes in Tour Championship from '10-12.
ANDY BEANScore: 7.105 | Seasons: 1980-86 | Best season: 9.821 (1980) | Stroke differential: 1.628ANDY BEANHighest-ranked player without a season exceeding 10 points, although he was slowed following '81 injury season until victories at Doral and Byron Nelson in '86. Among the players hurt by defining modern era as starting in '80: his 71 percent of career starts not eligible include five wins in '77-79. Fourth-best final-round stroke differential (1.619) behind No. 1 Tiger Woods, No. 2 Greg Norman and No. 4 Jack Nicklaus.
PAYNE STEWARTScore: 7.309 | Seasons: 1982-99 | Best season: 11.997 (1989) | Stroke differential: 1.326PAYNE STEWARTEligible in 98 percent of 466 career starts, won AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and U.S. Open at Pinehurst in tragic final season. Four seasons with double-digit top-10 counts, including 16 in a winless '86, 12 each in '88 and '93. An astounding 27 runner-up finishes, among them twice each in U.S. and British Opens. Earned '89 Byron Nelson Award for lowest adjusted scoring average (69.485).
ADAM SCOTTScore: 7.540 | Seasons: 2002-13 | Best season: 13.818 (2013) | Stroke differential: 1.061ADAM SCOTTTwo seasons among 100 best, he catapults into Modern 100 top 25 with '13 Masters and Barclays titles. That culminated his comeback from '09 nadir, his only negative-point season, and made him first Australian to earn green jacket. The 10-time tour winner capped '06 with Tour Championship triumph after three seconds and three thirds during season.
SERGIO GARCIAScore: 7.655 | Seasons: 1999-2013 | Best season: 10.603 (2001) | Stroke differential: 1.211SERGIO GARCIAStands fourth among players eligible in 2013. Highest-ranked player without a 100-best season: His '01 is 116th despite Colonial, Buick Classic titles making him first tour winner born in 1980s. Victorious twice in '04 in playoffs (Byron Nelson, Buick Classic). The '08 Players titleholder has also shown an affinity for FedExCup Playoffs with nine top 10s in 21 starts.
TOM LEHMANScore: 7.709 | Seasons: 1992-2000 | Best season: 15.459 (1996) | Stroke differential: 1.474TOM LEHMANAn 0-3 playoff record and lowest win count among complete-career players in top 20 (five) are deceiving as he placed in the top 10 in one-third of his 209 eligible starts. His player-of-year '96 -- Open Championship and Tour Championship titles among 13 top 10s in 22 starts -- earned that season's highest point total. In 1997 he became the second U.S. player to earn No. 1 spot in Official World Golf Ranking, following 15th-ranked Fred Couples from '92.
RAYMOND FLOYDScore: 7.738 | Seasons: 1980-92 | Best season: 13.823 (1981) | Stroke differential: 1.415RAYMOND FLOYDEligible for consideration in only 39 percent of 725 tour starts, the other 61 percent dating to 1963 contains 11 wins, 11 seconds and nine thirds. Won '81 Players and PGA and '86 U.S. Open to go with '76 Masters and '69 PGA before modern era began. Three seasons rank in 100 best ('81, '82 and '92).
DAVIS LOVE IIIScore: 8.003 | Seasons: 1987-2008 | Best season: 12.756 (2003) | Stroke differential: 1.324DAVIS LOVE IIIMatches No. 3 Phil Mickelson for largest number of eligible seasons for any player in the top 30 (21), only five players of longer tenure in Modern 100. Twice in list of 100 best seasons, his four-win '03 on quality venues: Pebble Beach, TPC Sawgrass, Harbour Town and Castle Pines. Ranks fourth among 100 Modern members with 160 top 10s in eligible seasons.
RETIEF GOOSENScore: 8.133 | Seasons: 2001-09 | Best season: 13.429 (2002) | Stroke differential: 1.334RETIEF GOOSENTwice in list of 100-best seasons as part of 2002-05 run in which he accumulated five wins, three seconds, six thirds among 31 top 10s. That included '04 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, when he became the championship's 21st multiple winner, joining '01 playoff defeat of Mark Brooks at Southern Hills. Produced two seconds and two thirds in the Masters in a six-year stretch beginning in '02.
CURTIS STRANGEScore: 8.236 | Seasons: 1980-89 | Best season: 11.669 (1989) | Stroke differential: 1.520CURTIS STRANGEWon at least once a season from '83-89, with sparkling runs of three titles in '85 and '87 and a four-win '88 keyed by first of consecutive U.S. Open crowns. Enviable 6-3 playoff record included topping No. 10 Nick Faldo in '88 Open and No. 12 Tom Kite at Pebble Beach in the season-ending Nabisco Championship (now Tour Championship). His '89 Open brought the championship's first repeat since Ben Hogan in the 1950s and propelled his lone entry in the 100 best seasons.
FRED COUPLESScore: 8.309 | Seasons: 1983-2003 | Best season: 15.284 (1992) | Stroke differential: 1.382FRED COUPLESBest season ranks 33rd overall, it contained three wins and two seconds in March and April, capped by Masters as lone major. Two other multiple-title seasons ('91, '98). Highest-ranked player with a final-round stroke differential less than one shot (0.707), his 0.675 gap between all-rounds and final-round stroke differentials is exceeded by only No. 38 Bernhard Langer, who is 0.911 worse in final rounds.
NICK PRICEScore: 8.601 | Seasons: 1983-2002 | Best season: 17.303 (1994) | Stroke differential: 1.353NICK PRICESix of his 18 titles occurred in '94, with Western Open and Open Championship in consecutive tour starts and PGA Championship a month later. One of three men to have won two majors in a season during the 1990s (No. 10 Nick Faldo in '90, No. 29 Mark O'Meara in '98). Both '93 and '94 he was voted Jack Nicklaus Award (player of year) recipient by fellow tour members; both in best 50 seasons, another cracks top 100.
JIM FURYKScore: 8.781 | Seasons: 1995-2010 | Best season: 13.644 (2006) | Stroke differential: 1.513JIM FURYKVoted by his peers as Jack Nicklaus Award (player of year) recipient after winning the Tour Championship in '10 and Vardon Trophy winner in '06, the latter when his all-rounds stroke differential was 2.391. Not surprisingly, both seasons rank in best 100. Posted a career-best 15 top-10s in '03, when he also strayed from the top 25 in only five of 27 tournaments.
TOM KITEScore: 8.979 | Seasons: 1980-93 | Best season: 13.505 (1981) | Stroke differential: 1.674TOM KITEOne of the most consistent performers in the modern era, he ranks second in career cuts made (590), two behind No. 72 Jay Haas. Among Modern 100 members only a trio in the top five -- Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Vijay Singh -- have a better top-10 percentage in eligible seasons than Kite's 40.1. Possesses three of the best 100 seasons, including '89 in which he set the single-season earnings record after winning the Nestlé Invitational and Players in consecutive weeks.
SEVE BALLESTEROSScore: 9.448 | Seasons: 1980-88 | Best season: 16.145 (1983) | Stroke differential: 1.679SEVE BALLESTEROSOnly 84 eligible starts, one of four players in Modern 100 in double digits in that stat (No. 9 Rory McIlroy, No. 55 Henrik Stenson and No. 62 Darren Clarke). Yet his seven victories include two Masters and two Open Championships. Owns three of the top 100 seasons, with '83 standing 28th overall. He also ranks 11th in top-10 finish percentage (34.5). Only full-time season on tour was '84, when he placed third in Players and MONY Tournament of Players while winning then-unofficial Open Championship.
NICK FALDOScore: 9.651 | Seasons: 1984-97 | Best season: 21.239 (1992) | Stroke differential: 1.250NICK FALDOSix of his nine triumphs were in majors, including leading the Modern 100 points list in 1990 when he doubled up the Masters and Open Championship. That's worth a spot much higher in the overall ranking, but 49.6 percent of his 180 eligible starts were outside the top 25 or on the wrong side of the cut, a fate that befell him on a more frequent basis outside the game's four biggest events.
RORY MCILROYScore: 9.728 | Seasons: 2009-13 | Best season: 16.869 (2012) | Stroke differential: 1.289RORY MCILROYOnly two players who started their eligibility in 1981 or later had better averages after their fifth seasons: No. 17 Retief Goosen (10.550) and No. 6 Els (9.871). The only player in the top 25 with a final-round stroke differential (1.363) that is higher than his differential for all rounds. He has bettered the field average by five or more shots in six of his 53 final rounds, including three of his six wins ('10 Quail Hollow by 10.714; '12 PGA by 5.653; '12 BMW Championship by 5.086).
DAVID DUVALScore: 9.733 | Seasons: 1995-2001 | Best season: 16.314 (1999) | Stroke differential: 1.680DAVID DUVALMan who recently made his 400th PGA Tour appearance utilizes only 41 percent of his career here -- just Nicklaus (18 percent) and 19th-ranked Raymond Floyd (39 percent) have smaller slivers among players in the Modern 100's top 20. However, Duval's stretch featured 13 titles headed by the '01 Open Championship, and he cracked the top 10 a dozen times in consecutive seasons ('98-99).
TOM WATSONScore: 10.318 | Seasons: 1980-98 | Best season: 24.391 (1980) | Stroke differential: 1.700TOM WATSONThree straight five-win seasons in '77-79 as part of his first 18 titles are not included in this ranking's definition of the modern era. But his continued dominance in 1980-84, when he won another 18 times, made him the top point-earner each season. The worst of those years ranks 42nd overall in the Modern 100 formula. He won the Nabisco Championship in '87, the inaugural of what is now called the Tour Championship, then went nine and 11 years before his final two titles.
ERNIE ELSScore: 10.702 | Seasons: 1994-2012 | Best season: 18.202 (2004) | Stroke differential: 1.375ERNIE ELSNever captured the high point total for a season but was second twice (2000 and '04) and five other times in a year's top five. Produced the highest first-year point total (14.102) of any player whose career began after 1980. He did that, in large part, in '94 by taking second in the Buick Classic and winning a U.S. Open playoff at Oakmont CC in consecutive weeks.
VIJAY SINGHScore: 10.952 | Seasons: 1993-2008 | Best season: 20.633 (2004) | Stroke differential: 1.717VIJAY SINGHKnown for durability and an unflagging practice routine, his 34 triumphs are spread across 13 of his 16 eligible seasons. That best season outpaced that season's 50 other eligible players and broke Woods' streak of seven years earning the highest score. Singh placed in the top 10 in two or more majors in a season eight times between '95 and '06. That included all four in '05, when he tied for fifth in the Masters and Open Championship.
JACK NICKLAUSScore: 11.281 | Seasons: 1980-86 | Best season: 14.938 (1980) | Stroke differential: 1.946JACK NICKLAUSAlthough eligible for only 18 percent of his career starts they include five titles -- three of them majors capped by the 1986 Masters -- plus 14 seconds. Despite compiling what some observers would consider his weakest seasons, he has four of the 100 best under the Modern 100 formula. He also logged the third-highest stroke differential to field average in all rounds and ranks second in final-round differential (1.862).
PHIL MICKELSONScore: 11.329 | Seasons: 1991-2013 | Best season: 14.384 (2004) | Stroke differential: 1.440PHIL MICKELSONOwns seven of the top 100 seasons. Second-largest win total (42) among Modern 100 entrants and finishing in the top 10 in 37 percent of tournaments mitigate the 42 percent of his starts that fall outside the top 25 (131 times) or miss the cut (64). Produced victories in all but two of his 21 seasons. Takes advantage of Scott Verplank Rule, which stipulates an official victory by an amateur (1991 Northern Telecom Open) is applied to the player's first eligible year as a pro.
GREG NORMANScore: 13.893 | Seasons: 1981-97 | Best season: 19.431 (1995) | Stroke differential: 1.954GREG NORMANPosted the highest point total six times between '86 and '95 en route to a then-record 331 weeks as No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Seven of his seasons are among the 50 best, two more make the top 100. Takes advantage of the 50 percent bonus the Modern 100 performance formula gives for majors: recorded 26 top 10s in majors during his eligible seasons, including eight times as a runner-up, and cracked the top 25 at a 65-percent pace.
TIGER WOODSScore: 23.047 | Seasons: 1996-2013 | Best season: 31.441 (2000) | Stroke differential: 2.603TIGER WOODSThis quantifies Woods' dominance: Only No. 2 Greg Norman exceeds 50 percent of the leader's overall point total. Woods has the best season in 12 of his 16 eligible years (2008 and '11 were eliminated from consideration as injury seasons) and eight of the best nine seasons overall and 14 of the top 50. Plus he's averaged an otherworldly 2.603 shots better than the field average in 1,050 stroke-play rounds, including 2.547 better in his 250 final rounds.