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The Longest Gaps Between Wins on Tour

By: | Mon 19 Apr 2021 | Comments

Stewart Cink used to be a fixture in the top 10 in the world rankings. Although his victory in The Open at Turnberry in 2009 wasn’t universally popular, it was hardly a surprise. He suffered the misfortune, through no fault of his own, of denying a 59-year-old Tom Watson the opportunity of becoming golf’s oldest major winner. 

Nobody will ever know what impact that success had on Cink but his winner’s speech was almost apologetic. 

However, nobody could have foreseen that he would have to wait more than 11 years before tasting success again. It came at the Safeway Open in September last year - from nowhere. That victory gave him the confidence to believe that he still belonged at this level. 

Nonetheless, his victory at the RBC Heritage came as a huge surprise, all the more so because of the calibre of players he beat, including US PGA champion Collin Morikawa and world number one Dustin Johnson. At the age of 47, Cink is suddenly thinking about winning the FedEx Cup and regaining his Ryder Cup berth. 

It has been a year of comebacks. Jordan Spieth won the Valero Texas Open - his first triumph since claiming The Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017. And Hideki Matsuyama won The Masters - three-and-half years after his last victory WGC Bridgestone Invitational. And Lydia Ko’s success at the Lotte Championship was her first since April 2018.

Stewart Cink

If you think they had to wait a long time between victories, just check out these guys:

Joey Sindelar - 13 years, eight months

Hardee's Golf Classic, Sept. 9, 1990

Wells Fargo Championship, May 9, 2004

370 starts and 4,991 days between PGA Tour wins

Tommy Armour III - 13 years, eight months

Phoenix Open, Jan. 28, 1990

Valero Texas Open, Sept. 28, 2003

366 starts and 4,991 days between PGA Tour wins

Ed Fiori - 14 years, eight months, 29 days

Bob Hope Desert Classic, Jan. 17, 1982

Quad Cities Classic, Sept. 15, 1996

409 starts and 5,355 days between wins

Butch Baird - 15 years, 5 months and 10 days

Waco Turner Open, May 7, 1961

San Antonio Texas Open, Oct. 17, 1976

240 starts and 5,642 days between wins

And, finally, the daddy of them all…

Robert Gamez -15 years, six months 

Arnold Palmer Invitational, March 25, 1990

Valero Texas Open, Sept. 25, 2005

396 starts and 5,663 days between wins

On the European Tour, Ross McGowan won the Italian Open in 2020, 11 years and 14 days after taking the Madrid Masters. 

And what about the majors?

Henry Cotton waited 11 years between wins in the 1937 and 1948 Open Championship.

Julius Boros waited 11 years between winning the 1952 US Open and 1963 US Open, before becoming golf’s oldest major winner at the 1968 PGA Championship.

Hale Irwin waited 11 years between winning his second US Open in 1979 and his final US Open in 1990 at Medinah.

Ben Crenshaw won two majors, 11 years apart, at the 1984 Masters and 1995 Masters.

Tiger Woods went nearly 11 years between winning the 2008 US Open and the 2019 Masters.

Lee Trevino won the 1974 and 1984 PGA Championships a decade apart, with the ’84 win marking his final major victory.

Ernie Els went 10 years between Claret Jugs, winning the 2002 Open before winning again in 2012.

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