The Top 10 Best Players From The 2023 Major Championship Season

Brian Harman, 151st Open Championship, Hoylake,(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Brian Harman, 151st Open Championship, Hoylake,(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /
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The 2023 Major Championship season is now history. It passed Sunday with Brian Harman’s victory in the British Open, but without any of the game’s most talented players putting their personal stamp on the season as a whole.

The game’s three modern headliners, Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, and Rory McIlroy, performed well as a group. But only one of them actually won, that being Rahm at the Masters back in April. All three finished out of the running in one of the year’s Majors.

It was also a good, but not great, season for the LIV Golf renegades. Good as in Brooks Koepka winning the PGA Championship. Koepka, Phil Mickelson, and Patrick Reed all finished top four at the Masters, Bryson DeChambeau tied for fourth behind Koepka at the PGA, and Cameron Smith was fourth at the U.S. Open.

But there were LIV lowlights as well. Dustin Johnson tied for 48th at the Masters, for 55th at the PGA, and missed the cut at the Brit. DeChambeau missed the cut at Augusta and tied for 60th at Hoylake.

And Koepka, who appeared Player of the Year worthy after following his runner-up at the Masters with his PGA win, fell to t17 at the U.S. Open and t64 at the British.

And that begs a question: Which players had the best overall Major season?

To determine that I have averaged the standard deviation performances of the 34 players who made the cut in at least three of the four championships. The one with the lowest average standard deviation merits the title of Majors Champion for 2023.

We’ll dig into the top 10 momentarily. First, however, a quick glance at some of the well-known names who didn’t make the list.

Major, Golf Majors, British Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Open, Masters, Rory McIlroy
Wyndham Clark, 2023 Open Championship, Royal Liverpool, Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

Top Major Players: Also Rans

Begin with two of the four Major Champions. Neither U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark nor British Open champion Brian Harman met the minimum standard for consideration, that being to make at least three of the four cuts. Both failed to survive at either the Masters or the PGA.

Cameron Young made memorable runs at both the Masters and British Open, tying for seventh and eighth. But he missed the cut at the PGA and was an ordinary t32 at Los Angeles Country Club. That worked out to a season-long score of +0.01, making Young a consummately average figure in the 2023 Majors.

Jordan Spieth tied for fourth at Augusta and was top 30 material at both the PGA and the British Open. But his missed cut at the U.S. Open doomed Spieth to an overall average of +0.33 – remember, this is golf, so negative is better than positive – and a ranking of 20th among the 34 qualifiers for consideration.

Rising star Tom Kim’s average was undermined by his missed cut at the PGA. It came in at -0.21, missing the top 10 by two places.

The guy one spot ahead of Kim, and one spot outside the top 10, was former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama. In 2023, Matsuyama made all four Major cuts. But his best finish was only a t13 at the British Open. He was t16 at the Masters, t29 at the PGA, and t32 at the U.S. Open. That averaged out to -0.32 standard deviations, a performance just good enough to miss out on the overall top 10.