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

Top Major Players: 7th and 6th

7. Rory McIlroy (-0.64)

In the same sense that one bad apple spoils the whole bunch, one bad tournament spoiled McIlroy’s overall rating for the 2023 Major season.

Considering only the PGA, U.S. and British Opens, McIlroy would rank first rather than seventh. He tied for seventh at the PGA Championship, was second to Clark at the U.S. Open, and tied for sixth at the British.

He, Scheffler, and Rahm were the only three pros to finish top 10 in three of the four Majors – nobody made it in all four – and McIlroy would have had a slight advantage on his two rivals in the average standard deviation of those finishes.

The key phrase there is “would have had.” Factoring in McIlroy’s missed cut at the Masters dropped him six places in the ranking, behind both Rahm and Scheffler as well as four other guys who played more consistently, if not better.

6. Patrick Cantlay (-0.68)

Cantlay is one of only four players all season whose four-round total produced a negative – that is good – standard deviation score in all four Majors. He wasn’t especially great in any of the four events, but his consistency kept him in the upper reaches of the season-long ranking.

Cantlay finished t14 at the Masters and t9 at the PGA. In the Opens, he was t14 at LACC and t33 at Hoylake. Nothing to get you on prime time TV – just one top 10, and that barely. But absent any especially bad scores Cantlay’s average looks good by comparison with almost all of his peers.