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) /
6 of 7
Major, Golf Majors, British Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Open, Masters, Rory McIlroy
Viktor Hovland, 2023 Open Championship, Royal Liverpool, Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

Top Major Player: 2nd

2. Viktor Hovland (-1.22)

Rahm and Koepka ranked third and fourth, while Harman and Clark did not make the list. That means neither of the top two finishers in the season-long Major Championship season actually won a major championship.

Strange but true. Stranger, perhaps, is the fact that Hovland is still seeking his first Major title. He may not have had the highlight moment, but he had a Major steadiness that served him well.

It began at the Masters, where Hovland tied for seventh, six strokes behind Rahm. That produced a -1.20 standard deviation score, which as it turns out is pretty much what he did for the entire major season.

At the PGA, Hovland made his best run, a solid t2, just two strokes behind Koepka. He closed with a 68 which would have been good enough most Sundays…but Koepka went him one better with a 67. For Hovland, it was worth -2.29.

To the extent Hovland had a ‘bad’ Major, it was the U.S. Open. He finished 19th, 10 shots behind Clark, his failure to generate anything approaching Clark’s opening 64 proving to be a fatal flaw. Still, it was worth a standard deviation score of -0.47.

At the British, he hovered within vulturing distance of Harman. But when the leader never faltered, Hovland had to content himself with a tie for 13th. The -0.90 standard deviation of his week made Hovland the third of the four players to go negative in all four Major events, something none of the actual event winners – Rahm, Koepka, Clark, or Harman – could accomplish.