The landscape of the PGA Tour is always changing. Every year former collegiate golfers earn their tour card and make their way onto the fairways and greens of the PGA Tour that us fans know oh too well.
Since the start of the 2015-16 season there have been 80 tournaments to date. There is one college conference that claims a whopping 17 winners of the past 80 tournaments. Do you know which conference it is? I marked down the top five Division I conferences from least to most victories and some of the alumni that made it happen.
#5 (tie) Mountain West Conference
4 (four) PGA Tour victories
The Mountain West Conference consists of 13 colleges scattered across the West. UNLV resides in the Mountain West Conference and lays claim to all three winners Charley Hoffman (one), Ryan Moore (one) and Adam Scott (two) totaling for four PGA Tour victories from the conference.
#5 (tie) PAC 12 Conference
4 (four) PGA Tour victories
The PAC 12 Conference is the former conference of Phil Mickelson who went to Arizona State University, but Lefty isn’t the reason for any of the four victories in the last 80 tournaments.
Jon Rahm and Pat Perez are both alumni of ASU each with one victory since the 2015-16 season. Rahm, from Spain, won the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year and is considered to be one of the hottest golfers in the world right now with a World Golf Ranking of 11. Other winners in the PAC 12 Conference include James Hahn (one) fromUC Berkeley and Kevin Chappell (one) of UCLA.
#4 ACC Atlantic Coast Conference
5 (five) PGA Tour victories
The ACC has four tour players totaling with five PGA Tour victories. The Florida State Seminole alumni include Daniel Berger (two wins), Jonas Blixt (one) and recent US Open Champion Brooks Koepka who won his first Major two weeks ago at Erin Hills, Wisconsin by four strokes (-16) tying Rory McIlroy’s previous record for lowest score in relation to par in a US Open.
#3 Big South Conference
6 (six) PGA Tour victories
The Big South Conference ranks number three in number of PGA Tour victories because of a one man show from Coastal Carolina. Dustin Johnson has won six of the past 80 tour events (7.5%) including a Major win in the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont.
Who would have thought the Big South Conference would rank three on this list? Big South Conference, you can tip your hat to the 6 ft 4, South Carolinian, 300+ yard crusher of the golf ball who is winning on and off the course for that generous ranking.
#2 Big 12 Conference
8 (eight) PGA Tour victories
The Big 12 Conference have five golfers that contributed to the eight wins of the conference. They include Jordan Spieth (four), Jhonnatan Vegas (one), Cody Gribble (one) all three from the University of Texas, Baylor University’s Jimmy Walker (one) and Oklahoma State’s Rickie Fowler (one).
Neither one of Spieth’s two major victories (2015 Masters and U.S. Open) were included in this ranking because they did not happen in the past 80 tournaments. It is no big surprise that the Big 12 produces quality PGA Tour golfers. In the past six College Golf National Championships, four of them have included teams from the Big 12 and yielded two National Championships (Texas and Oklahoma).
#1 Southeastern Conference (SEC)
17 (seventeen) PGA Tour victories
The Southeastern Conference has dominated the PGA Tour the past two seasons. Former SEC golfers account for 21.25% of the wins from the past 80 tournaments. The University of Georgia has produced such quality golfers that if Georgia was its own collegiate conference it would rank third on this list tied with the DJC (Dustin Johnson Conference aka Big South Conference).
Winners from the University of Georgia include Kevin Kisner (two), Bubba Watson (one), Hudson Swafford (one), Russell Henley (one) and Brian Harman (one). Other winners include Justin Thomas from Alabama (four), Smylie Kaufman from LSU (one), Peter Malnati from Missouri (one), Jason Dufner from Auburn (one), Brandt Snedeker from Vanderbilt (one), Wesley Bryan from South Carolina (one) and Billy Horschel from Florida (one).
The former SEC golfers have made their mark on the PGA tour in the past two seasons and with eight of the 12 players above listed in the top 50 World Golf Rankings, the SEC doesn’t seem to be slowing down with PGA Tour wins any time soon.