Who Won the Most World Golf Championships?
In the late 1990s, golf became more mainstream than the sport had ever been, undoubtedly thanks to the arrival of one Tiger Woods. Attendance and TV ratings for PGA Tour events soared as those who’d never taken much of an interest in the sport changed their tune.
But it’s not as if Tiger was the only great player teeing it up in that era, as the likes of Phil Mickelson, David Duval, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, and plenty of others were racking up victories and becoming more and more popular in their own right.
Now, back then, the top players in the world didn’t get together as often as they do now. It was more often than some might think, but as the TV coverage wasn’t as extensive at that time, some of the only times golf fans were able to see the big names battle it out was during the four major championships.
Enter the World Golf Championships, which were first introduced in 1999 as a means of getting the top golfers in the world on the same course at the same time on a more frequent basis.
The World Golf Championships era started with three events: the WGC Championship, the WGC Match Play, and the WGC Invitational, all of which ran for more than two decades. A team event, the WGC World Cup, was added in 2000 but lost its WGC status in 2006. A fourth individual event, the WGC Champions, was added in 2009.
But after close to a quarter-century, the World Golf Championships era has come to an end as the 2023 edition of the WGC Match Play closed things out. The WGC Champions, which is played in China, is technically still a thing but hasn’t been played since 2019, and there are no plans to resurrect it at this time.
So with that in mind, we thought it might be fun to take a look at who won the most World Golf Championships. But we’re betting you already know the answer.
Who won the most World Golf Championships?
As you probably guessed, Tiger Woods owns the most World Golf Championships victories, and it’s not even close. In 44 starts in individual WGC events over the years, Woods won 18 times. And that doesn’t even include the win with David Duval in the World Cup during his ridiculous 2000 season.
Tiger took eight wins at the WGC Invitational, seven wins at the WGC Championship, and three wins at the WGC Match Play.
Up next on the list is Dustin Johnson, who took six World Golf Championships and is the only player to win all four individual events. Phil Mickelson, Geoff Ogilvy, and Rory McIlroy won three, and a group of 11 took two WGC titles each.
Every World Golf Championships winner
Here’s a quick look at every World Golf Championships winner by year.
|Year||WGC Match Play||WGC Invitational||WGC Championship||WGC World Cup|
|1999||Jeff Maggert||Tiger Woods||Tiger Woods||N/A|
|2000||Darren Clarke||Tiger Woods||Mike Weir||Tiger Woods|
|2001||Steve Stricker||Tiger Woods||N/A||Ernie Els|
|2002||Kevin Sutherland||Craig Parry||Tiger Woods||Toshimitsu Izawa|
|2003||Tiger Woods||Darren Clarke||Tiger Woods||Trevor Immelman|
|2004||Tiger Woods||Stewart Cink||Ernie Els||Paul Casey|
|2005||David Toms||Tiger Woods||Tiger Woods||Stephen Dodd|
|2006||Geoff Ogilvy||Tiger Woods||Tiger Woods||Bernhard Langer|
|Year||WGC Match Play||WGC Championship||WGC Invitational||WGC Champions|
|2007||Henrik Stenson||Tiger Woods||Tiger Woods||N/A|
|2008||Tiger Woods||Geoff Ogilvy||Vijay Singh||N/A|
|2009||Geoff Ogilvy||Phil Mickelson||Tiger Woods||Phil Mickelson|
|2010||Ian Poulter||Ernie Els||Hunter Mahan||Francesco Molinari|
|2011||Luke Donald||Nick Watney||Adam Scott||Martin Kaymer|
|2012||Hunter Mahan||Justin Rose||Keegan Bradley||Ian Poulter|
|2013||Matt Kuchar||Tiger Woods||Tiger Woods||Dustin Johnson|
|2014||Jason Day||Patrick Reed||Rory McIlroy||Bubba Watson|
|Year||WGC Championship||WGC Match Play||WGC Invitational||WGC Champions|
|2015||Dustin Johnson||Rory McIlroy||Shane Lowry||Russell Knox|
|2016||Adam Scott||Jason Day||Dustin Johnson||Hideki Matsuyama|
|2017||Dustin Johnson||Dustin Johnson||Hideki Matsuyama||Justin Rose|
|2018||Phil Mickelson||Bubba Watson||Justin Thomas||Xander Schauffele|
|2019||Dustin Johnson||Kevin Kisner||Brooks Koepka||Rory McIlroy|
|2020||Patrick Reed||N/A||Justin Thomas||N/A|
|2021||Collin Morikawa||Billy Horschel||Abraham Ancer||N/A|