Yesterday, Francesco Molinari won the 147th Open Championship edging out the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott to take home the Claret Jug. Playing the final 37 holes at Carnoustie bogey-free, he became the first Italian to ever win a major championship.
This win came on the heels of Molinari arguably playing like the best player in the world coming into the event. In his last four events coming, he won twice and came in 2nd place at the John Deere Classic the week before the Open.
Molinari won the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour in May. He then won the Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour earlier this both, becoming the first Italian-born player to win on the tour since Toney Penna in 1947.
*The maps and information below does not count the U.S. Amateur and The Amateur Championship which were once considered to be majors championships.
What countries have taken home the most total majors?
With a new country winning a golf major, let’s take a look at which have won the most. With Molinari’s win, Italy became the 20th country to have a golfer born there win a major championship.
The smallest countries to win majors are the Bailiwick of Jersey (population ~100,000) and Fiji (population ~900,000). Jersey actually has the sixth most majors among countries despite its size and the fact that its last major winner came in 1920 when Ted Ray won the U.S. Open.
The top 13 majors winners (all have at least six) of all time have won 116 (26.06%) of the total 445 major championships in history. Ten of the 13 are Americans, with the only exceptions being Nick Faldo (England, 6), Harry Vardon (Jersey, 7) and Gary Player (South Africa, 9).
*The breakdown for the U.K.: Scotland (55), England (35), Northern Ireland (7), Wales (1)
What countries have produced the most golfers to win a major?
This second map takes a look at the number of different golfers to win a major for each country.
*The breakdown for the U.K.: Scotland (31), England (19), Northern Ireland (4), Wales (1)
Average number of majors winner has by country
The table below shows the average number of majors that each winner for each country has. I also listed the person with the most majors for each country and the time span that they won them over.
|Country||# of majors||# of major winners||Average # of majors for each winner||Person with most majors for country (Span Won)|
|United States||268||129||2.07||18, Jack Nicklaus (1962-1986)|
|United Kingdom||98||55||1.78||6, Nick Faldo (1987-1996)|
|Scotland||55||31||1.77||5, James Braid (1901-1910)|
|England||35||19||1.84||6, Nick Faldo (1987-1996)|
|South Africa||22||6||3.67||9, Gary Player (1959-1978)|
|Australia||17||11||1.54||5, Peter Thomson (1954-1965)|
|Jersey||9||2||4.5||7, Harry Vardon (1896-1914)|
|Spain||8||3||2.67||5, Seve Ballesteros (1979-88)|
|Northern Ireland||7||4||1.75||4, Rory McIIroy (2011-14)|
|Germany||4||2||2||2, Bernhard Langer (1985-93) and Martin Kaymer (2010-14)|
|Argentina||3||2||1.5||2, Angel Cabrera (2007-09)|
|Fiji||3||1||3||3, Vijay Singh (1998-04)|
|Ireland||3||1||3||3, Padraig Harrington (2007-08)|
|Zimbabwe||3||1||3||3, Nick Price (1992-94)|
|New Zealand||2||2||1||1, Bob Charles (1963) and Michael Campbell (2005)|
|Canada||1||1||1||1, Mike Weir (2003)|
|Wales||1||1||1||1, Ian Woosnam (1991)|
|France||1||1||1||1, Arnaud Massy (1907)|
|Sweden||1||1||1||1, Henrik Stenson (2016)|
|Italy||1||1||1||1, Francesco Molinari (2017)|
|South Korea||1||1||1||1, Y.E. Yang (2009)|
Sources and Info: (All sources not listed here linked/mentioned in the article)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_men%27s_major_championships_winning_golfers (Used to find information for major wins by country)
https://mapchart.net (Used to make maps in article)