The Vardon Trophy is awarded by the PGA of America to the PGA Tour's leader in scoring average. When the award was first given in 1937, it was awarded on the basis of a points system. No award was given from 1942–1946 due to World War II. In 1947, the PGA began awarding it for low scoring average. In 1988, the trophy began going to the golfer with the lowest adjusted scoring average over a minimum of 60 rounds, with no mid-round withdrawals (instituted in 1988). The trophy is named for the Jersey golfing great Harry Vardon, who died in 1937.
The PGA Tour presents its own Byron Nelson Award annually to the player with the lowest adjusted scoring average for the year. It has a 50-round minimum, and was instituted in 1980.
For both awards, non-medal rounds (such as in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and The International) count towards the minimum number of rounds but are not included in the calculation of the scoring average.
Differences in the eligibility criteria for the awards have resulted in different players winning the awards on six occasions. In 1988, 1993, and 1995, Greg Norman won the Byron Nelson Award but not the Vardon Trophy because he failed to meet the 60 round minimum for the Vardon Trophy (52, 54, and 58 rounds, respectively). This also happened to Tiger Woods in 2006 (55 rounds) and Steve Stricker in 2013 (51 rounds). In 1989, Payne Stewart failed to qualify for the Vardon Trophy because of his mid-round withdrawal from the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. In 1987, Dan Pohl won the Vardon Trophy even though David Frost and Paul Azinger both had lower averages; Frost and Azinger were not PGA of America members, a requirement for eligibility that was dropped after the 1987 season. The minimum rounds required also dropped from 80 to 60 at that time.
For the 2019–20 season, the minimum rounds required to be eligible for the trophy was reduced from 60 to 44, due to cancellation of tournaments because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The minimum rounds for the Byron Nelson Award dropped from 50 to 35.
|Year||Winner||Adjusted Scoring Average
(60 round minimum)
|Byron Nelson Award||Adjusted Scoring Average|
(50 round minimum)
|2020||Webb Simpson||68.98||Webb Simpson||68.98|
|2019||Rory McIlroy||69.06||Rory McIlroy||69.06|
|2018||Dustin Johnson||68.70||Dustin Johnson||68.70|
|2017||Jordan Spieth||68.85||Jordan Spieth||68.85|
|2016||Dustin Johnson||69.17||Dustin Johnson||69.17|
|2015||Jordan Spieth||68.91||Jordan Spieth||68.91|
|2014||Rory McIlroy||68.83||Rory McIlroy||68.83|
|2013||Tiger Woods||68.98||Steve Stricker||68.95|
|2012||Rory McIlroy||68.87||Rory McIlroy||68.87|
|2011||Luke Donald||68.86||Luke Donald||68.86|
|2010||Matt Kuchar||69.61||Matt Kuchar||69.61|
|2009||Tiger Woods||68.05||Tiger Woods||68.05|
|2008||Sergio García||69.12||Sergio García||69.12|
|2007||Tiger Woods||67.79||Tiger Woods||67.79|
|2006||Jim Furyk||68.86||Tiger Woods||68.11|
|2005||Tiger Woods||68.66||Tiger Woods||68.66|
|2004||Vijay Singh||68.84||Vijay Singh||68.84|
|2003||Tiger Woods||68.41||Tiger Woods||68.41|
|2002||Tiger Woods||68.56||Tiger Woods||68.56|
|2001||Tiger Woods||68.81||Tiger Woods||68.81|
|2000||Tiger Woods||67.79||Tiger Woods||67.79|
|1999||Tiger Woods||68.43||Tiger Woods||68.43|
|1998||David Duval||69.13||David Duval||69.13|
|1997||Nick Price||68.98||Nick Price||68.98|
|1996||Tom Lehman||69.32||Tom Lehman||69.32|
|1995||Steve Elkington||69.92||Greg Norman||69.06|
|1994||Greg Norman||68.81||Greg Norman||68.81|
|1993||Nick Price||69.11||Greg Norman||68.90|
|1992||Fred Couples||69.38||Fred Couples||69.38|
|1991||Fred Couples||69.59||Fred Couples||69.38|
|1990||Greg Norman||69.10||Greg Norman||69.10|
|1989||Greg Norman||69.49||Payne Stewart||69.485|
|1988||Chip Beck||69.46||Greg Norman||69.38|
(80 round minimum)
|Byron Nelson Award||Scoring Average|
(50 round minimum)
|1987||Dan Pohl||70.25||David Frost||70.09|
|1986||Scott Hoch||70.08||Scott Hoch||70.08|
|1985||Don Pooley||70.36||Don Pooley||70.36|
|1984||Calvin Peete||70.56||Calvin Peete||70.56|
|1983||Raymond Floyd||70.61||Raymond Floyd||70.61|
|1982||Tom Kite||70.21||Tom Kite||70.21|
|1981||Tom Kite||69.80||Tom Kite||69.80|
|1980||Lee Trevino||69.73||Lee Trevino||69.73|
|1952||Jack Burke, Jr.||70.54|
Sixteen men have won the Vardon Trophy more than once (1937–2020).
- 9 wins
- Tiger Woods: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013
- 5 wins
- 4 wins
- 3 wins
- 2 wins
Seven men have won the Byron Nelson Award more than once (1980–2020).
- "PGA Champion Rory McIlroy wins PGA Player of Year and Vardon Trophy". November 12, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
- Dorman, Larry (October 26, 1995). "Norman's Grip on Trophy Broken by a Technicality". The New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
- "2012 HP Byron Nelson Championship Media Guide". p. 75. Archived from the original on March 26, 2013. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
The Byron Nelson Award
- "Tiger passes on Funai ... and Scoring Title". NBC Sports. Associated Press. October 18, 2006. Archived from the original on October 13, 2006. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
- "Scoring Average". PGA Tour. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
- Hershey, Steve (August 31, 1989). "Calcavecchia back into swing with player of year honor on line". USA Today. p. C6. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
Stewart withdrew Tuesday, citing back problems. He's No. 3 in player of the year standings, although he was disqualified from the Vardon scoring because he pulled out with a bad back at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am...
- Rosaforte, Tim (November 14, 1987). "PGA cleans up Vardon's image". The Palm Beach Post. Palm Beach, Florida. p. 3C. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
- "PGA of America modifies two major awards because of pandemic". ESPN. Associated Press. August 4, 2020.
- "McIlroy's Path To Nelson Award Repeat Aided By PGA Change". Barron's. Agence France Presse. July 22, 2020.