Ranking the Greatest Father-Son Combinations in PGA Tour History

Pop quiz: The biggest win of Vijay Singh’s Hall of Fame career was:a. The 2000 Masters.b. The 1998 PGA Championship at Sahalee.c. The 2004 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.d. One of his other 31 PGA Tour wins.The answer, according to Singh, is none of the above. He said his recent victory with his son, Qass, in the father-son exhibition known as the PNC Championship was the best of his career. The Ranking believes him, considering the typically stoic Singh has never smiled so much. There’s something special about father-son golf, or any combination of parent-child golf. Ask any golfing father, son, mom or daughter. The PNC is kind of a schlocky TV event but is watchable for two reasons. One, obviously, is Tiger and Charlie Woods. Tiger is The Show whenever he plays and with whomever he plays. Two, it’s fun watching kids play for their dads (or moms, such as Annika Sorenstam) and vice versa. They’re not really playing for the trophy or the money. They’re playing for their family name. That said, not a lot of PGA Tour players’ sons have made names for themselves in professional golf. Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris retired the trophy as the all-time great father-son teams with their Open Championship exploits that began about the same time as the Civil War in the U.S. Willie Park Sr. and son won majors and Percy and Peter Alliss were stellar Ryder Cup players for Europe.Sticking to the PGA Tour, The Ranking looks at the rare breed of tour players’ offspring who successfully made it to the big tour and rates them accordingly.Jack and Gary Nicklaus combined have an impressive resume (led of course by Jack.) Jack Gruber/USA TodayBest Father-Son Combinations in PGA Tour History10. Dave Stockton Sr. and Dave Stockton Jr. Dad won a PGA Championship and captained the U.S. Ryder Cup team in ’91. Junior won a pair of Nationwide Tour events in ’93 and made it through Q-school onto the PGA Tour. He had three top-10s in ’94, tied for second in Hartford in ’95 and was 124th on the money list while barely keeping his card. He had a couple more years on the bottom end of the money list and after a final year on the Nationwide Tour in 2004, he retired to become a golf instructor. 9. Jack and Gary Nicklaus. Golf’s greatest record, 18 major championships, famously belongs to Dad. Enough said. Gary spent most of his early career playing in Europe and on mini-tours until he finally made it through the PGA Tour’s qualifying tournament in 1999 on his eighth try. In 2000, he shared the 54-hole lead at the BellSouth Classic with Phil Mickelson but torrential rains left the course unplayable, so the final round was canceled and the two played off at a par-3 hole. Gary found a greenside bunker and needed two shots to get out; Mickelson made the birdie putt for the win. Gary made only 12 cuts in 34 starts in 2001 but was 15th at the Memorial Tournament, an event hosted by Jack, finished 184th on the money list and lost his tour card. In 2002 he made only six cuts and gave up pro golf after the 2003 season. Only four years later, the USGA reinstated his amateur status. In 2019, he turned pro again to try senior golf. 8. Clayton and Vance Heafner. Dad was a Nearly Man, finishing second twice in U.S. Opens, including the 1951 Open won by Ben Hogan. Clayton won four PGA Tour titles and played in two Ryder Cups, both won by the U.S. He and Vance played in the 1978 Masters together. Vance played nine full seasons on the PGA Tour, winning the 1981 Walt Disney World National Team Championship with Mike Holland. Vance played in 11 majors, with a best finish of 11th in the ’81 PGA. 7. Julius and Guy Boros. Dad had one of the game’s all-time sweetest swings and used it to win the 1952 and 1963 U.S. Open. He was 48 when he captured the 1968 PGA Championship, making him golf’s oldest major winner until 50-year-old Phil Mickelson won the 2021 PGA topped the mark 53 years later. Boros was an 18-time winner on tour and a Hall of Famer. He wrote an instruction book titled, “Swing Easy, Hit It Hard.” Guy’s only PGA Tour win was the 1993 Greater Vancouver Open. He also had three Buy.com Tour wins and played on the Asian, Australian and Canadian Tours. 6. Bob and Kevin Tway. Dad was an eight-time Tour winner, four of them coming in his breakout 1986 season that included a famous hole-out from a bunker on the final hole to beat Greg Norman in the PGA Championship. Kevin, a U.S. Junior Amateur champion, made it to the Web.com Tour in 2013, won the next year and advanced to the PGA Tour. In 2018, he beat Ryan Moore and Brandt Snedeker in a playoff to win the Safeway Championship, making the Tways the 10th father-son duo to win on the PGA Tour.5 Joe Kirkwood Sr. and Joe Kirkwood Jr. When Dad won the 1923 California Open, he became the PGA Tour’s first Australian winner. Senior finished third in the 1930 PGA Championship, had three fourths in the British Open and won 13 PGA Tour titles. He made 29 holes-in-one, including two in one round, and later became a trick-shot performer. In 1948, Senior was 51 when he and Joe Jr. became the first father-son duo to make a U.S. Open cut. Joe Jr. made it to the tour and won the 1949 Philadelphia Inquirer Open. Junior won two more titles but went to Hollywood and became best-known for portraying boxer Joe Palooka in a long-running series of short (and lame) movies.4. Al and Brent Geiberger. Dad was a legend, not only because he won the 1966 PGA Championship, one of 11 tour victories, but because he was first to shoot 59 in a sanctioned event en route to victory at the 1977 Danny Thomas Memphis Classic. Brent had a nice 15-year run on the tour, winning in Hartford in 1999 and Greensboro in 2004. Brent and Al became the first father-son duo to tee it up in the PGA Championship in 1998. Brent’s brother, John, coached Pepperdine to the 1997 NCAA golf championship.3. Craig and Kevin Stadler. In the 1982 Masters, Craig bested Dan Pohl in a playoff for a huge victory, one of his 13 PGA Tour wins. In 2014, Kevin became the first son of a Masters champion to play in a Masters, finishing eighth. Kevin worked his tail off and toured the world before he earned exempt status on the PGA Tour, scoring a win on the European Tour (2006 Johnnie Walker Classic in Australia); Asian Tour; AustralAsian Tour; and Challenge Tour. He also won four times on the Nationwide Tour. He broke through for his only PGA Tour win—in his 238th PGA Tour start—at the 2014 Phoenix Open after Bubba Watson bogeyed the final hole. His highest world ranking was 52.2. Jay and Bill Haas. It would’ve been tough to match Dad’s career. Jay won nine times and had longevity—he made three Ryder Cups across a 21-year span between 1983 and 2004. Bill delivered six PGA Tour victories and made a Presidents Cup team but never played in a Ryder Cup. Bill’s highlight was winning the 2011 Tour Championship in a playoff that featured him making a wild up-and-down from a greenside lake. When PGA Tour commissioner handed him the Tour Championship trophy, Bill asked who won the FedEx Cup (then determined by a complex points system). Finchem answered, “You did.” Oh. Still the greatest FedEx Cup moment.1. Jack Burke Sr. and Jack Burke Jr. In this duo, Dad was actually the weak link Jack Sr.’s only credited PGA Tour victory was the 1925 Texas PGA Championship. He also has one second, three thirds and 19 top-25s in his tour career, although he won the Minnesota State Open (not an official tour event) four times. Jack Jr. is a Hall of Famer. He won a pair of majors—the 1956 Masters, coming from eight strokes behind Ken Venturi, and the ’56 PGA, beating Ted Kroll in the match-play final—and 14 other events. Junior won five times in ’52, including four in a row. He played in five straight Ryder Cups from 1951-‘59, had a 7-1 record, and was a playing captain in ’57. Possibly the all-time coolest man in golf.

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