PGA Championship - Final Round
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The 2022 major championship season is in the books, and four worthy champions emerged at the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and Open Championship. Plenty has been said, written and tweeted about all four, but there's also some curiosity over who performed best overall across the four majors.

There are plenty of ways to measure this, but perhaps the best is to look at all the golfers who made the cut at the four major championships and compare their scores. There were only nine this year, which is fewer than usual, and only four of them played the four events under par. Incredibly, the top two golfers of this year's major championship season -- Rory McIlroy and Will Zalatoris -- walked away with exactly zero trophies. Here's the list of nine players who made the cut in all four majors: 

  • Rory McIlroy: -29
  • Will Zalatoris: -21
  • Matt Fitzpatrick: -16
  • Justin Thomas: -3
  • Jon Rahm: +4
  • Hideki Matsuyama: +6
  • Joaquin Niemann: +13
  • Patrick Reed: +15
  • Tyrrell Hatton: +19

You could make an argument that this was the best golf McIlroy has played across the board at the four majors. It's just the second time he's finished in the top 10 in three for the year and the first time he's ever finished in the top 10 in all four. His worst major was an eighth-place finish at the PGA Championship.

"I can't be too despondent because of how this year's went and this year's going," said McIlroy after his third-place finish at The Open. "I'm playing some of the best golf I've played in a long time. So it's just a matter of keep knocking on the door, and eventually one will open." 

Zalatoris was nearly as good in 2022. He finished T28 at The Open, but preceded that with three top-six finishes in the first three majors of the year, including a playoff loss to Justin Thomas at the PGA Championship. Zalatoris solidified himself as a major championship threat a year after his runner-up to Hideki Matsuyama at the 2021 Masters.

Winning golf tournaments is extraordinarily difficult, but for both of these golfers it has to be hard to stomach such an incredible extended stretch of golf without accumulating a single major win. In McIlroy's case, he beat or tied 97.5% of the golfers he faced in this major season and left them all empty-handed. In fact, it was one of the two best major seasons in the last 27 years for somebody who didn't win a single one.

Golf is strange. You technically had a better season if you missed two cuts at majors and won two others instead of finishing in the top 10 in all four like McIlroy -- or even somebody who finished in the top six three times like Zalatoris. Such is the nature of four-day events. Consistency across events is not rewarded as much as a hot hand in one of them, even if the former is probably a better representation of great golf for a long period of time.

If you're measuring all of this by total money earned in majors (regardless of made cuts) -- which seems to be the only way to measure things in golf these days -- McIlroy and Zalatoris again performed well, but not quite as well as Scottie Scheffler, who walked away with that title. Here are all the golfers who made at least $1M at the majors in 2022: 

  • Scottie Scheffler: $4.4M
  • Matt Fitzpatrick: $4.0M
  • Will Zalatoris: $3.8M
  • Rory McIlroy: 3.7M
  • Cameron Smith: $3.6M
  • Justin Thomas: $3.3M
  • Cameron Young: $2.3M
  • Tommy Fleetwood: $1.4M
  • Collin Morikawa: $1.3M
  • Hideki Matsuyama: $1.1M
  • Shane Lowry: $1.1M