LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman tops list of greatest 2-time major winners all-time

Since the very first Open Championship at Prestwick in 1860, 232 men have claimed a major championship.

Of that exclusive group, 40 players have won exactly two major championships, and the list of who has done so is quite impressive.

Thus, we at Playing Through have decided to rank the top five players who won exactly two majors during their careers. But within these rankings, since the game has changed so much from when Willie Park Sr. won The Open in 1860, and since it differs from the pre-World War II era, we decided to rank the top two-time major winners since 1945.

Alas, here are the top 5 players all-time with exactly two major titles:

5. Dustin Johnson (2016-2020)

One of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour throughout the 2010s, Dustin Johnson claimed a U.S. Open title at Oakmont in 2016 and a Masters victory in the fall of 2020.

Johnson won at Oakmont by three and then breaking the scoring record at Augusta National during the re-scheduled tournament. He won the Masters by five strokes, finishing at 20-under par. Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth previously each carded 18-under scores in 1997 and 2015, respectively.

During his career, Johnson recorded an impressive 21 top-10 finishes in majors, while missing just 10 cuts.

Yet, he could easily have more major titles on his resume.

Dustin Johnson, US Open

Dustin Johnson poses with the trophy while speaking with Joe Buck of Fox Sports.
Dustin Johnson, US Open

At the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Johnson held a one-shot lead on the 72nd hole. He pushed his drive right of the fairway, landing in one of the waste bunkers that line the Straits course.

Not realizing it was a sand trap, Johnson grounded his club and was assessed a two-shot penalty after the round. He bogeyed the hole, which would have put him in a playoff with Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson, but the penalty changed his score to a triple bogey, thus dropping him back to a tie for fifth.

Then, at the 2015 U.S. Open, Johnson arrived at Chambers Bay’s par-5 18th, trailing Jordan Spieth by one stroke. He hit a long iron 12 feet from the hole, giving himself an outstanding opportunity for an eagle and victory. But he shockingly three-putted, giving Spieth his second straight major title.

4. Ben Crenshaw (1984-1995)

Widely regarded as one of the greatest putters of all time, Ben Crenshaw’s major titles came in one place: Augusta National.

In 1984, Crenshaw entered the final round trailing Tom Kite by two. But the Texas Longhorn rallied to win on Sunday, shooting a 4-under 68 to claim his first green jacket by two shots over Tom Watson.

Crenshaw could have won more majors throughout the 1980s, as he recorded 13 top-10 finishes in majors during that decade. He had 26 in his career overall.

He also lost to David Graham in a playoff at the 1979 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills in Michigan.

But his second triumph at Augusta finally came in 1995, one week after he lost his mentor, Harvey Penick. Crenshaw was devastated at the passing of his close friend and understandably arrived at Augusta National not in form.

And yet, the golfing gods were on his side, as a divine power helped Crenshaw have one of the best weeks of his career. He did not record a single three-putt en route to his second green jacket.

Ben Crenshaw, Masters

Ben Crenshaw received his green jacket at the 1995 Masters from the previous year’s winner, José María Olazábal.
Photo by J. David Ake/Getty Images

3. Bernhard Langer (1985-1993)

The first German to win a major championship, Bernhard Langer, like Crenshaw, won his two majors at The Masters.

In 1985, Langer finished two shots ahead of fellow legends Seve Ballesteros, Raymond Floyd, and Curtis Strange. Then, eight years later, Langer cruised to a four-shot victory over Chip Beck.

But his career spans far beyond his two triumphs at Augusta National. He was a perennial Ryder Cup star for Team Europe, often serving as a thorn in the American side.

Langer also was the top-ranked player in the Official World Golf Rankings when they debuted in 1986.

Furthermore, Langer is one of five players to have won a professional event on five continents. He has the second most all-time victories on the European Tour and has won more than anyone else on the PGA Tour Champions.

He has 19 top-10 finishes in majors, two of which came at The Open Championship in 1981 and 1984—the latter of which Playing Through ranked as one of the greatest of all time.

Bernhard Langer, Masters

Bernhard Langer at the 1993 Masters.
photo by David Cannon/Getty Images

Additionally, the 66-year-old German has aged like a fine wine, having won 12 Champions Tour majors. That is three more than Gary Player and four ahead of Jack Nicklaus for the most ever.

2. Johnny Miller (1973-1976)

Golf fans nowadays remember Johnny Miller as the longtime analyst for NBC Sports. Since Miller’s retirement in 2018, Paul Azinger served as the lead color commentator. But Azinger departed from NBC this past fall, as the network is now looking for a replacement. Perhaps it will be Kevin Kisner, or maybe Curt Byrum or Paul McGinley.

Alas, Miller’s playing days were more impressive than his days behind a microphone—which is quite the compliment, considering he is widely regarded as one of the greatest golf announcers ever. But he is also one of the best ball-strikers of all time.

He won the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont, thanks to the greatest final round ever played. He shot an 8-under 63 on that Sunday, passing hometown favorite Arnold Palmer and the game’s top player Jack Nicklaus in the process. Miller hit every green in regulation, an otherworldly feat considering how difficult Oakmont is.

Miller then won the 1976 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale by six shots over Ballesteros and Nicklaus. He faced a two-shot deficit heading into the final round but carded a 6-under 66 on Sunday to race past the 19-year-old Ballesteros.

Overall, Miller recorded 17 top-10 finishes in majors, with his most recent top-10 coming in 1985. He finished solo eighth in the U.S. Open at Oakland Hills.

Johnny Miller, US Open

Johnny Miller at the 1973 U.S. Open.
Getty Images

1. Greg Norman (1986-1993)

Simply put, Greg Norman is one of the best players to ever play golf.

During his career, Norman held the top ranking in the Official World Golf Rankings for 331 total weeks—second only to Tiger Woods all-time. Incredibly, third place is the aforementioned Dustin Johnson, with 139.

He has 88 professional victories to his name, including two Open Championships.

But he finished runner-up in major championships eight times, which included plenty of close finishes. ‘The Shark’ has 30 top-10 finishes at majors—a pretty impressive feat.

And consequently, Norman is most often remembered for coming up just short.

At the 1987 Masters, the Aussie watched Larry Mize chip in on the second playoff hole—the famous par-4 11th—to snatch the green jacket away.

Then, in 1989, Norman missed out on a playoff by one stroke at Augusta National and then lost to Mark Calcaveccia in a playoff at The Open Championship a few months later.

Seven years later, in 1996, Norman suffered his worst major heartbreak.

He held a six-shot lead going into the final round at Augusta National, but he shot a 6-over 78 on that fateful Sunday, losing to Nick Faldo by five.

Nevertheless, Norman dominated the sport in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The 2001 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee won the Byron Nelson Award five times, the Arnold Palmer Award thrice and captured the Vardon Trophy, awarded to the lowest adjusted scoring average, three times.

His presence is still felt today, mostly through LIV Golf, of which he is the commissioner.

Greg Norman, LIV Golf

Greg Norman, the CEO of LIV Golf.
Photo by Jason Butler/Getty Images

Honorable Mentions in No Particular Order:

Angel Cabrera (2007-2009)

Retief Goosen (2001-2004)

Jon Rahm (2021-2023)

Curtis Strange (1988-1989)

Fuzzy Zoeller (1979-1984)

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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