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The men's major golf championships, often referred to simply as "the majors", are the four most prestigious annual tournaments in professional golf. In order of their playing date, the current majors are:

Importance

Alongside the biennial Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup team competitions, the majors are golf's marquee events. Elite players from all over the world participate in them, and the reputations of the greatest players in golf history are largely based on the number of major championship victories they accumulate. The top prizes are not actually the largest in golf, being surpassed by the Players Championship, three of the four World Golf Championships events (the HSBC Champions, newly promoted to WGC status in 2009, has a top prize comparable to that of the majors), and one or two invitational events, but winning a major boosts a player's career far more than winning any other tournament. If he is already a leading player, he will probably receive large bonuses from his sponsors and may be able to negotiate better contracts. If he is an unknown, he will immediately be signed up. Perhaps more importantly, he will receive an exemption from the need to annually requalify for a tour card on his home tour, thus giving a tournament golfer some security in an unstable profession. Currently, the PGA Tour gives a five-year exemption to all major winners.

Three of the four majors take place in the United States. The Masters (often known as the "U.S. Masters" outside North America) is played at the same course, Augusta National Golf Clubmarker, every year, while the other three rotate courses (the Open Championship, however, is always played on a links course). Each of the majors has a distinct history, and they are run by four different golf organizations, but their special status is recognized worldwide. Major championship winners receive the maximum possible allocation of 100 points from the Official World Golf Rankings, which are endorsed by all of the main tours, and major championship prize money is official on the three richest regular (ie under-50) golf tours, the PGA Tour, European Tour and Japan Golf Tour.

In recent years, the Players Championship, which was held two weeks before the Masters, has started to be called "the fifth major" by elements of the American media. This has not been publicly encouraged by golf authorities, but the tournament does attract a similar strength of field. With "The Players" move to mid-May in 2007, some people believe that the Players should be considered a de facto major championship, even if it's not considered part of "the grand slam". However, the idea of increasing the number of recognised "majors" from four to five has never attracted any popularity - possibly because tennis, from which the concept of the "Grand Slam" was copied - has only ever retained its own four "Grand Slam" championships. In addition to the TPC, three World Golf Championship events were established in 1999 and a fourth WGC individual event was added in 2009, bringing to nine the total number of events in which all of the world's top 50 players compete against each other every year, but so far none but the four established "majors" have been recognised as such either in prestige or in recognition (ie invitations to future events), despite the prize money available.

History

The majors originally consisted of the Open Championship, the British Amateur or The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Open, and the U.S. Amateur. With the introduction of the Masters Tournament in 1934, and the rise of professional golf in the late 1940s and 1950s, the term "major championships" eventually came to describe the Mastersmarker, the U.S. Open, the Open Championship, and the PGA Championship. It is difficult to determine when the definition changed to include the current four tournaments, although many trace it to Arnold Palmer's 1960 season, when after winning the Masters and the U.S. Open to start the season he remarked that if he could win the Open Championship and PGA Championship to finish the season, he would complete "a grand slam of his own" to rival Bobby Jones's 1930 feat. Until that time, many U.S. players also considered the Western Open as one of golf's "majors", and the British PGA Matchplay Championship was as important to British and Commonwealth professionals as the PGA Championship was to Americans. During the 1950s, the short-lived World Championship of Golf was certainly viewed as a "major" by its competitors, as its first prize was worth almost ten times any other event in the game, and it was the first event whose finale was televised live on U.S. television.

The oldest of the majors is The Open Championship, which is usually referred to as the "British Open" outside the United Kingdom. Dominated by American champions in the 1920s and 1930s, the comparative explosion in the riches available on the U.S. Tour from the 1940s onwards meant that the lengthy overseas trip needed to compete in the event became increasingly prohibitive for the leading American professionals and their regular participation dwindled after the war years (Ben Hogan, for example, entered just once after the war, winning in 1953). However, in 1960, Arnold Palmer entered in an attempt to emulate Hogan's 1953 feat of winning on his first visit, and although unsuccessful, began competing regularly thereafter, restoring the event's prestige (and with it the prize money that once again made it an attractive prospect to other American pros). The advent of transatlantic jet travel in that period also helped to boost American participation in The Open. A discussion between Palmer and Pittsburghmarker golf writer Bob Drum led to the concept of the modern Grand Slam of Golf.

Television coverage

Because none of the majors falls under the direct jurisdiction of any professional golf tour, television rights are negotiated separately from those of the tours, and were not affected by the new deals involving the PGA Tour that took effect in 2007.

The U.S. Open is shown on NBC and ESPN under a contract that ends in 2010. ESPN on ABC and TNT aired The Open Championship through the 2009 event. Starting in 2010, ESPN will have exclusive U.S. rights to The Open Championship, marking the first time in the television era that a major championship will not be aired on one of the country's major over-the-air broadcast networks. CBS and TNT have long-term deals for the PGA Championship. The Masters operates under one-year contracts; CBS has been the main TV partner every year since 1956, with ESPN televising the first and second rounds effective with the 2008 tourney, replacing USA Network, which had shown the event since the early 1980s. ABC and USA no longer carry any other men's pro golf tournaments, and TNT shows no other events.

In the United Kingdom, the BBC is the exclusive TV home of the Masters Tournament and the Open Championship. The U.S. Open and PGA Championship are shown on Sky Sports, however, PGA Tour events are shown on British Eurosport.

Distinct characteristics of majors

Because each major developed and is run by different organizations, they each have different characteristics that set them apart. These involve the character of the courses used, the composition of the field, and other idiosyncrasies.

  • The Masters is the only major that is played at the same course every year (Augusta National), being the invitational tournament of that club. The Masters invites the smallest field of the majors, generally under 100 players (although, like all the majors, it now ensures entry for all golfers among the World's top 50 prior to the event). Former champions have a lifetime invitation to compete, and also included in the field are the current champions of the major amateur championships, and most of the previous year's PGA Tour winners (winners of Fall Series events or "alternate" events held opposite a high-profile tournament do not receive automatic invitations). The traditions of Augusta, such as the awarding of a green jacket to the champion, create a distinctive character for the tournament, as does the course itself, with its lack of rough but severely undulating fairways and greens, and punitive use of lakes and creeks on several key holes on the back nine.
  • The U.S. Open is notorious for being played on difficult courses that have tight fairways, challenging greens, demanding pin positions and thick and high rough, placing a great premium on accuracy, especially with driving and approach play. The U.S. Open is rarely won with a score much under par (although it is often played around courses where the severity of the test might suggest par itself has been set at a punitively low level). The event is the championship of the USGA, and in having a very strict exempt qualifiers list - made up of recent major champions, professionals currently ranked high in the world rankings or on the previous year's money lists around the world, and leading amateurs from recent USGA events - about half of the 156-person field still enters the tournament through open qualification events, mostly held in the U.S. but also in Europe and Japan. The U.S. Open has no barrier to entry for either women or junior players, as long as they meet the entry criteria for the qualifying sections. As of 2009, however, no female golfer has yet to qualify for the U.S. Open. Also, the U.S. Open has a unique playoff system in that it requires all tied players to play an additional full round of golf (the other majors have three- or four-hole playoffs, and most regular events have simple sudden death playoffs.)
  • The Open Championship is organised by The R&A, an offshoot of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, and has always been played on a links-style course in Britain or Northern Ireland (all of the courses on the current planned "rota" are in Scotland and England). It carries the prestige of being the original "Open" championship (although ironically the very first event was held only for British professionals) and is respected for maintaining the tradition of links play that dates back to the very invention of the game, in Scotland. This is typified by courses that, being coastal, tend to be flat and often very windswept, with the fairways cut through very high dune grass and gorse bushes that make up the "rough", and have very deep bunkers. As well as exempting from qualifying recent professional major and amateur champions and leading players from the world rankings, the R&A ensures that leading golfers from around the globe are given the chance to enter by holding qualifying events on all continents, as well as holding final qualifying events around the UK in the weeks prior to the main tournament. Several recent champions have been relatively unknown players who came through one of these qualifying routes. The champion receives (and has his name inscribed on the base of) the famous "Claret Jug", a trophy that dates back to 1872 (champions from 1860 until 1871 received instead a championship "belt", much like a champion professional boxer's belt nowadays) and the engraving of the champions' name on the trophy prior to them receiving it is, in itself, one of the traditions of the closing ceremony of the championship, as is the award of the "silver medal" to the leading amateur player to have made the cut to play the last 36 holes.
  • The PGA Championship is traditionally played at a parkland club in the United States, and the courses chosen tend to be as difficult (although not set up quite as punitively) as those chosen for the U.S. Open, with several, such as Oakland Hills and Winged Foot, having hosted both. The PGA of America generally enters into a profit-sharing agreement with the host club. As well as inviting recent professional major champions and leading professionals from the world rankings (the PGA has tended in recent years to extend invitations to all players among the world's top 100) the PGA Championship field is completed by qualifiers held among members of the PGA of America, the organization of club and teaching professionals that are separate from the members of the PGA Tour. The PGA Championship is also the only one of the four majors to invite all winners of PGA Tour events in the year preceding the tournament. Amateur golfers would not normally be featured in the PGA, unless their success in other events had lifted them high enough in the world rankings (there is no qualifying section open to amateurs) or by winning one of the other major championships (allowing an amateur to play every major championship for the remainder of the year plus 5 years after the win). One particular feature of the PGA tends to be the testing weather conditions - not the wind and rain that often accompany an Open Championship held in the British Isles in July, but the high heat and humidity that characterize the American climate in August.


Major Championship winners

For each golfer with more than one major championship victory, his total number of wins and the place of each win in his sequence are shown in parentheses. For example, Tiger Woods' win in the 2005 Masters was the ninth of his 14 major titles to date. There is a more detailed table for each tournament in its own article.
Year The Mastersmarker U.S. Open The Open Championship PGA Championship
2010 Augusta: April 8-11 Pebble Beach: June 17-20 St Andrews: July 15-18 Whistling Straits: August 12-15
2009 Ángel Cabrera (2/2) Lucas Glover Stewart Cink Yang Yong-eun
2008 Trevor Immelman Tiger Woods (14/14)
||   Pádraig Harrington (2/3)||   Pádraig Harrington (3/3)
2007 Zach Johnson Ángel Cabrera (1/2) Pádraig Harrington (1/3) Tiger Woods (13/14)
2006 Phil Mickelson (3/3) Geoff Ogilvy Tiger Woods (11/14) Tiger Woods (12/14)
2005 Tiger Woods (9/14) Michael Campbell Tiger Woods (10/14) Phil Mickelson (2/3)
2004 Phil Mickelson (1/3) Retief Goosen (2/2) Todd Hamilton Vijay Singh (3/3)
2003 Mike Weir Jim Furyk Ben Curtis Shaun Micheel
2002 Tiger Woods (7/14) Tiger Woods (8/14) Ernie Els (3/3) Rich Beem
2001 Tiger Woods (6/14) Retief Goosen (1/2) David Duval David Toms
2000 Vijay Singh (2/3) Tiger Woods (3/14) Tiger Woods (4/14) Tiger Woods (5/14)
1999 José María Olazábal (2/2) Payne Stewart (3/3) Paul Lawrie Tiger Woods (2/14)
1998 Mark O'Meara (1/2) Lee Janzen (2/2) Mark O'Meara (2/2) Vijay Singh (1/3)
1997 Tiger Woods (1/14) Ernie Els (2/3) Justin Leonard Davis Love III
1996 Nick Faldo (6/6) Steve Jones Tom Lehman Mark Brooks
1995 Ben Crenshaw (2/2) Corey Pavin John Daly (2/2) Steve Elkington
1994 José María Olazábal (1/2) Ernie Els (1/3) Nick Price (2/3) Nick Price (3/3)
1993 Bernhard Langer (2/2) Lee Janzen (1/2) Greg Norman (2/2) Paul Azinger
1992 Fred Couples Tom Kite Nick Faldo (5/6) Nick Price (1/3)
1991 Ian Woosnam Payne Stewart (2/3) Ian Baker-Finch John Daly (1/2)
1990 Nick Faldo (3/6) Hale Irwin (3/3) Nick Faldo (4/6) Wayne Grady
1989 Nick Faldo (2/6) Curtis Strange (2/2) Mark Calcavecchia Payne Stewart (1/3)
1988 Sandy Lyle (2/2) Curtis Strange (1/2) Seve Ballesteros (5/5) Jeff Sluman
1987 Larry Mize Scott Simpson Nick Faldo (1/6) Larry Nelson (3/3)
1986 Jack Nicklaus (18/18) Raymond Floyd (4/4) Greg Norman (1/2) Bob Tway
1985 Bernhard Langer (1/2) Andy North (2/2) Sandy Lyle (1/2) Hubert Green (2/2)
1984 Ben Crenshaw (1/2) Fuzzy Zoeller (2/2) Seve Ballesteros (4/5) Lee Trevino (6/6)
1983 Seve Ballesteros (3/5) Larry Nelson (2/3) Tom Watson (8/8) Hal Sutton
1982 Craig Stadler Tom Watson (6/8) Tom Watson (7/8) Raymond Floyd (3/4)
1981 Tom Watson (5/8) David Graham (2/2) Bill Rogers Larry Nelson (1/3)
1980 Seve Ballesteros (2/5) Jack Nicklaus (16/18) Tom Watson (4/8) Jack Nicklaus (17/18)
1979 Fuzzy Zoeller (1/2) Hale Irwin (2/3) Seve Ballesteros (1/5) David Graham (1/2)
1978 Gary Player (9/9) Andy North (1/2) Jack Nicklaus (15/18) John Mahaffey
1977 Tom Watson (2/8) Hubert Green (1/2) Tom Watson (3/8) Lanny Wadkins
1976 Raymond Floyd (2/4) Jerry Pate Johnny Miller (2/2) Dave Stockton (2/2)
1975 Jack Nicklaus (13/18) Lou Graham Tom Watson (1/8) Jack Nicklaus (14/18)
1974 Gary Player (7/9) Hale Irwin (1/3) Gary Player (8/9) Lee Trevino (5/6)
1973 Tommy Aaron Johnny Miller (1/2) Tom Weiskopf Jack Nicklaus (12/18)
1972 Jack Nicklaus (10/18) Jack Nicklaus (11/18) Lee Trevino (4/6) Gary Player (6/9)
1971 Charles Coody Lee Trevino (2/6) Lee Trevino (3/6) Jack Nicklaus (9/18)
1970 Billy Casper (3/3) Tony Jacklin (2/2) Jack Nicklaus (8/18) Dave Stockton (1/2)
1969 George Archer Orville Moody Tony Jacklin (1/2) Raymond Floyd (1/4)
1968 Bob Goalby Lee Trevino (1/6) Gary Player (5/9) Julius Boros (3/3)
1967 Gay Brewer Jack Nicklaus (7/18) Roberto DeVicenzo Don January
1966 Jack Nicklaus (5/18) Billy Casper (2/3) Jack Nicklaus (6/18) Al Geiberger
1965 Jack Nicklaus (4/18) Gary Player (4/9) Peter Thomson (5/5) Dave Marr
1964 Arnold Palmer (7/7) Ken Venturi Tony Lema Bobby Nichols
1963 Jack Nicklaus (2/18) Julius Boros (2/3) Bob Charles Jack Nicklaus (3/18)
1962 Arnold Palmer (5/7) Jack Nicklaus (1/18) Arnold Palmer (6/7) Gary Player (3/9)
1961 Gary Player (2/9) Gene Littler Arnold Palmer (4/7) Jerry Barber
1960 Arnold Palmer (2/7) Arnold Palmer (3/7) Kel Nagle Jay Hebert
1959 Art Wall, Jr. Billy Casper (1/3) Gary Player (1/9) Bob Rosburg
1958 Arnold Palmer (1/7) Tommy Bolt Peter Thomson (4/5) Dow Finsterwald
1957 Doug Ford (2/2) Dick Mayer Bobby Locke (4/4) Lionel Hebert
1956 Jack Burke, Jr. (1/2) Cary Middlecoff (3/3) Peter Thomson (3/5) Jack Burke, Jr. (2/2)
1955 Cary Middlecoff (2/3) Jack Fleck Peter Thomson (2/5) Doug Ford (1/2)
1954 Sam Snead (7/7) Ed Furgol Peter Thomson (1/5) Chick Harbert
1953 Ben Hogan (7/9) Ben Hogan (8/9) Ben Hogan (9/9) Walter Burkemo
1952 Sam Snead (6/7) Julius Boros (1/3) Bobby Locke (3/4) Jim Turnesa
1951 Ben Hogan (5/9) Ben Hogan (6/9) Max Faulkner Sam Snead (5/7)
1950 Jimmy Demaret (3/3) Ben Hogan (4/9) Bobby Locke (2/4) Chandler Harper
1949 Sam Snead (3/7) Cary Middlecoff (1/3) Bobby Locke (1/4) Sam Snead (4/7)
1948 Claude Harmon Ben Hogan (2/9) Henry Cotton (3/3) Ben Hogan (3/9)
1947 Jimmy Demaret (2/3) Lew Worsham Fred Daly Jim Ferrier
1946 Herman Keiser Lloyd Mangrum Sam Snead (2/7) Ben Hogan (1/9)
1945 No tournament (World War II) No tournament (World War II) No tournament (World War II) Byron Nelson (5/5)
1944 No tournament (World War II) No tournament (World War II) No tournament (World War II) Bob Hamilton
1943 No tournament (World War II) No tournament (World War II) No tournament (World War II) No tournament (World War II)
1942 Byron Nelson (4/5) No tournament (World War II) No tournament (World War II) Sam Snead (1/7)
1941 Craig Wood (1/2) Craig Wood (2/2) No tournament (World War II) Vic Ghezzi
1940 Jimmy Demaret (1/3) Lawson Little No tournament (World War II) Byron Nelson (3/5)
1939 Ralph Guldahl (3/3) Byron Nelson (2/5) Richard Burton Henry Picard (2/2)
1938 Henry Picard (1/2) Ralph Guldahl (2/3) Reg Whitcombe Paul Runyan (2/2)
1937 Byron Nelson (1/5) Ralph Guldahl (1/3) Henry Cotton (2/3) Denny Shute (3/3)
1936 Horton Smith (2/2) Tony Manero Alf Padgham Denny Shute (2/3)
1935 Gene Sarazen (7/7) Sam Parks, Jr Alf Perry Johnny Revolta
1934 Horton Smith (1/2) Olin Dutra (2/2) Henry Cotton (1/3) Paul Runyan (1/2)
1933 Not yet founded Johnny Goodman Denny Shute (1/3) Gene Sarazen (6/7)
1932 Not yet founded Gene Sarazen (4/7) Gene Sarazen (5/7) Olin Dutra (1/2)
1931 Not yet founded Billy Burke Tommy Armour (3/3) Tom Creavy
1930 Not yet founded Bobby Jones (6/7) Bobby Jones (7/7) Tommy Armour (2/3)
1929 Not yet founded Bobby Jones (5/7) Walter Hagen (11/11) Leo Diegel (2/2)
1928 Not yet founded Johnny Farrell Walter Hagen (10/11) Leo Diegel (1/2)
1927 Not yet founded Tommy Armour (1/3) Bobby Jones (4/7) Walter Hagen (9/11)
1926 Not yet founded Bobby Jones (2/7) Bobby Jones (3/7) Walter Hagen (8/11)
1925 Not yet founded Willie MacFarlane Jim Barnes (4/4) Walter Hagen (7/11)
1924 Not yet founded Cyril Walker Walter Hagen (5/11) Walter Hagen (6/11)
1923 Not yet founded Bobby Jones (1/7) Arthur Havers Gene Sarazen (3/7)
1922 Not yet founded Gene Sarazen (1/7) Walter Hagen (4/11) Gene Sarazen (2/7)
1921 Not yet founded Jim Barnes (3/4) Jock Hutchison (2/2) Walter Hagen (3/11)
1920 Not yet founded Ted Ray (2/2) George Duncan Jock Hutchison (1/2)
1919 Not yet founded Walter Hagen (2/11) No tournament (World War I) Jim Barnes (2/4)
1918 Not yet founded No tournament (World War I) No tournament (World War I) No tournament (World War I)
1917 Not yet founded No tournament (World War I) No tournament (World War I) No tournament (World War I)
1916 Not yet founded Chick Evans No tournament (World War I) Jim Barnes (1/4)
1915 Not yet founded Jerome Travers No tournament (World War I) Not yet founded
1914 Not yet founded Walter Hagen (1/11) Harry Vardon (7/7) Not yet founded
1913 Not yet founded Francis Ouimet John Henry Taylor (5/5) Not yet founded
1912 Not yet founded John McDermott (2/2) Ted Ray (1/2) Not yet founded
1911 Not yet founded John McDermott (1/2) Harry Vardon (6/7) Not yet founded
1910 Not yet founded Alex Smith (2/2) James Braid (5/5) Not yet founded
1909 Not yet founded George Sargent John Henry Taylor (4/5) Not yet founded
1908 Not yet founded Fred McLeod James Braid (4/5) Not yet founded
1907 Not yet founded Alec Ross Arnaud Massy Not yet founded
1906 Not yet founded Alex Smith (1/2) James Braid (3/5) Not yet founded
1905 Not yet founded Willie Anderson (4/4) James Braid (2/5) Not yet founded
1904 Not yet founded Willie Anderson (3/4) Jack White Not yet founded
1903 Not yet founded Willie Anderson (2/4) Harry Vardon (5/7) Not yet founded
1902 Not yet founded Laurie Auchterlonie Sandy Herd Not yet founded
1901 Not yet founded Willie Anderson (1/4) James Braid (1/5) Not yet founded
1900 Not yet founded Harry Vardon (4/7) John Henry Taylor (3/5) Not yet founded
1899 Not yet founded Willie Smith Harry Vardon (3/7) Not yet founded
1898 Not yet founded Fred Herd Harry Vardon (2/7) Not yet founded
1897 Not yet founded Joe Lloyd Harold Hilton (2/2) Not yet founded
1896 Not yet founded James Foulis Harry Vardon (1/7) Not yet founded
1895 Not yet founded Horace Rawlins John Henry Taylor (2/5) Not yet founded
1894 Not yet founded Not yet founded John Henry Taylor (1/5) Not yet founded
1893 Not yet founded Not yet founded Willie Auchterlonie Not yet founded
1892 Not yet founded Not yet founded Harold Hilton (1/2) Not yet founded
1891 Not yet founded Not yet founded Hugh Kirkaldy Not yet founded
1890 Not yet founded Not yet founded John Ball, Jnr Not yet founded
1889 Not yet founded Not yet founded Willie Park, Jnr (2/2) Not yet founded
1888 Not yet founded Not yet founded Jack Burns Not yet founded
1887 Not yet founded Not yet founded Willie Park, Jnr (1/2) Not yet founded
1886 Not yet founded Not yet founded David Brown Not yet founded
1885 Not yet founded Not yet founded Bob Martin (2/2) Not yet founded
1884 Not yet founded Not yet founded Jack Simpson Not yet founded
1883 Not yet founded Not yet founded Willie Fernie Not yet founded
1882 Not yet founded Not yet founded Bob Ferguson (3/3) Not yet founded
1881 Not yet founded Not yet founded Bob Ferguson (2/3) Not yet founded
1880 Not yet founded Not yet founded Bob Ferguson (1/3) Not yet founded
1879 Not yet founded Not yet founded Jamie Anderson (3/3) Not yet founded
1878 Not yet founded Not yet founded Jamie Anderson (2/3) Not yet founded
1877 Not yet founded Not yet founded Jamie Anderson (1/3) Not yet founded
1876 Not yet founded Not yet founded Bob Martin (1/2) Not yet founded
1875 Not yet founded Not yet founded Willie Park, Snr (4/4) Not yet founded
1874 Not yet founded Not yet founded Mungo Park Not yet founded
1873 Not yet founded Not yet founded Tom Kidd Not yet founded
1872 Not yet founded Not yet founded Young Tom Morris (4/4) Not yet founded
1871 Not yet founded Not yet founded Not played Not yet founded
1870 Not yet founded Not yet founded Young Tom Morris (3/4) Not yet founded
1869 Not yet founded Not yet founded Young Tom Morris (2/4) Not yet founded
1868 Not yet founded Not yet founded Young Tom Morris (1/4) Not yet founded
1867 Not yet founded Not yet founded Old Tom Morris (4/4) Not yet founded
1866 Not yet founded Not yet founded Willie Park, Snr (3/4) Not yet founded
1865 Not yet founded Not yet founded Andrew Strath Not yet founded
1864 Not yet founded Not yet founded Old Tom Morris (3/4) Not yet founded
1863 Not yet founded Not yet founded Willie Park, Snr (2/4) Not yet founded
1862 Not yet founded Not yet founded Old Tom Morris(2/4) Not yet founded
1861 Not yet founded Not yet founded Old Tom Morris(1/4) Not yet founded
1860 Not yet founded Not yet founded Willie Park Snr (1/4) Not yet founded


Major champions by nationality

The table below shows the number of major championships won by golfers from various countries. Tallies are also shown for major wins by golfers from Europe and from the "Rest of the World" (RoW), i.e. the world excluding Europe and the United States. The United States plays Europe in the Ryder Cup and an International Team representing the Rest of the World in the Presidents Cup. The table is complete through the 2009 PGA Championship.

Decade Total ARGmarker AUS CANmarker ENGmarker FJImarker FRAmarker GERmarker KORmarker NZLmarker NIRmarker IRLmarker SCOmarker ZAF ESPmarker USAmarker WALmarker ZWEmarker EUR RoW
Total 411 3 15 1 38 3 1 2 1 2 1 3 55 19 7 256 1 3 108 47
2000s 40 2 1 1 - 2 - - 1 1 - 3 - 4 - 25 - - 3 12
1990s 40 - 4 - 4 1 - 1 - - - - 1 2 2 21 1 3 9 10
1980s 40 - 2 - 2 - - 1 - - - - 2 - 4 29 - - 9 2
1970s 40 - 1 - 1 - - - - - - - - 4 1 33 - - 2 5
1960s 40 1 2 - 1 - - - - 1 - - - 4 - 31 - - 1 8
1950s 40 - 4 - 1 - - - - - - - - 4 - 31 - - 1 8
1940s 26 - 1 - 1 - - - - - 1 - - 1 - 22 - - 2 2
1930s 36 - - - 6 - - - - - - - - - - 30 - - 6 -
1920s 30 - - - 3 - - - - - - - 2 - - 25 - - 5 -
1910s 15 - - - 4 - - - - - - - 2 - - 9 - - 6 -
1900s 20 - - - 5 - 1 - - - - - 14 - - - - - 20 -
1890s 15 - - - 10 - - - - - - - 5 - - - - - 15 -
1880s 10 - - - - - - - - - - - 10 - - - - - 10 -
1870s 9 - - - - - - - - - - - 9 - - - - - 9 -
1860s 10 - - - - - - - - - - - 10 - - - - - 10 -


Scoring records

Scoring records - aggregate

The aggregate scoring records for each major are tabulated below. Green indicates an outright record and yellow indicates a shared record.

Date Tournament Player Country Rounds Score To par
Jun 15, 1980 U.S. Open 63-71-70-68 272 -8
Jun 20, 1993 U.S. Open 67-67-69-69 272 -8
Jul 18, 1993 The Open Championship 66-68-69-64 267 -13
Apr 13, 1997 Masters Tournamentmarker 70-66-65-69 270 -18
Jun 18, 2000 U.S. Open 65-69-71-67 272 -12
Aug 19, 2001 PGA Championship 66-65-65-69 265 -15
Jun 15, 2003 U.S. Open 67-66-67-72 272 -8


Scoring records - to par

The scoring records to par for each major are tabulated below. Green indicates an outright record and yellow indicates a shared record.

Date Tournament Player Country Rounds Score To Par Finish
Apr 13, 1997 Masters Tournamentmarker 70-66-65-69 270 -18 Won
Jun 18, 2000 U.S. Open 65-69-71-67 272 -12 Won
Jul 23, 2000 The Open Championship 67-66-67-69 269 -19 Won
Aug 20, 2000 PGA Championship 66-67-70-67 270 -18 Won
Aug 20, 2000 PGA Championship 72-66-66-66 270 -18 2nd
Aug 20, 2006 PGA Championship 69-68-65-68 270 -18 Won


Single round records

The single round scoring record for all four majors is 63. This has occurred 23 times by 21 golfers between 1973 and 2007. Greg Norman and Vijay Singh are the only golfers to record two rounds of 63 in the majors. Johnny Miller was the first golfer to shoot 63 in a major and remains the only golfer to shoot 63 in the final round to win a major.

# Player Country Major Date Rnd To par Finish
1 U.S. Open Jun 17, 1973 4 -8
2 PGA Championship Aug 8, 1975 2 -7
3 The Open Championship Jul 7, 1977 2 -7
4 U.S. Open Jun 12, 1980 1 -7
5 U.S. Open Jun 12, 1980 1 -7
6 The Open Championship Jul 19, 1980 3 -8
7 PGA Championship Aug 5, 1982 1 -7
8 PGA Championship Aug 17, 1984 2 -9
9 Masters Tournamentmarker Apr 12, 1986 3 -9
10 The Open Championship Jul 18, 1986 2 -7
11 The Open Championship Jul 21, 1990 3 -9
12 The Open Championship Jul 21, 1991 4 -7
13 The Open Championship Jul 16, 1993 2 -7
14 The Open Championship Jul 18, 1993 4 -7
15 PGA Championship Aug 13, 1993 2 -8
16 PGA Championship Aug 10, 1995 1 -8
17 PGA Championship Aug 13, 1995 4 -8
18 Masters Tournamentmarker Apr 11, 1996 1 -9
19 PGA Championship Aug 19, 2000 3 -9
20 PGA Championship Aug 17, 2001 2 -7
21 U.S. Open Jun 13, 2003 2 -7
22 PGA Championship Aug 13, 2005 3 -7
23 PGA Championship Aug 10, 2007 2 -7


'Player of the Year' in major championships

There is no official award presented to the player with the best overall record in the four majors, although the PGA Tour's Player of the Year system favours performances in the major championships. Since 1984, world ranking points have been assigned to finishes in the majors, which has allowed a calculation of which player has earnt the most ranking points in majors in a season - in almost every year since, one of the year's major winners has either won two of them, or has been the only player to win one and record a high finish in another (like Lucas Glover in 2009, David Duval in 2001 or Justin Leonard in 1997), enough to finish top of such a merit table in those years. The single exception was Nick Faldo in 1988, whose finishes of 2nd, 3rd and 4th earned him more world ranking points than any of that year's champions achieved during the season.

Tables are occasionally constructed for interest showing the overall scoring records for those players who have completed all 288 holes in the majors during a season, sometimes with interesting results. One notable example was in 1987, when Ben Crenshaw was shown to be top of just such a compilation, after finishing 4th, 4th, 4th and 7th in the four majors. In total Crenshaw took 1,140 strokes, only 12 more than the sum total of the four respective champions' scores of 1,128.

Top ten finishes in all four modern majors in one season

It was rare, before the early 1960s, for the leading players from around the world to have the opportunity to compete in all four of the 'modern' majors in one season, because of the different qualifying criteria used in each at the time, the costs of traveling to compete (in an era when tournament prize money was very low, and only the champion himself would earn the chance of ongoing endorsements), and on occasion even the conflicting scheduling of the Open and PGA Championships. In 1937, the U.S. Ryder Cup side all competed in The Open Championship, but of those who finished in the top ten of that event, only Ed Dudley could claim a "top ten" finish in all four of the majors in 1937, if his defeat in the last-16 round of that year's PGA Championship (then at matchplay) was considered a "joint 9th" position.

However, following 1960, when Arnold Palmer's narrowly failed bid for the Open Championship helped to establish the concept of the modern professional "Grand Slam", it has become normal for the leading players to compete in all four majors each year. Even so, those who have recorded top-ten finishes in all four in a single year remains a select group.



On 12 of the 23 occasions the feat has been achieved, the player in question did not win a major that year - indeed, three of the players (Dudley, Sanders and Barber) failed to win a major championship in their careers (although Barber would go on to win five senior majors), and García has also yet to win one (as of 2009).

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