Men's_major_golf_championships

Men's major golf championships

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, the three individual World Golf Championships events, 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 Club, 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". Outside the United States, the idea of increasing the proportion of majors held in the U.S. from three out of four to four out of five is much less popular. In addition, three World Golf Championship events were established in 1999, bringing to eight the total number of events in which virtually all of the world's top few dozen players compete against each other every year.

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 Masters, the U.S. Open, the Open Championship, and the (U.S.) 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.

The oldest of the majors is The Open Championship, which is usually referred to as the "British Open" outside the United Kingdom. Because of a lack of participation by American players due to the overseas travel times, the Open Championship was not considered a major in the U.S. until the early 1960s, when Arnold Palmer began competing in Great Britain. Until that time, many U.S. players considered the Western Open as one of golf's majors. A discussion between Palmer and Pittsburgh 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 the PGA Tour, television rights are negotiated separately from those of the tour and were not affected by the new deals 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 will show the Open Championship until 2009, and 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 Setanta Sports.

Distinct characteristics of majors

Because each major developed and is run by different organizations, they each have different characteristics that set it apart. These involve both the character of the course used and the composition of the field.

  • The Masters is the only major played at the same course every year. The Masters also invites the smallest field of any of the majors, generally under 100 players. Former champions have a lifetime invitation to compete. Included in this field are the champions of the major amateur championships. The traditions of Augusta, such as the green jacket, create a distinctive character for the tournament.
  • The U.S. Open is notorious for being played on difficult courses that have tight fairways, challenging greens, and a high rough cut, placing a premium on accuracy. In terms of the field, about half of the Open field enters the tournament through qualification. The exemptions for the tournament are tight, forcing some professional golfers to enter through qualification. This also enables amateur golfers to seek a spot in the Open.
  • The Open Championship is always played on a links-style course in the United Kingdom. It also carries the sense of being the original golf tournament, including the fact that golf was invented in Scotland. To compose their field, The Open ensures that leading golfers from the major international golf tours are represented, and incudes some spots for local qualifiers.
  • The PGA Championship is traditionally played at a golf club in the United States. The PGA generally enters into a profit-sharing agreement with the club. For their field, the PGA Championship includes members of the PGA of America, the organization of club and teaching professionals that are separate from the members of the PGA Tour.

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 Masters U.S. Open The Open Championship PGA Championship
2008 Trevor Immelman Tiger Woods (14/14)

Pádraig Harrington (2/3) Pádraig Harrington (3/3)
2007 Zach Johnson Ángel Cabrera 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 Tom Morris, Jnr (4/4) Not yet founded
1871 Not yet founded Not yet founded Not played Not yet founded
1870 Not yet founded Not yet founded Tom Morris, Jnr (3/4) Not yet founded
1869 Not yet founded Not yet founded Tom Morris, Jnr (2/4) Not yet founded
1868 Not yet founded Not yet founded Tom Morris, Jnr (1/4) Not yet founded
1867 Not yet founded Not yet founded Tom Morris, Snr (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 Tom Morris, Snr (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 Tom Morris, Snr(2/4) Not yet founded
1861 Not yet founded Not yet founded Tom Morris, Snr(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 2008 PGA Championship.

Decade Total ARG AUS CAN ENG FJI FRA GER NZL NIR IRL SCO ZAF ESP USA WAL ZWE EUR RoW
Total 407 2 15 1 38 3 1 2 2 1 3 55 19 7 254 1 3 108 45
2000s 36 1 1 1 - 2 - - 1 - 3 - 4 - 23 - - 3 10
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 -

See also

References

External links

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