Top 5 Golf Tournaments
Golf, like any other renowned sport, has events or tournaments from time to time to determine the best players in the game. Currently, there are four major golf championships. The championships are rated based on various factors, ranging from the host course to the prize money to viewers’ preferences. Below are the top five major golf championships in the world.
1 The Masters Tournament
The Masters Tournament, popularly known as The Masters, is one of the most prestigious championships in golf. It was formally known as Augusta National Invitational Tournament until 1939, when it adopted its current name. The tournament is usually held on the first week of April at the Augusta National Golf Club in the city of Georgia.
Founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, The Masters was first organized in 1934. Like every other golf championship, The Masters has its own unique tradition, one of which is the award of a green jacket to the winner of the event in addition to a cash prize and a gold medal. Another tradition is holding a champions dinner the last Tuesday before each tournament.
Did you know?
• Every hole at the Augusta National Golf club is named after a plant or shrub
• Dwight Eisenhower is the only president of the United States that have been a member of the club.
• Members of the club started wearing green jackets in 1937. At the time, jackets were bought from New York’s Brooks Uniform Co.
• The Idea behind the wearing of green jackets was that Masters patrons could see members with the right information.
2 The United States Open
The United States Open, commonly known as the U.S. Open, is one of the major golf championships in the world held in the United States. It takes place annually in both PGA and European Tours.
The competition, organized by the United States Golf Association, starts in June and usually ends on Father’s Day. The U.S Open is open to any professional with a handicap index not exceeding 1.4. The first U.S. Open was played in 1895. Winners of the tournament receive a lifetime invitation to the Senior PGA.
Did You Know
• 10 golfers shared the same lead at the finals at Shinnecock Hills about 25 years ago.
• Johnny Goodman is the last amateur that won the Open
• The last Open which ended with 36 holes on a Saturday occurred in 1964. Ken Venturi was the winner of that event.
• The oldest winner of a major golf tournament is Julius Boros. He won the 1968 Open at the age of 48
3 The British Open
The British Open, formally known as the Open Championship, is the oldest major championship. Usually taking place in July, it is the only major outside the United States. James Ogilvie Fairlie organized the first Open Championship in 1860 in the United Kingdom.
The current champion of the tournament is Jordan Spieth. All winners are awarded the Golf Champion Trophy, alongside a gold medal. First and second runners are presented with silver and bronze medals, respectively.
Did you know?
• At the initial stages of this competition, the Open tournament (which is now referred to as the British Open) was held in Scotland till 1894. It was over 30 years after the inaugural Open
• Harry Vardon is the most successful British Open player. He is also the invention of the Vardon (a.k.a overlapping grip)
• The oldest winner of the British Open tournament is Tom Morris (who was referred to as “Old” Tom Morris). He was 46 when he won it in 1867
• The youngest winner of the British Open tournament is the son of Tom Morris (who was referred to as “Young” Tom Morris). He was 17 years when he won it in 1868.
• Bob Charles is the first person from New Zealand as well as the first leftie to win one the British Open.
4 The PGA Championship
The Professional Golfers Association of America Championship, simply called The PGA Championship, is one of the major golf events conducted by the Professional Golfers Association of America. The golf season’s final major, it is played in mid-August on the third weekend before Labor Day. PGA winners are given automatic qualification to play in other majors like The Masters and The U.S. Open. The first PGA Championship was held in October 1916 at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York.
Did you know?
• Mark Calcavecchia is the golfer with the highest number of birdies (32) which he achieved in 2001 at the Phoenix Open.
• The most consecutive birdies to win is 7. It was won by Kevin Streelman in 2014 Travelers Championship.
• Troy Matteson is the player with the highest number of back to back rounds (122 strokes).
• Steve Stricker is the player with the fewest strokes in first the 54 holes of the tournament. He had 188 strokes in 2010 at the John Deere Classic.
5 The Players Championship
The Players Championship, formally known as Tournament Players Championship, is an annual golf event which started in 1974. Although The Players Championship is not officially one of the majors, the quality and prestige of its host course (Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass Stadium Course) would tempt one to classify it as one of the majors. In fact, it is often regarded as the fifth major. The winner of The Player’s Championship, in addition to a significant cash prize, receives an invitation to The Masters for three years.
So far, the championships listed above have lived up to their name. The first four championships are officially the “Majors.” Generations of golfers scramble every year to compete in those events with hopes of improving their skills, gaining more experience and becoming a champion. As such, a golfer’s participation and performance in these championships are a critical indicator of his/her professional career.
Did you know?
• The TPC Sawgrass is built on a swamp and a canal was constructed to drain the swamp
• Pete Dye is the designer of the TPC Sawgrass. It was designed as a stadium course. Pete Dye is well known for designing golf courses.
• The oldest golfer to feature in The Players Championship is Sam Snead. He achieved that feat in 1982 at the age of 69 years, 9 months and 21 days old.
• In the history of The Players Championship, only six champions have won more than once. The Champions are:
Davis Love III 1992, 2003
Tiger Woods 2001, 2013
Hal Sutton 1983, 2000
Fred Couples 1984, 1996
Steve Elkington 1991, 1997