Men's major championships
- Main article: Majors
The major championships are the four most prestigious men's tournaments of the year. In playing order they are:
- The Masters
- U.S. Open
- The Open Championship (referred to in North America as the British Open)
- PGA Championship
The fields for these events include the top several dozen golfers from all over the world. The Masters has been played at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia since its inception in 1934. The U.S. Open and PGA Championship are played at various courses around the United States, while The Open Championship is played in the UK.
At the top level of the professional game the number of major championships a player accumulates in his career has a very large impact on his stature in the sport. Jack Nicklaus is widely regarded as the greatest golfer of all time, largely because he has won a record 18 professional majors, or 20 majors in total if his two U.S. Amateurs are included. Tiger Woods, who is possibly the only contender to Nicklaus' record, has won ten majors, all before the age of thirty. Woods also came closest to winning all four majors in one season (known as a Grand Slam) when he won them consecutively across two seasons: the 2000 U.S. Open, Open Championship, and PGA Championship; and the 2001 Masters. This feat is now known as a Tiger Slam.
Prior to the advent of the PGA Championship and The Masters, the four Majors were the U.S. Open, the U.S. Amateur, the Open Championship, and the British Amateur. These are the four that Bobby Jones won in 1930 to become the only player ever to have earned a Grand Slam.
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