Which Golfer Will Next Complete The Career Grand Slam
The concept of major championships and the acceptance of a 'grand slam' in golf has been an evolving process. When Bobby Jones completed his legendary quadruple in 1930, it was the open and amateur titles in the United States and Britain, an achievement that came before his creation of the Masters Tournament and when the PGA Championship of America was just another big title alongside the likes of the Western Open and North and South Open.
However, since the 1960s, the 'majors' as we now see them were established and just five golfers have won all four; Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen.
When Woods won the Masters for a second time in 2001, he had incredibly won all four consecutively, a unique accomplishment that may never be matched.
He secured the 'career grand slam' at St Andrews in 2000, and in the two decades since, golf fans have wondered just who could be that next generational figure to define an era.
We have taken a look at some contenders who have won at least two different majors, which discounts the likes of Masters champion Scottie Scheffler who could yet usurp the bunch and separate himself!
But realistically, the next career grand slam golfer - if there is to be one - will come from these six players.
Most tantalisingly, it's the Masters that eludes the Northern Irishman, a venue that he must return to each spring. Ironically, Augusta National could have been the stage for McIlory's first major triumph, having led by four after 54 holes in 2011. We all know how that ended up.
2015 was McIlroy's first attempt at completing the career slam down Magnolia Lane, where he finished fourth. Since then, he has been a perennial finisher inside the top ten, but in 2022, his thrilling charge on Sunday saw him finish second behind Scottie Scheffler, raising hopes that next time - perhaps - it could finally happen.
It didn't take long for the Texan to win three of the four majors, winning the Masters and US Open in 2015 and the Open in 2017, but the PGA Championship is the one that remains unreachable. Yet. The American's return to form in recent times has given renewed hope to the idea that he could the next player to complete the career slam.
And Spieth could be the smart money bet.
The 51-year-old made history when he won the 2021 PGA Championship, etching his own place in the game as the oldest winner of a major, but the aftermath of that and his withdrawal from the sport has been even more astonishing. However, simply as a golfer, Mickelson is remarkable, a six-time major winner, but famously the US Open is the title that has proven unobtainable despite six heartbreaking runner-up finishes.
Ultimately, it now seems unlikely that the left-hander will ever complete the set.
Twice a winner of both the US Open and PGA Championship, Koepka has shown himself to be a major specialist, possessing an ability to raise his game in the biggest events. He hasn't won the Masters or Open Championship, but has performed strongly in both consistently, suggesting that at 32 - providing he can shake off any recurring injury problems - the American will give himself opportunities to secure his place as an all-time great.
Given his immense talent and several notable chances, it took Johnson a while to claim that first major title at Oakmont in 2016, which he doubled by winning the November Masters in 2020. The former world number one has twice been a runner-up at the PGA Championship and once at the Open Championship, so he may yet give himself another opening in those events as he slowly creeps towards 40.
The youngest man on this list, Morikawa won a thrilling PGA at Harding Park in 2020, but it was his Open victory at Royal St George's in 2021 - despite limited experience of links golf - that really established him as a potentially generational player. The 25-year-old was fifth at the Masters in 2022 and fourth at the US Open in 2021 - and we can expect him to have many an opportunity to claim both of those titles in the future.
Be part of the action with a selection of unique golf tournament experiences, from playing in a pro-am with the stars to watching the action at golf’s most illustrious events. Whether it’s the Masters or The Open, The Ryder Cup or WM Phoenix Open, build your own bespoke package with the experts at Golfbreaks.com.
What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)