Grand Slam Golf: What Is It & Who Has Won?

Rory McIlroy has won four majors, but the Masters is the one that has gotten away. McIlroy entered the final round of the 2018 Masters in contention with Patrick Reed, as he attempted to win his first green jacket. A Masters win would complete golf’s grand slam. What does golf’s grand slam entail? It is a golfer who has won the following four major tournaments: Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship.

McIlroy has won all three, some of them multiple times, but has been unable to win the Masters. McIlroy has four major wins heading into the 2018 Masters. Prior to the 2018 tournament, McIlroy had four straight top 10 finishes at Augusta, but just had not been able to find his name atop the leaderboard after four rounds. McIlroy insisted to ESPN he does not feel entitled to a Masters win just because he has not won at Augusta.

“I never come in here thinking I’ve served my time and this is my turn — because it’s never your turn,” Rory told ESPN. “You have to get out and get it. It’s not going to fall into your lap. You have to go out and win the Masters, and you have to go and earn it. And I’m here this week to earn it all.”

McIlroy won his first major in 2011 at the U.S. Open, and followed it up in 2012 with the PGA Championship. McIlroy won back-to-back titles in 2014 with The Open Championship and another PGA Championship. It would mark the last year McIlroy won a major tournament.

How many golfers have won a Grand Slam? McIlroy would join an exclusive group of five golfers who are Grand Slam winners: Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. McIlroy would be the first golfer to win a Grand Slam since did it in 2000 with his U.S. Open and British Open wins. McIlroy admitted the history of the game is significant, and he would love to complete the Grand Slam.

“I’m an avid fan of the history of the game, and I know a win here and what that would mean and where that would put me in history alongside some of the greatest that have ever played this game, and that would mean an awful lot to me,” McIlroy told ESPN.

Here’s a look at the past Grand Slam winners along with the years they won each tournament courtesy of Golf.com.


Grand Slam Winners of Golf

GOLFER MASTERS US OPEN PGA BRITISH OPEN
Gene Sarazen (Age 32) 1935 1922 1922 1932
Ben Hogan (Age 40) 1951 1948 1946 1953
Gary Player (Age 29) 1961 1965 1962 1959
Jack Nicklaus (Age 26) 1963 1962 1963 1966
Tiger Woods (Age 24) 1997 2000 1999 2000

Source: Heavy Sports