Golf is of course a big money sport, that puts short attention span types like me – I’m as likely to be found browsing mobile casinos on the course, as I am strategising – to shame. In golf, the four major championships are, in the order they appear in the calendar, the Masters, US Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship. Jack Nicklaus won all four at least three times apiece between 1962 and 1986, for a total of 18 wins, while Tiger Woods did likewise between 1997 and 2019, for a total of 15 wins. Of course, Woods is still active on the PGA Tour but, at the age of 44, with his recent career blighted by back and knee injuries, it remains to be seen if he will ever overhaul Nicklaus’ record.
In any event, unlike Nicklaus and Woods, the golfer who comes next in the all-time list of major championship winners never completed a so-called ‘Career Grand Slam’ by winning all four majors at least once during his career. The golfer in question is, of course, Walter ‘The Haig’ Hagen, whose career stretched into the Forties – that is, after the inauguration of the Masters, as the ‘Augusta National Invitational’, in 1934 – but was in his heyday in the Twenties. A contemporary of Bobby Jones and Gene Sarazen, Hagen opened his major championship account, as a 22-year-old, in the 1914 US Open. He won the same tournament again in 1919 and subsequently won the PGA Championship five times, in 1921, 1924, 1925, 1926 and 1927, and the Open Championship four times, in 1922, 1924, 1928 and 1929. His career total of 11 major championship wins is two ahead of Ben Hogan and Gary Player, with nine wins apiece. These guys are in a different league. I had best get back to my online baccarat casinos I think, or better still, the drawing board!