Has Any Golfer Won the U.S. Junior, Amateur, Open and Senior Open?

There are four, individual USGA championships for men that stand out from the rest, four tournaments that span a golfer's competition lifetime: the U.S. Junior Amateur, the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Open and the U.S. Senior Open. Have any golfers won all four of these championships?

No. It has never happened. But several golfers have won three of the four, and there is one golfer active right now who has a chance to become the first to win this particular "impregnable quadrilateral," or what we might call the USGA Men's Grand Slam.

First, let's point out that these four tournaments had differing start dates. The U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open both began in 1895; the U.S. Junior Am in 1948; the U.S. Senior open not until 1980. So there are plenty of golfers from the past who never had the opportunity, because one or more of these tournaments hadn't started yet.

Now, let's take a look at all the golfers — there aren't many of them — who won three of the four biggest USGA championships for men.

Winners of the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open and U.S. Senior Open

  • Arnold Palmer (1954 Amateur; 1960 Open; 1981 Senior Open)
  • Jack Nicklaus (1959, 1961 Amateur; 1962, 1967, 1972, 1980 Open; 1991, 1993 Senior Open)
Palmer never had a chance to win the U.S. Junior Amateur — he turned 19 years old the year the tournament was first played in 1948. Nicklaus did play the U.S. Junior, his best finish reaching the semifinals. In 1953, when Nicklaus was 13, he went out in the fifth round to Bob Ruffin. In 1954, Nicklaus lost to Hugh Royer in the second round. In 1955, he lost to William Dunn in the quarterfinals. In 1956, Nicklaus lost in the semifinals to Jack Rule. In 1957, Larry Beck knocked Nicklaus out in the third round.

Winners of the U.S. Junior, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open

  • Tiger Woods (1991, 1992, 1993 Junior; 1994, 1995, 1996 Amateur; 2000, 2002, 2008 Open)
Because, so far, Woods is the only golfer who has won the first three legs of the "USGA Men's Slam," he is also, so far, the only golfer who has a chance to complete the quartet of championships. If Woods goes on to win the U.S. Senior Open after turning 50 years old, he'll be the first golfer ever to win all four of the U.S. Junior, U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open and U.S. Senior Open.

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