How Many Golfers Won All 3 American Majors (U.S. Open, Masters, PGA)?

You've heard of the "career grand slam," a phrase that means winning all four of the professional majors in men's golf over the course of one's career. But what about the "American slam"? OK, we just made up that term. But it refers to winning all three of the United States-based men's majors during one's career. And you might be surprised at how few golfers have achieved that.

The three majors that always take place in the USA are The Masters, U.S. Open and PGA Championship. Along with the British Open, they make up the "grand slam" in men's golf. In the history of these majors, only five golfers have won all four of them: Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

We already know those five won the so-called "American slam." How many others also won at least one each of The Masters, U.S. Open and PGA Championship? Only two more. So, so far, only seven golfers have won the three American majors over the course of a career.

Before we tell you who those additional two golfers are, let's look at who did it first.

First Golfer to Win All 3 American Majors

The U.S. Open began in 1895 and the PGA Championship in 1916. In 1934, The Masters Tournament joined the American golf scene.

The first golfer to win the two oldest American majors, the U.S. Open and PGA Championship, was Walter Hagen, who got it done by 1921. But Hagen's career was aleady in decline before The Masters ever came along.

The first golfer to win all three of the American majors was Hagen's good friend and great rival, Gene Sarazen. He won the 1922 U.S. Open and 1922 PGA Championship, ticking those boxes. Sarazen didn't play in the inaugural 1934 Masters. But he did play in the 1935 Masters — and won it. Not only did that make him the first golfer to achieve the American slam, but also the first to achieve the career Grand Slam (because he had also won the British Open by that point).

The List: Winners of The Masters, U.S. Open and PGA Championship

The other two golfers, in addition to the five career Grand Slam winners mentioned above, who won each of the three U.S.-based majors were Byron Nelson and Raymond Floyd. Here is the full list, with their wins in each of the American majors:
  • Gene Sarazen: Won the U.S. Open in 1922 and 1932; won The Masters in 1935; won the PGA Championship in 1922, 1923 and 1933.
  • Byron Nelson: Won the U.S. Open in 1939; won The Masters in 1937 and 1942; won the PGA Championship in 1940 and 1945.
  • Ben Hogan: Won the U.S. Open in 1948, 1950, 1951 and 1953; won The Masters in 1951 and 1953; won the PGA Championship in 1946 and 1948.
  • Jack Nicklaus: Won the U.S. Open in 1962, 1967, 1972 and 1980; won The Masters in 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975 and 1986; won the PGA Championship in 1963, 1971, 1973, 1975 and 1980.
  • Gary Player: Won the U.S. Open in 1965; won The Masters in 1961, 1974 and 1978; won the PGA Championship in 1962 and 1972.
  • Raymond Floyd: Won the U.S. Open in 1986; won The Masters in 1976; won the PGA Championship in 1969 and 1982.
  • Tiger Woods: Won the U.S. Open in 2000, 2002 and 2008; won The Masters in 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2019; won the PGA Championship in 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007.
We'd guess the absences of Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson are probably most surprising to most readers. But Snead never won the U.S. Open — he was runner-up three times. And neither Palmer nor Watson won a PGA Championship. Palmer was runner-up three times; Watson was runner-up once.

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