Golfers Who Won The Masters and British Open in Same Year

Today, The Masters Tournament is the first major championship on the men's golf calender each year, and the British Open is, at least in recent years, the last. These two majors bracket the major championship season. And winning both in the same calendar year is something that only a handful of golfers have done.

The Open Championship dates to 1860, but only since 1934, when The Masters debuted, has it been possible to win both in one year. It took until 1953 before someone actually did it, though. And, so far, only eight golfers have pulled off the Masters/Open double.

Ben Hogan, 1953

Hogan being the first golfer to pull off the Masters/Open Championship double is special, because the year he did it, 1953, is also the only year he ever played the British Open. Hogan had one chance to win The Open, and he did it. (He also won the U.S. Open this year, making him the first male golfer to win three pro majors in the same calendar year.)

Hogan first won the 1953 Masters with a score of 274, which was a new tournament record by five strokes. Five was also his margin of victory over runner-up Ed Oliver. Then, in the Open at Carnoustie, Hogan shot 68 in the final round — the lowest score of the tournament — to win by four over the quartet of Antonio Cerda, Dai Rees, Frank Stranahan and Peter Thomson. (In-between, he won the U.S. Open by six over Sam Snead.)

Hogan had no chance to go for the single-season Grand Slam. The PGA Championship was played the week before the Open, and conflicted with the Open's qualifying rounds. Hogan could only play one, and he chose the Open. (He usually skipped the PGA Championship post-auto accident anyway, wary, due to leg injuries, of playing multiple, 36-hole days in then-match play PGA.)

Arnold Palmer, 1962

At the 1962 Masters, Palmer won an 18-hole playoff against Gary Player and Dow Finsterwald. Palmer scored 68, Player 71 and Finsterwald 77. It was his third victory in The Masters and Palmer's fifth overall victory in a major.

Major championship title No. 6 came a few months later in the 1962 Open Championship. No playoff was needed this time: Palmer took a five-stroke lead into the final round and wound up winning by six over runner-up Kel Nagle.

Jack Nicklaus, 1966

Nicklaus' win in the 1966 Masters was his second in a row in that major, and his third in four years. He needed a playoff to get it done. In the 18-hole playoff, Nicklaus scored 70 to Tommy Jacobs' 72 and Gay Brewer's 78.

Nicklaus won the 1966 British Open at Muirfield, which inspired him to name his own golf club Muirfield Village when it opened in Ohio in the early 1970s. Nicklaus won by a stroke over runners-up Doug Sanders and Dave Thomas. It was his first win in The Open and completed the career Grand Slam for Nicklaus. It was the sixth of his 18 career wins in majors, and the 19th of his 73 career PGA Tour victories.

Gary Player, 1974

All three members of "the Big 3," Palmer, Player and Nicklaus, achieved the single-season Masters/Open double. Player joined his two friends in 1974, when he won The Masters for the second time and the Open Championship for the third time.

At the 1974 Masters, Player came from one behind at the start of the final round to a one-stroke win over Dave Stockton and Tom Weiskopf. At the 1974 Open, Player led by three at the start of the final round and won by four over runner-up Peter Oosterhuis.

Tom Watson, 1977

Watson's Masters/Open double happened in 1977, and in both tournaments it was Nicklaus who Watson got the better of. At the 1977 Masters, they were tied with four holes to go. But Watson birdied the 17th hole and Nicklaus bogeyed No. 18, giving Watson a two-stroke victory.

The 1977 British Open is one of the most-famous major championship showdows in golf history. Known as "The Duel in the Sun" for the weather at Turnberry that week, Watson and Nicklaus played the final two rounds together. Nicklaus scored 65-66, but Watson scored 65-65 to win by one.

Nick Faldo, 1990

Faldo won six majors in his career, three Masters and three Opens. In 1990, he won his second of each. At the 1990 Masters, Faldo beat Raymond Floyd in a sudden-death playoff. In the 1990 Open, Faldo won by five strokes over runners-up Payne Stewart and Mark McNulty.

Mark O'Meara, 1998

O'Meara won two major championships, both of them in 1998, and those two wins get him on this list. O'Meara's Masters win was by one stroke over Fred Couples and David Duval. He began the final round trailing by two, but closed with a 67 and a final-hole birdie to win. He was two behind to start the final round of British Open, too, but he caught third-round leader Brian Watts and then beat Watts in a four-hole, aggregate-score playoff.

Tiger Woods, 2005

The most-recent golfer to pull off winning both The Masters and Open Championship in the same year is Tiger Woods, who did it in 2005. Woods has five career wins in The Masters and three in the Open. His victories in those tournaments in 2005 were his fourth Masters win and second British Open victory.

At the 2005 Masters, Woods took a three-stroke lead into the final round. But it turned into a battle with Chris DiMarco. That battle included Woods' famous chip-in on the 16th hole, but he bogeyed the last two holes to fall into a tie. But Woods won the sudden-death playoff with a birdie on the first extra hole.

Woods had an easier time of it at the 2005 Open Championship. Starting the final round in the lead by two, Woods wound up winning by five over runner-up Colin Montgomerie.

These were the ninth and 10th wins, respectively, in major championships for Woods. And they were his 43rd and 44th career wins on the PGA Tour.

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