Top 10 Greatest Golfing Legends
The Legends of Golf
A comprehensive coverage of all the Great Golfing Legends; with reviews of the top winners of Professional Majors; Top 100 World Ranked Golf Courses and much more.
I am fanatical about golf and I have a passionate mission to bring you all that is great in the game of golf.
Golf is a mental game and by carefully educating your mind with what I present to you here, it will not be long before you will notice a significant improvement in your game.
World's Greatest Golfer
Tiger Woods was the ambassador of golf with his ever growing influence on the game. He is again the highest paid athlete in the world and now he is on the way to being the Greatest in the history of Golf.
His 14 PGA major championships are getting closer to Jack Nicklaus's 18 victories. Woods has already won 70 PGA Tour titles. He is the second player in the history of golf who has two Career Grand Slams.
In his debut year in professional golf in 1996, he was also named the 'Sportsman of the Year' by Sports illustrated. He has been the number one golfer in the Official World Golf Rankings for a record 264 consecutive weeks.
He became PGA Tour Player of the Year eight times and finished five seasons at the top of the PGA money list. He has the highest ever career earnings in the history of golf. He is now 37 and he has a long way left to take his name on the zenith of golf.
The Most Accomplished Player
Jack Nicklaus won 73 PGA Tour events in his career. Only one golfer won more. But in the majors, how do other golfers stack up against Nicklaus? They don't.
Nicklaus won 18 professional majors - twice as many as all but one other golfer. He finished second 19 more times, and third nine times. In all, Nicklaus posted 48 Top 3 finishes, 56 Top 5 finishes and 73 Top 10 finishes.
Perhaps Tiger Woods will someday challenge that record. But for now, Nicklaus remains - by far - the most accomplished player in the history of major championship golf. And he did it all exhibiting great class and sportsmanship.
He turned pro in 1962, earning $33.33 in his first event as a pro. But things quickly got better, and he won his first major that year, defeating Palmer in an 18-hole playoff at the U.S. Open.
By age 26, Nicklaus had completed the career grand slam. Then he won all the majors a second time. And finally, with his 1978 British Open victory, he'd won them all at least three times each. His final major came in 1986, at the age of 46, with his sixth Masters.
Nicklaus played sparingly on the Senior PGA Tour, but won 10 times, including 8 senior majors. He founded and hosts the prestigious Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour.
Best Dressed Athlete
Walter Hagen won 11 professional majors, more than any golfer not named Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods. But more than the victories, Hagen's impact is felt in his almost single-handed legitimizing of the PGA Tour, and of the standing of professional athletes around the world.
Early in Hagen's career, it was not uncommon for golf clubs to refuse entry to their clubhouses to pro golfers. Hagen fought to raise standards for pro golfers. Once at a tournament in England, he rented a Rolls-Royce, parked it in front of the clubhouse and used it as a changing room after the club refused him entry to its locker room.
Hagen's presence at a tournament guaranteed great crowds, and he commanded huge appearance fees for exhibition matches. He was among the first golfers to capitalize on product endorsements, and he is believed to be the first athlete to earn $1 million in a career.
Hagen grew up just a few miles from the famed Oak Hill Country Club. As a youth, he caddied at Rochester (N.Y.) Country Club, where later he would serve as head pro.
His first win in a major was the 1914 U.S. Open, at age 22, but his greatest success came in the early to mid-1920s. In all, he won 11 majors, including 5 PGA Championships, 4 of them consecutively. In addition, he won the Western Open 5 times, which in that time was considered a major.
Hagen brought color and glamour to golf, playing in plus-fours and two-toned shoes (he was the first athlete ever named to the list of Best Dressed Americans). His swing was inconsistent and he probably hit more bad drives and approaches than any of the all-time greats, but his recovery game was so good he usually got away with his mistakes.
Even A Car Crash Couldn't Stop Him Winning
In 292 career PGA Tour events, Ben Hogan finished in the Top 3 in 47.6-percent of them. He finished in the Top 10 in 241 of those 292 events.
Hogan turned pro in 1929, at age 17, to play pro events in Texas. He didn't join the PGA Tour until 1932. Much of his early career, Hogan battled a hook. But through a tremendous work ethic, he changed his game to a controlled fade (in his famous words, he "dug it out of the dirt"). In 1940, he began winning, and often.
He missed a couple years on Tour due to World War II, but returned full-time in 1946 and won 13 times, including his first major, the PGA. From August 1945 to February 1949, Hogan won 37 times. But in 1949, he suffered terrible injuries in a car crash, and was never again able to play a full schedule due to circulatory problems in his legs.
In fact, from 1950 on, Hogan never played more than 7 PGA Tour events in a year. Yet, he won 13 more times, including 6 majors. Until Tiger Woods did it in 2000, Hogan was the only man to win three professional majors in one season. That was in 1953, when Hogan won the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open. He was unable to play the PGA because it started too close to the finish of the British Open. From 1946 to 1953, Hogan won 9 of the 16 majors he played.
The Player's Professional Choice
South African Player was the first international star to build a long-term presence on the PGA Tour, while also playing around the world. Along the way, Player won tournaments in 27 consecutive years, and 163 tournaments total worldwide.
Player turned pro in 1953 and joined the PGA Tour in 1957. His first major championship win came at the 1959 British Open, and he was the first non-American to win the Masters when he did so in 1961. The PGA Championship followed in 1962, and when Player won the U.S. Open in 1965 he became, at the time, only the third winner of the career grand slam.
The last of Player's nine majors came at the 1978 Masters, where his final-round 64 propelled him from a 7-shot deficit to a 1-stroke victory.
Player won the South African Open 13 times; the Australian Open seven times; and the World Match Play Championship five times. He continued winning after joining the Senior Tour in 1985 and in 2007 was still playing regularly on the Champions Tour.
A Match For Nicklaus
In the period of time between Jack Nicklaus' peak and Tiger Woods' peak, Watson was head-and-shoulders above any other golfer in the world.
Watson stood up to Nicklaus on numerous occasions, one of the few golfers who consistently went toe-to-toe with Nicklaus and came out on top.
Their duel at the 1977 British Open - where Nicklaus shot 66-66 over the final two rounds, while Watson shot 66-65 to win by one - is one of the greatest head-to-head battles the sport has ever seen. Watson robbed Nicklaus of another major at the 1982 U.S. Open with his famous chip-in on the 17th hole at Pebble Beach. In fact, in four of Watson's eight major championship wins, Nicklaus was runner-up.
He would go on to win the British Open a total of five times; the Masters twice, and the U.S. Open once. He led the PGA Tour in wins six years, in money five years, in scoring three years. He was PGA Tour Player of the Year six times.
His final PGA Tour victory came in 1998. In 1999, he began playing on the Champions Tour. Watson was Player of the Year in 2003.
The US Open Eluded Him.
Snead won three US Masters titles, three US PGA Championships and one Open Championship.
He has been credited with 135 worldwide wins and won tour-sponsored events in six different decades. Snead was famous for his straw hat, keen sense of humour and elegant swing.
He won the Masters for the first time in 1949, the year club members began awarding a green jacket. He won again three years later, and earned his final Masters victory in 1954 after beating Ben Hogan by one stroke in an 18-hole play-off.
Snead claimed his only Open Championship at St Andrews in 1946, during a time when few Americans travelled across the Atlantic Ocean because of the cost.
Even a victory would not guarantee they could cover their expenses.
He also was a three-time winner of the USPGA Championship during the match-play era, and he made it to the final two other times.
But despite finishing as runner-up four times, the US Open was the one Major to elude him.
One of Golf's All-Time Greats
Arnold Palmer won 62 times on the PGA Tour during his storied career. He won four Masters, two British Opens and the U.S. Open.
Palmer led the PGA Tour in wins with 4 in 1957, then exploded in 1958 with his first major, the Masters. Palmer's swashbuckling, go-for-broke style, combined with an aggressive, unorthodox swing, plus movie-star looks and charisma, immediately made him a star.
He didn't disappoint, dominating the PGA Tour into the early 1960s. In 1960, he won 8 times including the Masters and U.S. Open. At the Open, he made up seven strokes in the final round to win. In 1962, he had another 8 wins, including the Masters and British Open.
From 1957 to 1963, Palmer led the Tour in wins five times and money four times. He won four scoring titles, the last in 1967. Palmer won seven majors, all of them from 1958 to 1964, and was the first 4-time winner of the Masters.
His last big year on the PGA Tour was 1971, when he won four times. The last of his 62 wins came in 1973, but his popularity never waned. It surged again in 1980 when Palmer joined the Senior PGA Tour, and once again helped popularize a golf tour.
In the first round of the Champions Tour event in the Houston suburbs Palmer withdrew from the event and announced he was through with competitive golf.
The Youngest Ever Ryder Cup Player
3-time winner of British Open (1987,90,92) and Masters (1989, 90, 96); 3-time European Golfer of Year (1989-90,92); PGA Player of Year in 1990.
Nick Faldo won five times on the European Tour in 1983. He led the tour in money and scoring. He'd won 12 times total in Europe. But he decided that wasn't enough. He wanted to win majors, so he set to work building a better swing, one that wouldn't crack under pressure. And after going three years without a single win, Faldo emerged as one of Europe's all-time best golfers.
Faldo won the English Amateur Championship in 1974 and the British Youth Championships in 1975. He turned pro in 1976, and in 1977 claimed his first European Tour victory. Also in 1977, he played the first of his record 11 Ryder Cups, becoming the youngest ever (age 20) to compete in the event. Faldo still holds the European record for points earned.
He went on to win the Open Championship twice more, and added three Masters. The last came in 1996, when Faldo came from 6 shots behind Greg Norman at the start of the final round to win by 5.
In all, Faldo won 30 times on the European Tour, 6 times on the U.S. PGA Tour, and 6 majors
Survived A Lightning Strike
Trevino found his way onto the PGA Tour in 1967, and quickly established himself as one of the best. He won the U.S. Open in 1968, and from then until around 1974 was a dominant force. He won all but one of his six majors during that span, and four scoring titles. His 1971 U.S. Open victory is his best-known, as he defeated Jack Nicklaus in an 18-hole playoff for the win.
Trevino was nearly killed when he was struck by lightning during a tournament in 1975. The injuries he suffered lingered, but he recovered to win another Vardon Trophy in 1980. The 1984 PGA Championship was his final major and final PGA Tour victory.
Trevino was just as good on the Senior Tour, winning 29 times.
Trevino is considered one of the best ballstrikers, and one of the most creative ballstrikers, the game has ever seen. He aligned left of his target and faded the ball, and was amazingly consistent at putting the ball right where he wanted it.
Lee Trevino was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1981.
The Spanish Armada
He turned pro in 1974, just 16 years old, and won the Spanish Professionals Championship that year. In 1976, he won five times on the European Tour and claimed the money title. He made up 4 shots on Arnold Palmer at the Lancome Trophy to get the victory; at the British Open, the 19-year-old chased Johnny Miller to the finish before settling for second.
During one stretch of 1978, Ballesteros won six consecutive weeks on three different continents. In 1979, the first of his five majors came at the British Open. He won his next major played, the Masters, but was disqualified from the 1980 U.S. Open when he was late for his tee time.
Ballesteros dominated the European Tour for much of the 1980s, and led Europe to its first big wins in the Ryder Cup. In eight Ryder Cup appearances, Ballesteros compiled a 20-12-5 record. In foursomes and fourballs, Ballesteros was often paired with fellow Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal. The "Spanish Armada," as the team was called, became the most successful pairing in Ryder Cup history, going 11-2-2. The team's 12 points earned is double the points of the next most successful Ryder Cup pairing.
Beginning in the mid 1990s, Ballesteros' driving became more erratic. His final win on the European Tour was in 1995. Seve played more and more sparingly after that, nearly ceasing competitive golf after around 2003, until making his Champions Tour debut in 2007.
The Worlds Top 100 Golf Courses
Source: Golf Magazine
2007 World Rank, 2005, Course Location, Architect, Year of Origin
1 1 Pine Valley Pine Valley, N.J. George Crump/H.S. Colt, 1918
2 2 Cypress Point Pebble Beach, Calif. Alister MacKenzie, 1928
3 3 St. Andrews (Old Course) St. Andrews, Scotland Nature, 15th Century
4 4 Augusta National Augusta, Ga. Alister MacKenzie/Bobby Jones, 1933
5 6 Pebble Beach Pebble Beach, Calif. Jack Neville/Douglas Grant, 1919
6 5 Shinnecock Hills Southampton, N.Y. William Flynn, 1931
7 9 Royal County Down Newcastle, Northern Ireland Old Tom Morris, 1889
8 7 Muirfield Gullane, Scotland Old Tom Morris, 1891/H.S. Colt, 1925
9 14 Oakmont Oakmont, Pa Henry Fownes, 1903
10 11 Merion (East) Ardmore, Pa. Hugh Wilson, 1912
11 8 Sand Hills Mullen, Neb. Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw, 1994
12 12 Royal Portrush (Dunluce) Portrush, Northern Ireland H.S. Colt, 1929
13 13 Pacific Dunes Bandon, Ore. Tom Doak, 2001
14 16 Ballybunion (Old) Ballybunion, Ireland P. Murphy, 1893/Tom Simpson, 1936
15 10 Royal Melbourne (West) Melbourne, Australia Alister MacKenzie, 1926
16 19 National Golf Links Of America Southampton, N.Y. C.B. Macdonald, 1911
17 18 Pinehurst (No. 2) Pinehurst, N.C. Donald Ross, 1903-35
18 15 Royal Dornoch Dornoch, Scotland Old Tom Morris, 1886
19 17 Turnberry (Ailsa) Turnberry, Scotland Willie Fernie, 1909/P. Mackenzie Ross, 1951
20 22 Seminole Juno Beach, Fla. Donald Ross, 1929
21 26 Winged Foot (West) Mamaroneck, N.Y. A.W. Tillinghast, 1923
22 23 Crystal Downs Frankfort, Mich. Alister MacKenzie/Perry Maxwell, 1932
23 24 San Francisco San Francisco, Calif. A.W. Tillinghast, 1918
24 21 Carnoustie (Championship) Carnoustie, Scotland Allan Robertson, 1842/Old Tom Morris, 1872,1892/James Braid, 1926
25 25 Prairie Dunes Hutchinson, Kan. Perry Maxwell, 1937/Press Maxwell, 1957
26 20 Kingston Heath Melbourne, Australia Des Soutar, 1925/Alister MacKenzie, 1928
27 33 Chicago Wheaton, Ill. C.B. Macdonald, 1895/Seth Raynor, 1923
28 29 Oakland Hills (South) Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Donald Ross, 1917/Robert Trent Jones, 1950
29 37 Riviera Pacific Palisades, Calif. George Thomas/Billy Bell Sr., 1926
30 31 Royal Birkdale Southport, England George Lowe Jr., 1889/Fred Hawtree, 1932
31 28 Fishers Island Fishers Island, N.Y. Seth Raynor, 1926
32 30 Bethpage (Black) Farmingdale, N.Y. A.W. Tillinghast, 1935
33 74 Friar's Head Baiting Hollow, N.Y. Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw, 2003
34 36 The Country Club (Clyde/Squirrel) Brookline, Mass. Willie Campbell, 1895/Rees Jones, 1985
35 49 Barnbougle Dunes Bridport, Tasmania, Australia Tom Doak, 2004
36 34 New South Wales La Perouse, Australia Alister MacKenzie, 1928/Eric Apperly, 1947
37 35 Hirono Kobe, Japan C.H. Alison, 1932
38 46 Sunningdale (Old) Sunningdale, England Willie Park Jr., 1901/H.S. Colt, 1922
39 32 Royal St. George's Sandwich, England Laidlaw Purves, 1887
40 48 Whistling Straits (Straits) Haven, Wis. Pete Dye, 1998
41 27 Cape Kidnappers Hawke's Bay, New Zealand Tom Doak, 2004
42 38 Muirfield Village Dublin, Ohio Jack Nicklaus/Desmond Muirhead, 1974
43 41 Casa de Campo (Teeth of the Dog) La Romana, Dominican Republic Pete Dye, 1971
44 40 Royal Troon (Old) Troon, Scotland Willie Fernie, 1887/James Braid, 1923
45 44 Olympic (Lake) San Francisco, Calif. Sam Whiting, 1928
46 57 Morfontaine Senlis, France Tom Simpson, 1927
47 51 Los Angeles (North) Los Angeles, Calif. George Thomas, 1921
48 56 Kiawah Island (Ocean) Kiawah Island, S.C. Pete Dye, 1991
49 43 Portmarnock (Old) Portmarnock, Ireland George Ross, W.C. Pickeman, Mungo Park, 1894
50 42 Baltrusol (Lower) Springfield, N.J. A.W. Tillinghast, 1922
51 45 Southern Hills Tulsa, Okla. Perry Maxwell, 1936
52 39 Oak Hill (East) Rochester, N.Y. Donald Ross, 1925
53 47 Woodhall Spa Woodhall Spa, England Harry Vardon, 1905/H.S. Colt, 1912/S.V. Hotchkin, 1926
54 67 Lahinch Lahinch, Ireland Old Tom Morris, 1893/Alister MacKenzie, 1927
55 64 Garden City Golf Club Garden City, N.Y. Devereux Emmet, 1899
56 50 Tpc at Sawgrass (Stadium) Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Pete Dye, 1981
57 69 Bandon Dunes Bandon, Ore. David McLay Kidd, 1999
58 55 Medinah (No. 3) Medinah, Ill. Tom Bendelow, 1928
59 53 The Golf Club New Albany, Ohio Pete Dye, 1967
60 95 Nine Bridges Jeju Island, South Korea Ron Fream, 2001
61 65 Kingsbarns St. Andrews, Scotland Kyle Phillips, 1999
62 52 Royal Lytham & St. Annes St. Annes on Sea, England George Lowe Jr., 1897
63 58 Kauri Cliffs Kerikeri, New Zealand David Harman, 2000
64 60 Quaker Ridge Scarsdale, N.Y. A.W. Tillinghast, 1926
65 61 Winged Foot (East) Mamaroneck, N.Y. A.W. Tillinghast, 1923
66 66 Loch Lomond Luss, Scotland Tom Weiskopf/Jay Morrish, 1994
67 63 Maidstone East Hampton, N.Y. TKTK
68 78 Cruden Bay Cruden Bay, Scotland Herbert Fowler/Tom Simpson, 1926
69 68 Ganton Ganton, England Tom Dunn, 1891
70 59 Harbour Town Hilton Head Island, S.C. Pete Dye/Jack Nicklaus, 1969
71 62 Inverness Toledo, Ohio Donald Ross, 1919
72 NR Royal Melbourne (East) Melbourne, Australia Alex Russell, 1932
73 75 Shoreacres Lake Bluff, Ill. Seth Raynor, 1921
74 89 Camargo Indian Hill, Ohio Seth Raynor, 1921
75 54 Royal Adelaide Adelaide, Australia Alister MacKenzie, 1926
76 NR Nanea Kailua-Kona, Hawaii David McLay Kidd, 2003
77 NR Old Sandwich Plymouth, Mass. Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw, 2004
78 91 European Club Brittas Bay, Ireland Pat Ruddy, 1992
79 71 Highland Links Ingonish, Nova Scotia, Canada Stanley Thompson, 1935
80 72 Royal Liverpool Hoylake, England George Morris, 1869
81 92 Walton Heath (Old) Tadworth, England Herbert Fowler, 1904
82 NR Ballyneal Holyoke, Colo. Tom Doak, 2006
83 76 Scioto Columbus, Ohio Donald Ross, 1916
84 94 Tokyo Sayama-City, Japan Komei Ohtani, 1940
85 88 Spyglass Hill Pebble Beach, Calif. Robert Trent Jones, 1966
86 77 Somerset Hills Bernardsville, N.J. A.W. Tillinghast, 1918
87 80 Kawana (Fuji) Kawana, Japan C.H. Alison/Kinya Fujita, 1936
88 73 Cabo Del Sol (Ocean) Los Cabos, Mexico Jack Nicklaus, 1994
89 70 Valderrama Sotogrande, Spain Robert Trent Jones, 1975
90 83 Shadow Creek North Las Vegas, Nev. Tom Fazio/Steve Wynn, 1990
91 79 Congressional (Blue) Bethesda, Md. Devereux Emmet, 1924/Robert Trent Jones 1962
92 82 St. George's Islington, Ontario, Canada Stanley Thompson, 1929
93 93 East Lake Atlanta, Ga. Tom Bendelow, 1910/Donald Ross, 1924/Rees Jones, 1995
94 100 Naruo Osaka, Japan H.C. Crane, 1904/C.H. Alison, 1930
95 NR Swinley Forest Ascot, England H.S. Colt,1910
96 81 Durban Country Club Durban, South Africa Laurie Waters/George Waterman, 1922
97 NR Macrihanish Machrihanish, Scotland Charles Hunter, 1876/Old Tom Morris, 1879
98 NR North Berwick (West) North Berwick, Scotland David Strath, 1878
99 85 Wentworth (West) Virginia Water, England H.S. Colt/J.S.F. Morrison, 1924
100 84 Hamilton (West/South) Ancaster, Ontario, Canada H.S. Colt, 1914
The Major Golf Championships
Four Very Special Events
The Major Championships, often referred to simply as "the majors", are the four most prestigious annual tournaments in professional golf. The "majors" originally consisted of the Open Championship, the British Amateur or The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Open and the US Amateur.
With the introduction of the Masters Tournament in 1934, and the rise of professional golf in the late 1940s and 1950s, the term "major championships" eventually came to describe the Masters, the U.S. Open, the (British) Open Championship, and the PGA Championship.
It is difficult to determine when the definition changed to include the current four tournaments, although many trace it to Arnold Palmer's 1960 season, when after winning the Masters and the U.S. Open to start the season he remarked that if he could win the Open Championship and PGA Championship to finish the season, he would complete "a grand slam of his own" to rival Bobby Jones's 1930 feat.
The oldest of the majors is the Open Championship, which is often referred to as the "British Open" outside the United Kingdom. Because of a lack of participation by American players due to the overseas travel times, the Open Championship was not considered a major in the U.S. until the early 1960s, when Arnold Palmer began competing in Great Britain.
Until that time, many U.S. players considered the Western Open as one of golf's majors. It was Palmer and Pittsburgh golf writer Bob Drum who decided which four events would comprise the modern four majors and rekindled the Grand Slam of Golf concept.
The other three majors all take place in the United States. The Masters (often known as the "U.S. Masters" outside North America) is played at the same course, Augusta National Golf Club, every year, while the other three rotate courses (the Open Championship, however, is always played on a links course).
Each of the majors has a distinct history, and they are run by four different golfing organizations, but their special status is recognized worldwide. Major championship winners receive the maximum possible allocation of 50 points from the Official World Golf Rankings, which are endorsed by all of the main tours, and major championship prize money is official on the three richest regular (ie under-50) golf tours, the PGA Tour, European Tour and Japan Golf Tour.
In order of their playing date the majors are:
1. April - The Masters (weekend ending 2nd Sunday in April) - hosted as an invitational by and played at Augusta National Golf Club
2. June - U.S. Open (weekend ending with the 3rd Sunday in June) - hosted by the USGA and played at various locations in the USA
3. July - The Open Championship (weekend containing the 3rd Friday in July) - hosted by the R&A and always played on a links course at various locations in the UK
4. August - PGA Championship (4th weekend after the Open Championship) - hosted by the Professional Golfers' Association of America and played at various locations in the USA.
Alongside the biennial Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup team competitions, the majors are golf's marquee events. Elite players from all over the world participate in them, and the reputations of the greatest players in golf history are largely based on the number of major championship victories they accumulate.
The top prizes are not actually the largest in golf, being surpassed by the Players Championship, the three individual World Golf Championships events, and one or two invitational events, but winning a major boosts a player's career far more than winning any other tournament. If he is already a leading player, he will probably receive large bonuses from his sponsors and may be able to negotiate better contracts. If he is an unknown he will immediately be signed up.
Perhaps more importantly, he will receive an exemption from the need to annually re-qualify for a tour card on his home tour, thus giving a tournament golfer some security in an unstable profession. Currently the PGA Tour gives a five-year exemption to all major winners.
In recent years the Players Championship, which was held two weeks before the Masters, has been begun to be boosted as "the fifth major" by elements of the American media. This has not been publicly encouraged by golf authorities, but the tournament does attract a similar strength of field.
With "The Players" move to mid-May in 2007, some people (mainly in North America) believe that the Players should be considered a de facto major championship, even if it's not considered part of "the grand slam".
Outside the United States, the idea of increasing the proportion of majors held in the U.S. from three out of four to four out of five is much less popular. In addition, three World Golf Championship events were established in 1999, bringing to eight the total number of events in which virtually all of the world's top few dozen players compete against each other every year.