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View Poll Results: Which is the most important major?
The Masters 46 38.02%
US Open 35 28.93%
The Open 31 25.62%
USPGA 1 0.83%
All equal, a major's a major 5 4.13%
bastard 8 6.61%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 121. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-24-2008, 04:50 AM   #1
fatshaft
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Which is the Most Important Major?

Before you vote - not which is the best to watch - but which is the biggest major on terms of prestige if you like?

It's come up a few times, it seems the general consensus is that the Masters is the biggee as far as viewing goes, some argue it's also the biggest major full stop. I would agree with the first, but not the second.

What's your opinion and why?
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Old 04-24-2008, 05:47 AM   #2
Biko
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

The Masters certainly has the greatest aura about it, the tradition of the green jacket and the fact that it's played at the same venue year-on-year makes it the no.1 IMO. The officials at Augusta certainly seem to work extra hard on maintaining an air of secrecy or mystery about the event. ie, limited field each year, not openly stating the prize money, not letting ppl play the course at other times of the year etc. For this reason I think it's the most important and probably the one the pro's want to win the most.

The Open follows a close second, particularly when it's played at St. Andrews. I've been a spectator at six of the last seven Open's and the sense of history and tradition when I first visited the Old Course in 2005 was something very special. Factor in the claret jug and the tradition of most of the Open courses being promoted as a 'real test of links golf' etc.

US Open would be third in my list, with the USPGA in fourth.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:21 PM   #3
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

Based off of your criteria, I voted all the same because a major is a major, and long after a player's career is over they're going to say how many he won, not which ones they were and assign value accordingly. Jack's 18 wouldn't be less impressive or asterisked if the bulk of them were at the PGA. Not to mention it usually has the most competitive field of all of them, it just doesn't have the history of the others and has to go last.

Without yet seeing who voted for what, non-Americans are gonna vote British, and most Americans will be split between the US Open and the Masters. A better question would be "which of these do YOU prefer?" And then not even put the PGA on there because nobody would vote for it. Poor PGA...
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:24 PM   #4
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

I think the Masters has more mystique about it, but the US Open is clearly the hardest to win.
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:48 PM   #5
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33 View Post
I think the Masters has more mystique about it, but the US Open is clearly the hardest to win.
I would agree with tuq the PGA is arguably the toughest to win, why do you think the US?
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:57 PM   #6
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

Depends on what you mean by 'toughest'...US generally has the deepest field on the hardest course.
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Old 04-24-2008, 07:41 PM   #7
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

I think it's a tie between the The Masters, The Open, and The U.S. Open.

The PGA just doesn't have the same aura.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:19 PM   #8
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

US Open

toughest field, toughest courses
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Old 04-25-2008, 02:01 AM   #9
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

The Open. Worth the most money.
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:11 AM   #10
fatshaft
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33 View Post
Depends on what you mean by 'toughest'...US generally has the deepest field on the hardest course.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface View Post
US Open

toughest field, toughest courses
Does it? I always thought that went to the PGA as for starters there are no amatuers?

As for courses, are the US Open courses really tougher, or just tricked up? Carnoustie was the toughest when it was accidentally tricked up when Lawrie won.

I'm not sure that toughest = most prestigious though?

If we get enough votes I would expect to see a split in favour of the Open from non-US and Masters/US Open form US based, just as tuq said earlier, it's just the way it is I suppose.
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Old 04-25-2008, 05:25 AM   #11
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

I'm american and voted for British Open. I don't even think it's close either.

It's an "open" field.
It's the oldest.

Well, can't think of much reason else, I just like it way more than the others so
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Old 04-25-2008, 06:06 AM   #12
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

i don't see how anyone could vote for the us open over the "real" open. but i could see how an argument could be made for the masters.
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:41 PM   #13
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

Quote:
Originally Posted by westhoff View Post
I'm american and voted for British Open. I don't even think it's close either.

It's an "open" field.
It's the oldest.

Well, can't think of much reason else, I just like it way more than the others so
agreed
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Old 04-25-2008, 10:36 PM   #14
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

if i had to choose one to win, the pga would def be the last and any of the other 3 would make me immensely ecstatic
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:26 PM   #15
Al Mirpuri
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

Quote:
Originally Posted by J-dub View Post
The Open. Worth the most money.
After reading the thread, this is what tilted me to vote for The Open. Golfers vie for money. They try harder the more there is to win. Just like poker players. Hence, it is incidentally, the toughest to win.
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Old 04-26-2008, 01:35 AM   #16
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

My way of voting for this is which one would I want to win the most. That's the only way I can frame the question.

Masters>>>> >>>British>>US Open>>>>>>>>>>>>>PGA

In a certain year I could bump the PGA ahead of the US Open if the PGA was on a particular course that was legendary and the US Open was on a so-so course.
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Old 04-26-2008, 04:23 PM   #17
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

i voted masters because it is played on the same course, as previously stated. also because the "greatest" golfers are often compared on how many green jackets they have, imo
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:36 PM   #18
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

It's the US Open. The Masters field is stronger now than in years past, but still relatively small and weak. The PGA runs great tournaments on great courses, but they have a bunch of freaking club pros in it. The British Open is played on ridiculous links courses which makes it an entirely different game, like bowling one tournament a year in the parking lot instead of on the lanes. The US Open is tough, tight, fast, long, and awesome every single year.
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:02 AM   #19
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

Quote:
The US Open is tricked up and stupid every single year.
.
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Old 04-27-2008, 07:50 AM   #20
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

So what’s a major? (Post 501)

From 1860, there was just one – The Open Championship, in Britain. It’s interesting that the early event was restricted to professionals and that the Open has been dominated by professionals – Bobby Jones was the last of six amateurs to win, in 1930.

But until the Twenties, golf was an amateur game. The Amateur Championship in the United Kingdom dates from 1885. The first U.S. Amateur Championship and the first U.S. Open were played ten years later, in 1895 – one year after a national governing body was organized to bring golf in the U.S. under one umbrella; it was soon to become the United States Golf Association.

From then, into the Thirties, the two Opens and the two Amateurs were the “majors.” Jones would win all four in 1930 – the “Slam.” Young amateur Francis Ouimet would, famously, win the U.S. Open for America in 1913 (although American professional John McDermott had broken through British dominance in 1911 and 1912). Ouimet would also win the U.S. Amateur in 1931, long after his Open victory and at the end of the Amateur’s “major” status.

It’s worth noting that, if the U.S. Amateur were still considered a major, Arnold Palmer and Phil Mickelson would add one more major to their resumes, Jack Nicklaus, two, and Tiger Woods, three.

It’s also worth noting, if you’re a purist, that golf for golf’s sake is still only played here at the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Mid-Amateur (if you’d agree with me that the NCAA Championship is only a semi-professional breeding ground), which would make Jay Sigel our generation’s finest golfer, having won two of the first and three of the second.

The first Professional Golfers Association of America Championship (PGA) was held in 1916, solely to elevate the profile of professionals who were not highly valued in a sport dominated by amateurs. The tournament was a match play event until 1958. Walter Hagan won the fourth edition, in 1921, and would win four more, through 1927. He had won the U.S. Open in 1914 and 1919.

Hagan was professional golf’s first transitional figure and in some sense he was a transitional figure for all American sport. After Hagan, competitive amateur golf lost its luster and professional golf was legit.

From Wikipedia: There is some debate among golf historians as to whether Hagen should actually be credited with sixteen major championships. Hagen captured the Western Open five times (1916, '21, '26, '27, and '32) at a time when the Western Open was considered one of the premier events on the world golf schedule.

In Hagen's prime, the Masters had not yet been founded, and the Western Open (the championship of the Western Golf Association) was, by today's definition a "Major": one of four elite tournaments in which all of the top golfers in the world could be counted on to participate each year.

It’s interesting that the Western went from the heights of “major” status, to becoming the home of the terrific Evans Scholarships program for caddies, to being abandoned by the Butler National Golf Club, its traditional site, because the club refused to change its membership policies in the wake of the Shoal Creek discrimination controversy in 1990 and the token response by the PGA Tour, the P.G.A. of America, and the U.S.G.A.

(At this point, it’s worth recalling that PGA membership was formally Caucasian-only until 1961, seven years after Brown v Board of Education, three years before passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.)

The Master’s, an independently run event by the Augusta National Golf Club, is the last piece of the modern- majors puzzle, dating from 1934.

The concept of "four majors" was reborn after Arnold Palmer's Masters and U.S. Open wins in 1960. Palmer was pro golf’s second transitional figure. Gene Sarazen said Hagan deserved a cut of every purse, because he made them all bigger. The same was true of Palmer. Today, it’s true of Tiger.

Palmer also gets credit for rejuvenating the Open Championship in the early 60s. The Open was out of favor with American professionals, for a number of legitimate reasons.

There have been, and still are pretenders to major status, like the Western Open, particularly since the PGA Championship lost its luster, sometime between 1958, when match play was discarded, and 1968, when the Tournament Players Division abandoned the club pros in a power and money grab to become the independent PGA Tour.

The tour itself has tried to create another major, first with the Players Championship, in 1974, and since with the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup.

Jack Nicklaus had hopes to create a mini-major with his Memorial Tournament, a Masters imitation with a restricted, international field, playing the same course every year, a list of annually honored golf statesmen, a jacket, an icon (himself), and a museum (himself). But it’s just an updated Colonial, which also has a jacket (plaid), and icon (Hogan), one original site, a Wall of Champions, a champions dinner, an old guy hitting the first ball, and invitations to previous winners (including Rod Curl, whose bag I once toted, and my homies, Jim Colbert and Tom Watson, with whom I shared gyms and playing fields and golf courses).

My lone, personal view is that there are two majors: The Open Championship and the U.S. Open.

I rate the British event first, on tradition and because it is the preeminent championship of the world. I’m also fond of the nine-course rotation, in which great and near-great courses and iconic golf holes become familiar, but not stale. That said, I believe some undeserving courses make the rotation, some deserving ones do not, and that modern equipment is threatening what used to be the timeless nature of these historic venues. It's also ridiculous that the Open has been to Northern Ireland only once, in 1951 at Royal Portrush. One hopes it will be politically feasible to return in the near future.

The U.S. Open is also a great event, in spite of the U.S.G.A. They take this event to absolutely wonderful sites, and then do their very best to remake them in some odd, idiosyncratic image. Their compulsion to narrow fairways to an abnormal degree, and grow rough to penal lengths, does not, in my view, serve to identify the year’s best golfer. Adding length does not serve to combat technological improvements in equipment, it just reduces the number of viable competitors to the few who hit an extraordinarily long ball. The U.S.G.A. never did a better job than 1986, when it took the tournament to Shinnecock, and left the course alone. It was just like them to return in 1995, and screw it up so badly that the result was a crap-shoot; the seventh, for instance, was literally unplayable. I was delighted the snooty old U.S.G.A. selected terrific blue-collar Bethpage for 2002, and then disgusted to find they made it over in such fashion that no more than seven players had a realistic chance to win the championship. There was at least one fairway there that week that mere mortals literally could not reach from the tee.

I don’t rate the PGA, no longer unique after 1957, and no longer fully representative after 1967. Additionally, it has a terrible late-summer date, and its weak course selection has often been driven by political and economic considerations, not by any search for course design excellence. I applaud the inclusion of club pros and when the tournament hangers-on complain about their number, I want to remind them who's their daddy.

You will have noted that I have had little to say about the Masters. Much as I admire Bobby Jones as a sportsman (and as a writer), one is known by the company one keeps, and Jones’ closest confidants were the world-class, racist, anti-Semitic, avaricious and misogynistic O. B. Keeler and Clifford Roberts. As far as I’m concerned, the Augusta National Golf Club is the last plantation, hardly “major,” and it’s a disgrace that the tour did not have the courage to end its formal relationship after reforming tournament rules, under pressure, in 1990. (And the Masters itself might have become more interesting as a fully independent invitational, free of all token restrictions.)

Many, if not most of you, will find fault with my harsh analysis of the Masters, and find my position inappropriately social, even political, rather than restricted to the context of sport. So don’t go out of your way to tell me. At the end of the day, what constitutes a major is a matter of perception, not reality and, as history proves, is subject to change. (You might also be among the guys who maintain the Olympics is about sport, not politics and profit. I'm not with you there, either.)

I expect there are a few socially conscious golf enthusiasts out there who wonder why Tiger Woods embraces the Masters Tournament so warmly, as a man of color (many colors but, to most Americans, an African-American) – when his talented predecessors, like John Shippen, Pat Ball, Bill Spiller, Teddy Rhodes and Charlie Sifford, were forced to toil in the shadows, and denied access and opportunity. I give Tiger a pass on this, because I suspect he has his own agenda, and that he worked it out long ago with his father, Earl, who himself broke the color barrier as a catcher with Kansas State. And Earl and I are both Kansans, attended Kansas universities, became Army infantry officers, did tours in Vietnam, spent too little time with our first children because of professional responsibilities, and have devoted all our time to the second batch. Earl was brutally single-minded with Tiger, but he seems to have gotten it right. I’ll defer to him…
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:47 PM   #21
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

Man, just love your posts sandycove!!!

I'm from KS too, little place called St. John. What school did you go to?
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:47 PM   #22
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

I'd say it's the Open by a photowhisker over the Masters, then a half-length back to the US Open (tho any American can't be faulted for picking it #1), and then it's far back to the USPGA, the Players and one or two others.

The USPGA has its own unique aura, and it IS a major, but it has nowhere near the gravitas of the other three. And it's also ridiculous that three of the four are in the US. The fourth major s/b the Canadian Open (3rd oldest national championship) but I realize that's a battle long over.

The US Open has been badly hurt by some of the ridiculous setups, although it's hard to argue with most of the recent winners. The most consistent player over the four days has usually won. Olympic & Shinnecock got out of control, but the final leaderboards were crammed with former major champions (yes, I realize Andy North & John Daly are former multiple major champions).

I'd like to see Open Championships played in Ireland and N Ireland. Some magnificent courses there. I guess the facilities for the crowds and media is the only concern, or does the R&A have a rule it has to be in Eng & Sco?

As for the Players, it simply tries too hard with all the media guidance every year about "fifth major, fifth major!"

FWIW, IMO the best overall course setup I've seen for a recent major was Whistling Straits. Actually, ya gotta give the PGA their due for the recent setups, s'long as they quietly allow Valhalla to slip out of the rotation. I also don't have any problem with the changes at Augusta.
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Old 04-27-2008, 08:28 PM   #23
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

Definetely the US Open. Not sure how you could vote for the masters as it has a small feild and guys like gary Player who dont stand a chance. Though I do understand the argument for the British Open

Id rank them as
US Open
British
PGA
Masters
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Old 04-28-2008, 12:37 AM   #24
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

why would the "toughest" course make it the hardest to win? everyone plays the same course
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Old 04-28-2008, 12:41 AM   #25
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Re: Which is the Most Important Major?

I thought British, US, Masters, PGA was standard here.

PGA is obviously last IMO and British is clearly first. I think US/Masters can vary depending on what criterion you are considering.
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