“Jump forward to 2013,” he said. “The fact I can turn on the TV every night and the discussion is on the LPGA and five majors and what does this mean ... the world views this as frustrating. In my own silly world, this is the most attention we’ve had in a long time.”
Golf always has been about four majors, at least it seems that way.
It dates to 1930 when Bobby Jones swept the biggest championships of his era — the British Open, British Amateur, U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur. George Trevor of the New York Sun referred to this feat as the “impregnable quadrilateral” of golf, while O.B. Keeler of the Atlanta Journal gave it a name that didn’t require a stiff upper lip. He called it a Grand Slam, a term from contract bridge that meant winning all 13 tricks.
The spirit of that term is a clean sweep, whether it’s four, five or 13.
Arnold Palmer gets credit for creating the modern version of the Grand Slam in 1960 when he won the Masters and U.S. Open and was on his way to play the British Open for the first time. He was traveling with Pittsburgh sports writer Bob Drum, who was lamenting that professional golf had led to the demise of what Jones had achieved in 1930. That’s when Palmer suggested a new Grand Slam by winning the four professional majors.
Comparisons between men’s and women’s golf are never easy, especially in the majors.
The press never bought into the notion of making The Players Championship a fifth major. It was Thomas Bonk of The Los Angeles Times who once wrote that there were “Three Stooges, Twelve Days of Christmas, Seven Dwarfs and four major championships.”
The LPGA Tour now has eight majors in its official history, including the du Maurier Classic, the Titleholders and the Western Open. Babe Zaharias is the last player to win three straight majors on the calendar, but that was in 1950 when that’s all there were.