Famous Golfing Tournaments
The British Open (Estd. 1860)
The Open is the world’s oldest golf championship. The first event was held at Prestwick on 17th October 1860, when eight players challenged for the title over three rounds of the 12-hole links course. It was won by Mr. Willie Park Senior.
The U.S. Open (Estd. 1895)
The US Open is considered as one of the hardest challenges in the world of golf.
The first US Open took place in 1895 at Rhode Island’s Newport Golf and Country Club. A measure of the tournament’s standing at the time is that it was considered a sideshow to the US Amateur Open, which was also taking place at the nine-hole Newport course that week. Horace Rawlins, a 21-year-old English professional, emerged from the 11-man field to win it that year. He completed the single day's four trips around the course in 173 shots.
Professional Golfers’ Association Championship (Estd. 1916)
The first PGA Championship was in 1916 at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York. The trophy was donated by Rodman Wanamaker, and is known as the Wanamaker Trophy. It was initially a match play event, and it moved to a stroke play format in 1958. It is sometimes said that this was a result of pressure from televsion, which prefers to see as many famous players as possible in contention on the final day. The first winner, Jim Barnes, received $500 (US) in 1916, while 2005 winner Phil Mickelson received $1.17 million (US).
The Ryder Cup (Estd. 1921)
The orignal intention of the Ryder Cup was to stage international matches between the best American professionals and those of Great Britain. The first informal Ryder Cup matches were played in 1921 at Gleneagles, Scotland. James Harnett (a circulation representative for Golf Illustrated), most likely with Walter Hagen’s assistance, selected the American Team. The Matches were played just before the 2,000 Guineas Match Play Championship, with the British soundly defeating the US Team, 9-3.
The Masters (Estd. 1934)
In 1931 Bob Jones and Clifford Roberts purchased a piece of land in Georgia called Fruitlands Nurseries for the grand total $70,000. This is now home to the Augusta National Golf Course. After completion of the golf course, both men came up with the idea of organising an annual tournament drawing all the best players from across the country. Initially it was called the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, because Jones believed the name "The Masters" sounded too "preposterous".
The inaugural tournament was hosted on 22 March 1934 – won by Horton Smith with a one-stroke lead over Craig Wood.
U.S. Women’s Open (Estd. 1946)
In 1946, the short-lived Women's Professional Golfers Association introduced the Women's Open at match play at the Spokane (Wash.) Country Club. The Spokane Athletic Round Table, a men’s fraternal organization, contributed the $19,700 purse from its slot machines proceeds.
The first Women's Open was the only one conducted at match play. Patty Berg won the 36-hole qualifying medal in 1946 with rounds of 72-73-145, then won the championship by defeating Betty Jameson, 5 and 4, in the 36-hole final. Conducted by the USGA since 1953, the Women's Open is the oldest championship open to women professionals and amateurs.
The Ladies Professional Golf Association Championship
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