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Senior major golf championships

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Title: Senior major golf championships  
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Subject: 2008 in golf, 2011 in golf, 2012 in golf, 2014 in golf, 2013 in golf
Collection: Senior Golf Tournaments
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Senior major golf championships

Men's professional senior golf is for players aged 50 and above. Golf differs from all other sports in having lucrative competitions for this age group. The leading senior tour is the U.S. based Champions Tour, which was established in 1980 (as the Senior PGA Tour). It has established a roster of five major championships. These events are all played over four rounds, whereas other senior tournaments are generally played over three rounds—only one other current Champions Tour event, the limited-field and season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, is played over four rounds. A golfer's performances can be quite variable from one round to the next, so playing an extra round increases the likelihood that the senior majors will be won by leading players.

In the current order of play, the senior majors are:

The Senior PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open, and Senior Open Championship, have fields of 144 to 156 players and a 36-hole cut. The Tradition and Senior Players Championship have 81 player fields and no 36-hole cut.

The order of play has changed many times during the history of senior golf, especially since 2006:

  • In 2006 the U.S. Senior Open, Senior Players Championship, and Senior British Open were held in July and were consecutive on the schedule. There was no event in the week after the Senior Players, allowing golfers adequate time to travel to the United Kingdom and acclimatise for the Senior British Open two weeks later. This gave the Champions Tour a very clear peak period, which is not found on most other tours, including the PGA Tour. The Tradition was the last major on the schedule.
  • In 2007 the Senior Players Championship moved to October, two months after The Tradition, to spread the majors over a longer period of time.
  • In 2008, the U.S. Senior Open moved to the week after the Senior British Open. This once again gave the Champions Tour a clear peak period, with no tournament held between the U.S. Senior Open and The Tradition (a one-week break in 2008, two weeks in 2009). In 2010, there was a regular tournament in the week after the U.S. Senior Open, followed by a one-week break before The Tradition.
  • The 2011 season saw another significant schedule change. The Tradition moved from late August to early May, becoming the first major of the season. The Senior Players Championship moved from October to the August date vacated by The Tradition.
  • In 2012, the order was almost completely reshuffled. The schedule was also greatly compressed, with all five majors now being played in a two-month period:
    • The Senior PGA Championship remained at its end of May slot.
    • The Tradition moved from early May to mid-June.
    • The Senior Players Championship, formerly the last major of the season in August, moved to late June/early July
    • The U.S. Senior Open remains the fourth major in schedule order, but is now held in mid-July.
    • The Senior British Open kept its 2011 date, but due to the other schedule changes is now the final major.

Unlike the PGA of America for the Senior PGA, The R&A for the Senior British Open, and the USGA for the U.S. Senior Open.

The Senior PGA is by far the oldest of the senior majors, having commenced in the 1930s. The other four tournaments all date from 1980 or later, having been founded in the era when senior golf became a commercial success. This occurred when the first big golf stars of the television era, men such as Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, began to reach the relevant age.

Unlike mainstream men's golf, the senior game does not have a globally agreed set of majors. The three majors recognised by the European Seniors Tour are the Senior PGA Championship and the U.S. and British Senior Opens. However, the Champions Tour is much more dominant in global senior golf than the PGA Tour is in mainstream men's golf.

Senior major winners

The table below show the results of all the events designated as majors by the Champions Tour. As the order in which the majors were played frequently changes, they are listed in the current order of play. Winners of Senior PGA Championships played before 1980 and Senior British Opens played before 2003 are not listed here as they were not Champions Tour majors at the time nor retroactively recognized as majors. Those winners are shown in the tournaments' articles. The other three tournaments have been Champions Tour majors throughout their existence. The Senior PGA Championship was held twice in 1984 but was not held in 1983 or 1985.

Jack Nicklaus holds the record for the most senior majors won with eight. He also has the record for the number of regular majors won (18).

Nicklaus also holds the record as the only person to have won four different senior majors. At the time, this was a 'Career Grand Slam' as the Senior British Open did not become the 5th major until 2003, by which time Nicklaus had effectively retired from senior golf (his only appearance in the Senior British Open was in 2003). Nobody has managed to win all five different majors.

Year The Tradition Senior PGA
Senior Players
U.S. Senior Open Senior British
2016 May 12–15, Shoal Creek G&CC May 19–22, Harbor Shores June 9–12, Belmont C.C., Boston August 11–14, Scioto Country Club July 21–24, Carnoustie Golf Links
2015 Jeff Maggert (1/2) Colin Montgomerie (3/3) Bernhard Langer (5/5) Jeff Maggert (2/2) Marco Dawson
2014 Kenny Perry (3/3) Colin Montgomerie (1/3) Bernhard Langer (3/5) Colin Montgomerie (2/3) Bernhard Langer (4/5)
2013 David Frost Kōki Idoki Kenny Perry (1/3) Kenny Perry (2/3) Mark Wiebe
2012 Tom Lehman (3/3) Roger Chapman (1/2) Joe Daley Roger Chapman (2/2) Fred Couples (2/2)
2011 Tom Lehman (2/3) Tom Watson (6/6) Fred Couples (1/2) Olin Browne Russ Cochran
2010 Fred Funk (3/3) Tom Lehman (1/3) Mark O'Meara Bernhard Langer (2/5) Bernhard Langer (1/5)
2009 Mike Reid (2/2) Michael Allen Jay Haas (3/3) Fred Funk (2/3) Loren Roberts (4/4)
2008 Fred Funk (1/3) Jay Haas (2/3) D. A. Weibring Eduardo Romero (2/2) Bruce Vaughan
2007 / Mark McNulty Denis Watson Loren Roberts (3/4) Brad Bryant Tom Watson (5/6)
2006 Eduardo Romero (1/2) Jay Haas (1/3) Bobby Wadkins Allen Doyle (4/4) Loren Roberts (2/4)
2005 Loren Roberts (1/4) Mike Reid (1/2) Peter Jacobsen (2/2) Allen Doyle (3/4) Tom Watson (4/6)
2004 Craig Stadler (2/2) Hale Irwin (7/7) Mark James Peter Jacobsen (1/2) Pete Oakley
2003 Tom Watson (3/6) John Jacobs Craig Stadler (1/2) Bruce Lietzke Tom Watson (2/6)
2002 Jim Thorpe Fuzzy Zoeller Stewart Ginn Don Pooley Not a
Champions Tour
2001 Doug Tewell (2/2) Tom Watson (1/6) Allen Doyle (2/4) Bruce Fleisher
2000 Tom Kite Doug Tewell (1/2) Raymond Floyd (4/4) Hale Irwin (6/7)
1999 Graham Marsh (2/2) Allen Doyle (1/4) Hale Irwin (5/7) Dave Eichelberger
1998 Gil Morgan (2/3) Hale Irwin (3/7) Gil Morgan (3/3) Hale Irwin (4/7)
1997 Gil Morgan (1/3) Hale Irwin (2/7) Larry Gilbert Graham Marsh (1/2)
1996 Jack Nicklaus (8/8) Hale Irwin (1/7) Raymond Floyd (3/4) Dave Stockton (3/3)
1995 Jack Nicklaus (7/8) Raymond Floyd (2/4) J. C. Snead Tom Weiskopf
1994 Raymond Floyd (1/4) Lee Trevino (4/4) Dave Stockton (2/3) Simon Hobday
1993 Tom Shaw Tom Wargo Jack Nicklaus (6/8) Jim Colbert
1992 Lee Trevino (3/4) Lee Trevino (2/4) Dave Stockton (1/3) Larry Laoretti
1991 Jack Nicklaus (5/8) Jack Nicklaus (3/8) Jim Albus Jack Nicklaus (4/8)
1990 Jack Nicklaus (1/8) Gary Player (6/6) Jack Nicklaus (2/8) Lee Trevino (1/4)
1989 Don Bies Larry Mowry Orville Moody (2/2) Orville Moody (1/2)
1988 Not yet founded Gary Player (4/6) Billy Casper (2/2) Gary Player (5/6)
1987 Chi-Chi Rodríguez (2/2) Gary Player (3/6) Gary Player (2/6)
1986 Gary Player (1/6) Chi-Chi Rodríguez (1/2) Dale Douglass Not yet founded
1985 Not held Arnold Palmer (5/5) Miller Barber (5/5)
1984 December: Peter Thomson Arnold Palmer (4/5) Miller Barber (4/5)
January: Arnold Palmer (3/5)
1983 Not held Miller Barber (3/5) Billy Casper (1/2)
1982 Don January Not yet founded Miller Barber (2/5)
1981 Miller Barber (1/5) Arnold Palmer (2/5)
1980 Arnold Palmer (1/5) Roberto DeVicenzo
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