Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus won the most majors, achieving 18 victories during his career. Second on the list is Tiger Woods, who has won 14 majors to date; his most recent major victory was at the 2008 U.S. Open. Walter Hagen is third with 11 majors; he and Nicklaus have both won the most PGA Championships with five.

Records and trivia

  • In a span of 25 years, from 1962 (age 22) to 1986 (age 46), Nicklaus won 18 professional major championships. This is the most any player has won in his career.
  • Nicklaus held sole possession of the lead after 54 holes of a major championship on eight occasions and won each in regulation.
  • Nicklaus won 10 of 12 major championships when having the lead outright or tied for the lead after 54 holes and won eight times when trailing after 54 holes.
  • In the above-referenced 20 major championships where Nicklaus either won (18) or finished in second place (2), he was a combined 30 strokes under par in final round scoring.
  • In 18 professional major championship victories, Nicklaus shot 56 rounds at even par or below.
  • Nicklaus won two major championships in a season on five occasions (1963, 1966, 1972, 1975, and 1980).
  • Nicklaus won at least one major championship in four consecutive years (1970–1973).
  • Nicklaus is one of five players (along with Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, and Tiger Woods) to have won all four professional major championships in his career, known as the Career Grand Slam, and the second-youngest to do so in his fifth year as a professional at age 26 (Tiger Woods, fourth year at age 24).
  • At age 33 in 1973, Nicklaus broke Bobby Jones’ record of 13 major championships (old configuration) and Walter Hagen’s record of 11 professional major championships by winning his third PGA Championship; 14th and 12th win, respectively.
  • One of two players to achieve a “triple career slam” i.e. winning all four major championships three times in a career, the other being Tiger Woods.
  • Nicklaus made 39 consecutive cuts in major championships starting at the 1969 Masters and ending by being cut at the 1978 PGA Championship. In this span he won eight times, was runner-up seven times, and had 33 top-10 finishes. This record of consecutive cuts made in major championships was equaled by Tiger Woods at the 2006 Masters.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most runner-up finishes in majors with 19.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most top-five finishes in major championships with 56.
  • One of two players to finish in the top five in all four professional major championships in two different years (1971 and 1973), the other being Tiger Woods (2000 and 2005). Both players finished in the top four in all four majors once (1973 and 2005, respectively). However, It should be noted that Bobby Jones won the “Grand Slam” under the old configuration in 1930 and Ben Hogan won all three of the majors he was able to play in 1953.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most top-10 finishes in major championships with 73. This is 25 and 27 more than the next players Sam Snead (48) and Tom Watson (46), respectively.
  • Nicklaus finished in the top-10 in his final three professional major championships as an amateur (second in the 1960 U.S. Open, seventh in the 1961 Masters, and fourth in the 1961 U.S. Open).
  • Nicklaus was the first player to break 270 for four rounds in a major championship.
  • Nicklaus played 154 consecutive majors for which he was eligible, from the 1957 U.S. Open through the 1998 U.S. Open.

Masters Tournament

  • Nicklaus holds the record for most wins with six which is two more than Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods.
  • Nicklaus shot 17-under par 271 in 1965 for a 72-hole record lasting 32 years until Tiger Woods shot 18-under par 270 in 1997.
  • Nicklaus shot individual rounds of 67 or better a total of 14 times which equates to a combined 80-under par.
  • Nicklaus was the first champion to successfully defend the title having done so in 1966.
  • Nicklaus won this event three times in his first five attempts as a professional.
  • Nicklaus is the youngest two-time champion of this event.
  • Nicklaus is the youngest three-time champion of this event.
  • Nicklaus is the oldest winner of the Masters at 46 years and 82 days when he won in 1986.
  • Nicklaus was a wire-to-wire winner in 1972.
  • Nicklaus was runner-up a record four times.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most top-five finishes with 15.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most top-10 finishes with 22.
  • In the decade of the 1970s, Nicklaus finished in the top 10 at Augusta every year with eight top-four finishes.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for the lowest 72-hole score for a player over 50 having shot a 5-under par 283 in 1998 at age 58.
  • Nicklaus was the oldest first-round leader (co-led with four others) shooting 67 in 1993 at age 53.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for lowest scoring average of players with over 100 rounds at 71.98 for 163 rounds.
  • Nicklaus competed in this event 45 times.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most cuts made with 37.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most birdies with 506.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most eagles with 24.
  • For 34 consecutive years (1960 through 1993), Nicklaus missed just one 36-hole cut (1967).

U.S. Open

  • Nicklaus holds the record with Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones and Ben Hogan for most wins at the U.S Open with four.
  • Nicklaus is the only player to win the title in three different decades with his first in 1962 and fourth in 1980.
  • Nicklaus is the youngest champion of this event in the modern era having won in 1962 at age 22. This has since been beaten by Rory McIlroy in 2011.
  • Nicklaus held until 2011 the record for lowest score for 72 holes (272) with Lee Janzen (67-67-69-69) in 1993, Tiger Woods (65-69-71-67) in 2000, and Jim Furyk (67-66-67-72) in 2003. Nicklaus shot 63-71-70-68 in 1980.
  • Nicklaus shares the record for lowest score for 18 holes (63). It was set by Johnny Miller (fourth round in 1973) and equalled by Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf (both first round in 1980) and Vijay Singh (second round in 2003).
  • Nicklaus was a wire-to-wire winner in 1972 and 1980.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for lowest 72-hole score shot by an amateur at two-under par 282 in 1960. While he finished second to Arnold Palmer by two shots, Nicklaus was the only player in the field not to have one round above the par of 71.
  • Nicklaus tied for fourth in 1961 having played the final 54 holes in one-under par and capturing Low Amateur honors for the second consecutive year.
  • Nicklaus had four runner-up finishes.
  • Nicklaus had a record 11 top-five finishes.
  • Nicklaus had a record 18 top-10 finishes.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most rounds in the 60s at 29.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most sub-par rounds at 37.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most sub-par championships (72 holes) completed at seven.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for the most consecutive tournaments started with 44 (1957–2000).
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most cuts made at 35.
  • Nicklaus made 21 consecutive cuts from 1964 through 1984.
  • Nicklaus made a record five consecutive birdies in the final round of the 1982 U.S. Open.

The Open Championship

  • Nicklaus won this event three times.
  • Nicklaus was runner-up a record seven times.
  • Nicklaus had a record 11 straight top-five finishes from 1970 to 1980.
  • Nicklaus had a record 16 top-five finishes.
  • Nicklaus had a record 15 straight top-10 finishes from 1966 to 1980.
  • Nicklaus had a record 18 top-10 finishes.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most rounds in the 60s at 33.
  • Nicklaus never finished worse than sixth from 1966 to 1980.
  • Nicklaus was the first player to break 270 for four rounds having done so in 1977.
  • Nicklaus made the cut in 32 out of 38 appearances including 23 consecutively from 1962 through 1984.

PGA Championship

  • Nicklaus holds the record with Walter Hagen for most wins at the PGA Championship with 5.
  • Nicklaus was a wire-to-wire winner in 1971.
  • Nicklaus was runner-up four times.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most top-three finishes with 12.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most top-five finishes with 14.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most top-10 finishes with 15.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most top-25 finishes with 23.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most rounds in the 60s at 41.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for lowest scoring average of players with over 75 rounds at 71.37 for 128 rounds.
  • Nicklaus holds the record for most cuts made at 27 (with Raymond Floyd).
  • Nicklaus competed in this event 37 times which is second only to Sam Snead’s record of 38.
  • Nicklaus held the record for the greatest winning margin in the stroke play era from 1958 to 2011. He won by 7 strokes in 1980; Rory McIlroy won by 8 strokes in 2012.

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