Of course, winning a career Grand Slam is an incredible feat and has only been completed by five golfers to date. Although, technically speaking, a Grand Slam is winning all four golf Majors in a calendar year – something not one golfer has managed. Tiger Woods came closest, winning all four Majors in 2000-01, in what is known as a Consecutive Slam, or dubbed the ‘Tiger Slam’. There’s little doubt that Woods is one of the most successful golfers to ever grace the green, with three career Slams to his name as well as 14 wins in Major Championships.
There are three players currently one win away from winning career Slams and one of them is Rory McIlroy, who is favourite in Masters betting odds. Whoever wins the first of the four golf Majors at Augusta next month could well go on to complete the feat, although history says it’s not likely.
The Tiger Slam
Tiger Woods won three of the four Majors in 2000, completing his Slam the following year with the Masters.
June 2000 saw the American win his first US Open and third Major title; a victory he managed comfortably in the end. Foggy conditions in California meant the first day proved difficult for the majority of the pack, who were unable to complete their round. No such problem for Woods who led after the first day with a score of six-under 65. The conditions didn’t improve on day two, but that didn’t deter Woods who went on to increase his lead to six shots over nearest rivals Thomas Bjorn and Miguel Ángel Jiménez who were T2. The third round saw the number of players cut to 63 and with conditions worsening, Ernie Els managed the only under-par score, with Woods matching par, but still leading going into the final round. It was in amazing fashion that Woods secured his first US Open, ending the competition at 12-under par and 15 shots ahead of Jiménez and Els who were T2 with a score of +3.
The following month, Woods was victorious, this time in the Open. It was his first Open Championship and a competition he has since won on two occasions. Although he was dominant by the end, Woods had to come from behind after round one, which saw him T2 behind Ernie Els with a score of five-under par. His final score of -19 is still the lowest 72-hole score to date and a record in all major competitions.
In August, Woods made it three Majors for the season by winning the PGA Championship for a second year in a row. The victory also marked the first time since 1953 that a player had won three Majors in a calendar year. Of the three wins to date, this was certainly the closest, although Woods never strayed from top spot. He ended round one T1 with Scott Dunlap with a score of six-under par; led by a shot after round two; held onto that lead after round three; while Bob May pulled it out the bag in the final round, to take the tournament to a playoff. Woods won the playoff by a single stroke, after birdying the first hole and parring the second and third.
The following calendar year in April 2001, Woods completed the Tiger Slam with victory at the Masters, which was his second in the competition (he has gone on to win it a further two times). After round one, Woods was T15 with five other players and a score of two-under 70. However, he bolted up the leader board after round two, T2 with Phil Mickelson. With Chris DiMarco levelling with par, Woods capitalised and went into the final day with a one-shot lead over Mickelson and he completed the round – and his Major Slam – with a final score of 16-under.
Career Grand Slams
Woods was the fifth player to reach a career Grand Slam and since then, no other golfer has managed the feat. There are currently three players missing one major title: Rory McIlroy in the Masters, Phil Mickelson in the US Open and Jordan Spieth in the PGA Championship. All three could well provide the missing link this year and join the elite club of golfers with career Grand Slams to their name. However, the likelihood of a Consecutive Slam or ‘proper’ Grand Slam seems a lot less possible.