he first to do it was Ben Hogan and the last was Tiger Woods, which gives you a feel for the membership caliber of one of sports’ most exclusive clubs. At the Masters it helps if golfers can hit the ball high and land it soft, while The Open often demands shots that run low and hard, so one thing is for sure: to hold the jug while wearing the jacket you need to be a shot-shaper supreme.
1953 Ben Hogan
1953 was Hogan’s year despite only playing six tournaments in all. He won five of the six and three of them were majors; the final three of his career’s nine. He took the Masters by five, the U.S. Open by six and The Open at Carnoustie by four on the only trip to Scotland he ever made.
1962 Arnold Palmer
Palmer was still in his swashbuckling prime in 1962. He won the first-ever three-way play-off in the Masters, defeating Gary Player and Dow Finsterwald, before easing to a stunning six-shot victory at Royal Troon in The Open. Palmer would have emulated Hogan by claiming the U.S. Open too, were it not for the intervention of a rookie pro from Ohio called Nicklaus.
1966 Jack Nicklaus
From a record haul of 18 major titles, this was the only time Nicklaus counted the Masters and The Open among his rosettes in the same year. Nicklaus became the first back-to-back Masters champ in the April, before Open victory at Muirfield completed his career Grand Slam, following only Gene Sarazen, Hogan and Player.
1974 Gary Player
A winner of nine majors across three decades, Player’s Jug & Jacket double occurred relatively late in his career, in 1974, when he was 38. The South African fitness fanatic often said: “Look after your body. If you do, it could last you a lifetime.” Player won the second of three Masters in ’74 before adding his third Open title at Royal Lytham—25 years after he first raised the Claret Jug.
1977 Tom Watson
Lee Trevino and Player came close, but really the golfer to usurp Nicklaus as the best in the business was Watson, who assumed the throne in 1977. Watson beat Nicklaus by two to win his first Masters before the duo re-aligned in The Open at Turnberry. The “Duel in the Sun” might be The Open’s most famous chapter. Watson and Nicklaus played in a class of their own, with Watson edging the Golden Bear by one—both breaking the previous Open scoring record. Hubert Green finished 3rd, 10 behind Jack.
1990 Nick Faldo
A winner of the Green Jacket and Claret Jug three times each, Faldo was peerless in world golf in 1990. Following Nicklaus as only the second golfer to successfully defend his Masters title, Faldo’s victory in The Open at St Andrews was the Englishman’s finest moment, winning by five and able to enjoy the iconic walk up the 18th fairway on the Old Course, knowing the Claret Jug was secure.
1998 Mark O’Meara
O’Meara turned pro in 1980, and while he became a regular winner on the PGA Tour his majors record was ordinary, until something clicked in 1998. He won the Masters on his 15th attempt—in itself a record—and then the Claret Jug at Royal Birkdale at 41, becoming the oldest golfer to win two majors in one year.
2005 Tiger Woods
It was in 2005 that Woods holed that remarkable chip on 16 in the final round of the Masters, as the ball stopped on the edge of the cup before dropping. He became the third golfer, after Palmer and Nicklaus, to win the Masters four times. In the July, Tiger won his second St Andrews Open and completed his second career grand slam—his 10th major all before the age of 30.