Unless you’re with the PGA of America in some substantive capacity, the odds are that you think of the PGA Championship as the fourth of four majors.
If you’re with the PGA Tour, you might think it’s the fifth of four majors, with The Players ranking higher in prestige.
While Glory’s Last Shot may be fourth in most golf fans’ hearts, it turns out it is first in terms of field depth.
A rudimentary comparison of the four major champions and their fields against the Official World Golf Ranking shows the PGA Championship to boast the deepest field of the four majors.
Let’s take a look with the help of this handy graphic.
All four majors had or will have the full OWGR top 50 as of the week before their playing. If they didn’t, in the case of the Open Championship, the top 50 were at least eligible barring injury or other problems.
Reaching down to the top 75, however, is where the majors begin to deviate. The Masters only had 96 invitees compared to 156 for the other three. Throw in their commitment to invite past champions well past their prime and only 62 of the top 75 showed up at Augusta. The U.S. Open had 69 of the top 75, while Lytham hosted one fewer. Again, the PGA Championship has all 75.
The PGA’s field depth really shines, however, when showing how many of the OWGR top 100 are in attendance. The Masters had 70, the U.S. Open 78 and the Open Championship improved further with 83. The PGA will have them all.
Yes, the PGA of America goes out of its way to make sure the OWGR top 100 have nearly perfect attendance, inviting players into the field of 156 to play, but it gives the year’s final major a powerful claim.