There’s debate in golf about which of the four men’s majors is the hardest to win.
- Is it the US Open because it’s traditionally the toughest major in which to beat par?
- Is it the British Open Championship because links golf opens itself to difficult, unpredictable weather and wind?
- Is it the Masters because Augusta National is such a demanding second-shot golf course with punishing greens?
- Or, is it the PGA Championship because it’s the one major setup most like a regular PGA Tour event, opening the door to more contenders?
For Jordan Spieth, who, at 24, has the first three legs of the career Grand Slam, the PGA Championship is the hardest golf major for him to win. He came to that conclusion on Saturday of the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, realizing he was not going to become the sixth man in golf history to complete the career Grand Slam — at least on his first try.
“The PGA Championship I think is going to be the toughest for me. If we look historically back on my career, I think I will play this tournament worse than the other three majors just in the way that it’s set up,” Spieth said.
“I feel like my game truly suits the other three majors maybe more than the PGA Championship. But I believe we can play anywhere and we can win anywhere. It’s just a matter of having everything in sync at the right time.”
He’s got a point. He nearly won his first three Masters. He missed the cut once at the US Open and has been mediocre since, but he already won that in 2015. He has two top-four British Open finishes in the last three years. He missed the cut in his first two PGA Championships.
Here’s probably the biggest stat that makes the PGA the toughest for any great to win: 54 of the 98 previous PGA Championships have been won by first-time major winners.