What's the longest period of years between a golfer's major championship wins?
Masters Open Championship PGA Championship U.S. Open

What’s the longest period of years between a golfer’s major championship wins?

The four men's major championship trophies The four men's major championship trophies Credit: Getty Images

Winning major championships in golf is extremely difficult to do. Winning multiple major championships is even more rare. Typically, multiple major winners do their damage and shape their legacy in the space of maybe a handful of years. However, at some points in golf history, players have waited a long time to pick up their next major -- a decade or longer.

So, which golfers have waited the longest between winning majors? That distinction belongs to four players who have the biggest gap between major wins.

  • Henry Cotton waited 11 years between wins in the 1937 and 1948 British Open Championship.
  • Julius Boros waited 11 years between winning the 1952 US Open and 1963 US Open, before becoming golf's oldest major winner at the 1968 PGA Championship.
  • Hale Irwin waited 11 years between winning his second US Open in 1979 and his final US Open in 1990 at Medinah.
  • Ben Crenshaw won two majors, 11 years apart, at the 1984 Masters and 1995 Masters.

Just shy of that mark is Tiger Woods, who went nearly 11 years from winning the 2008 US Open and the 2019 Masters.

Lee Trevino won the 1974 and 1984 PGA Championships a decade apart, with the '84 win marking his final major victory.

Ernie Els went 10 years between Claret Jugs, winning the 2002 British Open Championship and taking the 2012 British Open as his final pair of major titles.

Checking in with nine-year gaps were:

  • Willie Park Sr. -- 1866 British Open to 1875 British Open
  • John Henry Taylor -- 1900 British Open to 1909 British Open
  • Gene Sarazen -- 1923 PGA Championship to 1932 US Open

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

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