Nicklaus in agreement with Player over Masters rank among majors

Jack Nicklaus (Photo by Richard Heathcote/R&A via Getty Images)

Six-time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus agrees with fellow champion Gary Player’s assessment that the Masters ranks fourth in men’s golf’s major pecking order.

Player surprised many this past week by claiming the Masters sits behind The Open, the PGA Championship and the US Open, declaring; “Never mind the Masters, The Open is by far the greatest tournament on the planet.

“I rate The Open at one, the U.S. Open two, PGA three and Augusta four; four marvellous tournaments.”


It’s since emerged that Player’s fellow ceremonial first tee starter at Augusta, Nicklaus agrees with Player’s hierarchy of the men’s majors.

As part of the Golden Bear’s Golf Channel documentary, “Jack,” which aired in 2017, Nicklaus said, “I have the U.S. Open as the No. 1 tournament,” before listing The Open at No. 2 and The PGA at No. 3.

Nicklaus admitted to some parochial bias when it came to ranking the US Open ahead of golf’s oldest major but it’s clear the Masters didn’t come close to topping the pile.

“The Masters falls fourth because it’s not meant to be ahead of those others,” Nicklaus added.

“The Masters Tournament is not a championship. You can’t rank a tournament ahead of championships.”

The Masters may claim to be a tradition unlike any other but in Player’s mind, it’s not as steeped in tradition as its major counterparts on the schedule

“[The Masters is] the youngest of the majors. The others are steeped in tradition and history and they still have to catch up. Nothing comes to the top without time.”

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