DEREK LAWRENSON: From Tiger Woods’ mythical comeback to Seve Ballesteros’ matador salute – my top 10 major championships ranked
- Phil Mickelson defied Father Time by winning the PGA Championship on Sunday
- Each year golf’s majors manage to serve up something special and memorable
- Of 138 major championships so far, these are the ones which make the top 10
This was my 138th major championship — stretching back in the mists of time to the 1984 Open — and easily one of the most memorable.
So, where does Phil Mickelson’s stupendous win stand in my all-time top 10?
Three years after turning up at the Champions Dinner and telling the assorted company that he was done, Tiger topped even all his achievements with a Masters miracle.
The unbridled joy among the patrons gathered around the 18th green almost matched that of Tiger himself.
Tiger Woods topped even all his achievements with a Masters miracle in 2019
2 Jack Nicklaus, Masters 1986
Having grown up idolising him from afar, it was the bonus of a lifetime to see him add one more major in person when everyone thought him washed up.
All the great players of the modern game were there on the leaderboard but he brushed them aside with a back nine for the ages.
3 Seve Ballesteros, Open 1984
You never forget your first.
Standing in front of the clubhouse, I can still picture that matador’s salute after he had completed his victory over Tom Watson as vividly as if it happened yesterday.
Seve Ballesteros holds the Claret Jug aloft after winning the British Open at St. Andrews
4 Sir Nick Faldo, Masters 1996
Perhaps the best exhibition of all of how to reel in a frontrunner, as Faldo left Greg Norman a broken man with a round of 67.
It remains a mystery why all the English aspirants who sought to follow in Faldo footsteps didn’t beat a path to his door.
5 Phil Mickelson, US PGA 2021
Perhaps the most mind-boggling win of all given there wasn’t a single person outside the Mickelson household who gave him a prayer on arguably the toughest course in America.
Mickelson became golf’s oldest major winner on Sunday and did so in convincing style
6 Tiger Woods, US Open 2008
The major he won on one leg.
Ninety-one epic holes and then he wasn’t seen for nine months owing to his torn ACL and broken tibia. A win that truly summed up the man.
7 Tiger Woods, Masters 1997
The major that started it all.
The one where he gave the field a considerable head start with his outward half of 40 on Thursday — and then beat them all by 12.
8 Tiger Woods, US Open 2000
Bit of a theme here, isn’t there? This is the one Tiger won at Pebble Beach by just the 15 shots, and what will surely always stand as the greatest major performance ever.
9 Shane Lowry, Open 2019
The return of glorious Royal Portrush to the Open rota produced a storyline that Hollywood would have rejected.
The delirious capacity crowd revelled in the moments of magic from one of their own.
Back on home shores Shane Lowry lifted the Claret Jug in front of the masses at Royal Portrush
10 Sandy Lyle, Masters 1988
It was enough to see a Brit win at Augusta for the first time. The fact it was a great bloke like Sandy who pulled if off made it really special.
Typical Sandy, he thought his fairway bunker shot at the time to set up a winning birdie at the 18th was simply OK.
Thirty-three years later, he still can’t play in a pro-am without being asked about it.
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