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Gary Player ranks the Masters last among golf’s four major tournaments

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Gary Player won the Masters three times, becoming the first international golfer to don the green jacket in 1961. 

His last win at Augusta National came in 1978, the final of his nine major victories. 

Gary Player waves to the crowd on the 18th hole during the pro-am prior to the PNC Championship at Ritz-Carlton Golf Club on Dec. 16, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Yet, Player lists the Masters as the last of the four major golf tournaments, putting The Open Championship at the top of the list. 

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While discussing his final win at Augusta with the Daily Mail, Player dropped a nugget regarding where the Masters landed on his list of golf majors. 

“But, never mind the Masters, the Open is by far the greatest tournament on the planet,” Player told the Daily Mail before pausing. “I rate the Open at one, the US Open two, PGA three and Augusta four. Four marvelous tournaments.” 

Player’s reasoning for putting the Masters at the bottom of the majors’ list is simple – time. 

Gary Player laughs as he arrives at the tenth hole during the first round of the 2022 PNC Championship at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.

Gary Player laughs as he arrives at the tenth hole during the first round of the 2022 PNC Championship at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida. (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“It’s the youngest of the majors,’ Player said. “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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The first Masters was held in 1934, 18 years after the first PGA Championship took place. 

The British Open is the oldest of the four Majors, played in Scotland in 1860. 

While Player may think the Masters has some work to do before working its way up the major rankings, the golf world will still be watching when the 2023 edition tees off on April 6. 

Player believes Rory McIlroy will be wearing the green jacket for the first time in his career. 

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“He’s got the best swing in the world by a mile,” Player said. “He’s won four majors but none since 2014. I think he will win the Masters because the course is made for him. I think if he does that, he’ll go down as one of the greats, but that’s something he has to do.

Gary Player plays a shot during the Thursday pro-am as a preview for the 2022 PNC Championship at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club on Dec. 15, 2022 in Orlando, Florida.

Gary Player plays a shot during the Thursday pro-am as a preview for the 2022 PNC Championship at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club on Dec. 15, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (David Cannon/Getty Images)

“I’ve always said my judgment of superstars is they have to win six majors. People these days say anyone who wins is a superstar. No. It’s not easily done, but I believe Rory can.”

McIlroy has won four majors in his career but has yet to don the green jacket. 

His last win in a major tournament came in 2014 at the PGA Championship. 



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