These Five Golfers Have Won Every Major Championship

The PGA Tour season typically runs from September until the Tour Championship the following August and includes roughly 50 tournaments. While most tournaments carry first-place prizes of more than $1 million, none are considered as prestigious as the four major championships: the Masters Tournament, PGA Championship, U.S. Open, and Open Championship, formerly known as the British Open.

Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, and Gene Sarazen are the only five golfers in history to win each of the four major championships. Nicklaus and Woods rank first and second, respectively, in all-time major championship victories, while Hogan and Player are tied for fourth with Walter Hagen. Sarazen is tied for seventh all-time with Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, and Harry Vardon.

An 18-time major championship winner, Nicklaus has won the Masters Tournament six times; the PGA Championship five times; the U.S. Open four times; and the British Open three times. He won his first major championship at the 1962 U.S. Open, following a playoff victory over Palmer. At 22 years old, he became the youngest U.S. Open winner since Bobby Jones in 1923.

Nicklaus won the PGA Championship and Masters Tournament the following year and completed the career grand slam with a victory at the 1966 British Open. He won major championships spanning three decades, with his last victory occurring at the Masters Tournament in 1986. Nicklaus also finished as runner-up in 19 major championships and was among the top five finishers in a record 56 majors.

Woods, meanwhile, won his first major championship at the Masters Tournament in 1997 in dominant fashion. He scored the lowest four-round total (270) in tournament history, breaking the record of 271, which was previously shared by Nicklaus (1965) and Ray Floyd (1976). He also became the youngest champion in Masters history at 21 years old and set another 18 tournament records, many of which still stand.

Woods won his first of four PGA Championships in 1999 and completed the career grand slam the following year with victories at the U.S. Open and British Open. He won the 2008 U.S. Open and went 11 years without a major championship victory until winning the Masters for the fifth time in 2019. He now has 15 major championships.

Hogan and Player have each won nine major championships. Walter Hagen, who ranks third in all-time major victories, was never able to win the Masters to complete the career grand slam. Hogan achieved that distinction in 1953 with an especially impressive season: he won the U.S. Open, Masters, and British Open, becoming the first golfer to win at least three major championships in a single year. Player won his first major at the 1959 British Open and completed the career grand slam with a victory at the 1965 U.S. Open.

Sarazen is a seven-time major championship winner whom many credit with creating the sand wedge during the early 1930s. He won the PGA Championship and U.S. Open in 1922, but won only one major (the 1923 PGA Championship) over the next 10 years. Sarazen won the 1932 British Open and completed the grand slam by winning the Masters Tournament in 1935. He was the first golfer to achieve this rare feat.

Assessing River Difficulty for Canoers and Kayakers

Kayaking on the lake, boat alone Free Photo

Kayaking and canoeing are low-impact exercises that can benefit the body in several ways. In addition to improving cardiovascular fitness, these exercises strengthen various muscle groups throughout the back, chest, shoulders, and arms. Individuals who kayak or canoe regularly will also notice improved strength throughout the legs and torso. Considering the low impact nature of the sports, these benefits are accentuated by minimal stress on joints and tissues.

Many people enjoy the calm, tranquil environment provided by rivers and streams. Furthermore, these exercises necessitate exposure to nature and sunlight. Sunlight has been attributed to numerous psychological benefits, including elevated serotonin levels, which boost a person’s overall mood, and melatonin, which helps maintain a healthy sleep cycle.

Before beginners can start enjoying these and other benefits, they must familiarize themselves with the different categories of river difficulty to avoid taking on a waterway beyond their skill level. Developed by American Whitewater, the International Scale of River Difficulty upholds the national standard for difficult ratings. The scale is similar to the system used to grade ski runs. A river’s difficulty rating is based on other rivers in the region, not necessarily a nationwide constant. With this in mind, kayak and canoe enthusiasts should be very cautious when exploring a new river, regardless of the rating.

Similarly, ratings can be outdated due to yearly fluctuations in water levels or can change due to sudden weather events. Furthermore, some rivers have multiple or partial ratings. For example, a river may be rated a Class II with occasional Class IV rapids or may be rated as a Class IV river. In either case, individuals should have the skill to take on a river’s most challenging sections.

A final consideration that must be made when evaluating a river’s difficulty rating involves duration and stamina. For instance, a person may be comfortable with Class IV rivers and rapids while at peak physical condition. However, after several hours of Class III paddling, fatigue can set in, making it more difficult to take on rapids at this level. If for any reason, an individual believes they are not prepared for a specific river, regardless of rating, they should avoid it.

The scale begins at Class I and continues through Class VI. Class I rapids and rivers are fast-moving waterways with minor waves. These rivers feature little to no obstructions, and any challenges individuals face can be scouted from a distance and are easily navigable. Individuals who fall into the water will usually have no issues rescuing themselves.

Class V rivers, by comparison, should only be attempted by highly skilled kayakers and canoers. They consist of powerful rapids and demand precise handling. Swimmers are at considerable risk for injury, and self-rescue can be difficult. Class VI rapids, meanwhile, are generally considered too dangerous for paddling sports. Only world-class athletes should attempt these rapids, and even then, attempts should be made after extensive scouting and under optimal conditions.

It bears repeating that the International Scale of River Difficulty does not represent a perfect science and should be viewed as one of many safety resources utilized when taking on rapids. At its most basic, the scale serves to gauge the danger posed to individual swimmers and the likelihood of a successful rescue should someone fall out of the kayak or canoe.

MLB No-Hitters and Perfect Games

In the sport of baseball, pitchers can enjoy a variety of achievements that indicate exceptional performances, most notably no-hitters and perfect games.

A Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher can record a no-hitter by completing a regulation game without yielding a hit to the opposing team. A single pitcher must finish all nine innings in order to receive credit for the game, although multiple pitchers can share joint credit if a no-hitter is maintained over the duration of a full game.

As the designation suggests, a no-hitter is only concerned with whether any opposing players reach base by way of a hit. A pitcher can still receive credit for a no-hitter if they walk batters, intentionally or otherwise, or if a batter reaches base via error.

A no-hitter may also be credited to a pitcher regardless of fielder’s choice scenarios. This means that if a defensive player cleanly fields a ball and opts to throw out a runner at second or third base instead of the player running to first base, the pitcher is not charged with giving up a hit. Batters can also reach base in a no-hitter following a wild pitch on strike three or as a result of catcher’s interference.

With these exceptions in mind, it should be noted that it is possible for a team to score runs against a pitcher that throws a no-hitter. In fact, there have been two instances of MLB pitchers receiving credit for both a no-hitter and a loss in the same game.

Ken Johnson threw a nine-inning no-hitter in 1964 as a pitcher for the Houston Colt .45s. It was a clean game for Johnson entering the top of the ninth in a 0-0 tie, but a series of errors and ground outs advanced Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds around the bases. Houston failed to score in the bottom of the ninth, resulting in a 1-0 loss and a no-hitter for Johnson, who finished with nine strikeouts and just two walks on the day.

Johnny Vander Meer is the only MLB player to pitch no-hitters in consecutive starts, a feat he achieved in 1938. In 1965, Jim Maloney became the first pitcher in nearly five decades to complete an extra innings no-hitter. He nearly managed the feat twice in one season, having given up a hit in the 11th inning earlier in the year. Nolan Ryan holds the league record with seven career no-hitters.

As one might surmise, a perfect game allows for less leeway compared to a no-hitter. To achieve a perfect game, pitchers cannot allow a single opposing player to reach base by any means. Throughout 218,400 games and 150 years of play, MLB pitchers have combined for just 23 perfect games, with no pitcher achieving the feat more than once. Don Larsen is the only pitcher to throw a perfect game in the postseason, which he achieved in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees.

A Brief Look at the History of the Stanley Cup

Awarded annually to the championship-winning team in the National Hockey League (NHL), the Stanley Cup has been in existence longer than the league itself. Originally named the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, it was donated by Canadian governor general Lord Stanley in 1892 to be awarded to the premier amateur hockey team in the country. The Montreal Amateur Athletic Association was the first team to win the prestigious trophy in 1893. Subsequent winners include the Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs, and Montreal Wanderers.

The Stanley Cup was awarded solely to teams in Eastern Canada until 1915, when the Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association won the trophy. The Seattle Metropolitans, in 1917, were the first team in the United States to win the Stanley Cup. Following a leaguewide expansion that included the addition of three American teams and the acquisition of some of the best Western Hockey League players, the NHL gained exclusive control of the Stanley Cup in 1926.

Continuing their national dominance of the sport, the Ottawa Senators won the Stanley Cup in the 1926-27 season. Previously known as the Ottawa Silver Seven, the franchise won 11 Stanley Cups from 1903 to 1927. The New York Rangers won their first Stanley Cup the following year. The Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, and Detroit Red Wings all won their first Stanley Cup by 1936.

The Toronto Maple Leafs won six Stanley Cups from 1942 to 1951, but no NHL franchise has been more successful than the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal won its first Stanley Cup in 1923 before the trophy was owned by the NHL and, to date, has 24 victories. The team won the Stanley Cup in five consecutive years from 1956 to 1960 and four straight years from 1975 to 1979. The New York Islanders won their first of four successive Stanley Cups in 1980.

With more teams in the NHL, it is statistically harder to repeat as Stanley Cup champion, let alone win the trophy in four or five consecutive years. Yet the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning won back-to-back championships in 2016-17 and 2020-21, respectively. The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup three times in the six seasons from 2010 to 2015.

Teams that have won the Stanley Cup have their names engraved on the trophy, a practice recommended by Lord Stanley. In 1907, the Montreal Wanderers expanded upon this by engraving each of the players’ names on the bowl of the trophy. This became standard practice in 1924. To make space for these inscriptions, the Stanley Cup was redesigned in 1947 and 1957.

Today, the Stanley Cup features a replica of the original design atop bands of the winning teams from 1893 to 1927, in addition to a shoulder collar featuring the names of each of the teams that won the trophy from 1892 to 1992. Below that is five barrel bands with space for 13 teams and the individual players on those teams. When a band is filled, the oldest remaining band is removed and placed in the Hockey Hall of Fame, which also houses the original bowl design of the Stanley Cup.

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