Back-to-Back Major Winners In Same Year – Golf

min read
Jon Rahm of Spain celebrates with the trophy after winning during the final round of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course) on June 20, 2021 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Nick Hennion @nickhennion Apr 11, 2024, 2:06 PM
  • Jack Nicklaus has gone back-to-back in the majors three times.
  • Tiger Woods is famed example of a player winning more than two consecutive titles.
  • Only once since 2010 has a player earned back-to-back major titles.

The most famous example of a player winning consecutive major championships is Tiger Woods in 2000 and 2001. 

Woods won the final three major championships of the 2000 season – the U.S. Open, the Open Championship and the PGA Championship. 

He followed it up by winning the 2001 Masters – his second green jacket – to hold all four major championships at one point. 

However, recent history has favored new major winners at each championship based on golf odds

Since the 2002 season, only one player has won back-to-back major titles. That came in 2018 when Brooks Koepka won the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open consecutively. 

Since 2019, golf hasn’t featured a player that has earned back-to-back major titles. 

Since 2022, each major has featured a different winner, with five of those eight players winning their first major championship. 

Here’s a full list of the players who have earned back-to-back major titles since 1934, the first year four majors were played. 

  • 1948: Ben Hogan, PGA Championship & U.S. Open
  • 1949: Sam Snead, The Masters & PGA Championship
  • 1956: Jack Burke Jr., The Masters & PGA Championship
  • 1961-62: Arnold Palmer, The Open Championship & The Masters
  • 1963: Jack Nicklaus, The Masters & PGA Championship
  • 1971: Lee Trevino, U.S. Open & The Open Championship
  • 1975: Jack Nicklaus, The Masters & PGA Championship
  • 1979-80: Seve Ballesteros, The Open Championship & The Masters
  • 1980: Jack Nicklaus, PGA Championship & U.S. Open
  • 1980-81: Tom Watson, The Open Championship & The Masters
  • 1982: Tom Watson, U.S. Open & The Open Championship
  • 2000-01: Tiger Woods, PGA Championship, U.S. Open & The Masters
  • 2018: Brooks Koepka, PGA Championship & U.S. Open

Famously, it is most difficult to win the Open Championship immediately after the U.S. Open.

There have been 86 years in which the British Open was held after the U.S. Open, of which 82 were consecutively played in the major championship schedule, e.g., The Masters was played first, followed by the U.S. Open, British Open, and PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods’ victory at St. Andrews in 2000 is one of only three instances in which the U.S. Open winner won the British Open as consecutive majors. The others – Lee Trevino in 1971 and Tom Watson in 1982 – join Woods in a group equal to that of U.S. Open winners cut at the next major:

  • 2019: Gary Woodland
  • 2013: Phil Mickelson
  • 2009: Lucas Glover

Only seven times from 2007-19 did the U.S. Open champion play on the weekend at the British Open. Five of seven finished at least 10 strokes behind the winner.

Another two golfers — Webb Simpson and Pádraig Harrington — didn’t play in The Open after winning the U.S. Open.

How does the 3.7-percent success rate of back-to-back U.S. Open-British Open champions (three of 82) compare to other back-to-back majors in the same year?

It’s the lowest rate among majors (min. 10 times played consecutively):

British Open-U.S. Open: Three British Open winners have won the U.S. Open in consecutive majors. Those occurred in 28 possible opportunities for a rate of 10.7 percent.

British Open-PGA Championship: 6 of 73 – 8.2%

The Masters-U.S.Open: 6 of 78 – 7.7%

U.S. Open-PGA Championship: 1 of 19: 5.3%

U.S. Open-British Open: 3 of 82 3.7%

It’s never been accomplished in six opportunities for The Masters-PGA Championship, six for the PGA Championship-U.S.Open, five for the PGA Championship-British Open, and once apiece for the U.S. Open-The Masters and the PGA Championship-The Masters. (The Masters and British Open have never been played consecutively, in either order.)

It’s hard to win consecutive majors in the same year; only 13 golfers have done it, combining for 19 consecutive majors in 299 opportunities, a success rate of 6.4 percent.

Jack Nicklaus did it only once, as did Arnold Palmer, Walter Hagen, and Tom Watson. Gary Player never did it, nor did Harry Vardon, Sam Snead, Nick Faldo, or Byron Nelson.

Only Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen, and Woods did it multiple times. Woods is the only golfer to accomplish the feat more than twice (four times).

McIlroy is the only golfer in the last 15 years to win the second of consecutive majors as the favorite.

Three weeks after his wire-to-win in the 2014 British Open win at Royal Liverpool, he arrived at the PGA Championship as a heavy favorite (+600). With a final-round 68 to finish 15-under at Valhalla, McIlroy won his fourth career major.

Visit the online sportsbook for updated golf odds throughout the year.

Whether you’re a new bettor browsing major championship odds, a casual fan building parlays, or a longtime diehard breaking down weather trends, there’s something for everyone.

And always check updated sportsbook promos during the season. You can find Odds Boost Tokens, sweepstakes, BetMGM’s welcome offer, and more!

BetMGM First Bet Offer $1,500
About the Author

Nick Hennion

Read More @nickhennion

Nick Hennion is a senior content writer for BetMGM. His previous stops include VSiN, NBC Sports, The Action Network and Forbes Betting. He owns a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree from Northwestern University.

Nick Hennion is a senior content writer for BetMGM. His previous stops include VSiN, NBC Sports, The Action Network and Forbes Betting. He owns a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree from Northwestern University.