Gary Player Rates The Masters As Fourth-Best Men's Major

The nine-time Major champion says that the Open, US Open and PGA Championship all rank above The Masters in his view

Gary Player speaking at a Masters press conference
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Masters will be the favorite Major of many golf fans but three-time Green Jacket winner and Masters honorary starter Gary Player has put it bottom in his rankings of the four men's Majors.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Daily Mail's chief sports feature writer Riath Al-Samarrai, Player claimed that the Open Championship is "by far the greatest tournament on the planet", only ahead of the US Open - which he won once in 1965 at Bellerive Country Club in Missouri. He then placed the PGA Championship third and The Masters, the youngest of the four Majors, in fourth.

“But, never mind the Masters, the Open is by far the greatest tournament on the planet,” Player told the Daily Mail.

“I rate the Open at one, the US Open two, PGA three and Augusta four; Four marvelous tournaments.”

“[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.”

Player has won nine Majors, with three Claret Jugs, three Masters titles, two PGA Championships and one US Open. His first Major win came at the 1959 Open at Muirfield and he would win the Open again in 1968 at Carnoustie and in 1974 at Royal Lytham and St Annes. He first won The Masters in 1961, where he became the first non-American to triumph at Augusta National.

Ahead of this year's highly anticipated Masters, where PGA Tour stars will go up against LIV Golf players for the first time since July's 150th Open, Player is picking Rory McIlroy to finally slip on the Green Jacket and complete the career grand slam.

Gary Player and Rory McIlroy shake hands

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"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.

"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."

Rory McIlroy currently ranks 2nd in the world following his 3rd-place finish at the WGC-Match Play. He heads to Augusta next week after his best ever Masters finish of 2nd last year, where he holed a bunker shot on the 72nd green to shoot a final round of 64. The Northern Irishman will be making his 15th Masters start this year.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV