Jack Nicklaus Ranked The Masters Bottom Of The Majors - Just Like Gary Player

In his 2017 documentary, Jack Nicklaus did the same as Gary Player and put the Masters bottom of the Majors pecking order

Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus at the Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Gary Player attracted some criticism when he put the Masters at the bottom when ranking the four golf Majors, but none other than Jack Nicklaus himself has previously aired the same view.

Many thought Player was speaking out of turn when the three-time Masters champion and honorary starter at Augusta National put it last in importance of the four Majors.

Player was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: “But, never mind the Masters, The Open is by far the greatest tournament on the planet.

"I rate The Open at one, the US Open two, PGA three and Augusta four; four marvellous tournaments.”

Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus at the Masters

(Image credit: Getty Images)

However, the man with more Green Jackets than anyone else agrees, saying that although the Masters is an iconic event it can’t be ranked above the other three “Championships” in terms of importance in the game of golf.

The 18-time Major champion says that due to how long the other three have been going, they have to be ranked above the Masters in terms of their standing in golf.

On the back of Player’s comments, the Golf Channel dug out some quotes from their 2017 documentary “Jack” that charted the success of Nicklaus.

In that, the six-time Masters champion explained why he put the US Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship (in that order) above the iconic event at Augusta National.

“I have the US Open as the No. 1 tournament,” Nicklaus said in the Golf Channel documentary. “For the rest of the world, the British Open is probably the No. 1 tournament.

Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus at the Masters

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“The Masters falls fourth because it’s not meant to be ahead of those others. The Masters tournament is not a championship. You can’t rank a tournament ahead of championships.”

And before people even start to criticise Nicklaus, the great man qualified his remarks by later adding that the Masters was probably his favourite tournament to play in, with it always being his big target for the season.

“You know I made my whole life toward winning the Masters and winning the first Major championship (of the year),” Nicklaus added.

“Most people would put the Masters No. 1 and that’s OK. I’d put the Masters No. 1 as far to play in and enjoy doing that kind of stuff. But as far as importance of the game, and being American, the US Open is No. 1.”

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.