The 15 Best Majors Of The Past Decade

We pick out our 15 favourite Majors from the past 10 seasons - do you agree?

Best Majors Of The Past Decade henrik stenson wins golf writers trophy
Stenson and Mickelson after their epic duel in the 2016 Open Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We pick out our 15 favourite Majors from the past 10 seasons - do you agree?

The 15 Best Majors Of The Past Decade

Here we look back on the 15 best ones from the past 10 seasons in no particular order...

2016 Open

This will be remembered for the epic battle between Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson at Troon when the pair went toe-to-toe all day on Sunday in what some say eclipsed the famous 'Duel in the Sun'.

Phil Mickelson shot 65 but Stenson carded a 63, the joint-lowest round ever in a Major at the time, to win by two from his American counterpart and become the first ever Swedish man to win a Major.

Both men played so well that Mickelson in second was 11 shots clear of third place.

2016 Masters

Spieth Masters

It looked like Jordan Spieth was going to cruise to his second-straight Masters title, especially after he finished the front nine with four straight birdies to lead by five.

However, it went disastrously wrong from there, with Spieth going bogey-bogey-quadruple after hitting his tee shot into Rae's Creek on 12 and then chunking his next one in there too!

Danny Willett birdied 15 to take the lead a few holes in front of Spieth but playing partner Lee Westwood eagled it to get within one - would this be his first Major title?

It wouldn't, as he bogeyed the 16th but Willett birdied it and then made a sensational up-and-down on 17 before parring 18 for a three shot win.

2019 Masters

Things You Didn't Know About Tiger Woods

Without doubt, the 2019 Masters will go down in history as the most famous of this decade's Majors.

That is because, of course, it was the week that Tiger Woods won number 15.

The American won his first Major in 11 years after back surgeries, personal troubles and a recent DUI charge in 2017.

Woods won by a single stroke after a final round 70 from Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffle.

The celebrations were incredible on 18 after the winning putt, with Woods being greeted by his mother and two children who had never seen their Dad win a Major before.

This all came 22 years after he was greeted by his late father in 1997 when he won his first Major at Augusta, it had truly gone full-circle.

2010 US Open

Graeme McDowell prevailed at Pebble Beach to win his first Major after playing partner and 54-hole leader Dustin Johnson imploded with an 82.

G-Mac won by a single stroke from Gregory Havret with a chasing pack consisting of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els just behind.

McDowell's win sparked an incredible run for Northern Irish golf with Rory McIlroy winning the 2011 Masters and Darren Clarke winning the 2011 Open.

2010 USPGA

The USPGA Championship was back at Whistling Straits after hosting in 2004 and it produced a superb Sunday of action.

Martin Kaymer ultimately prevailed to win his first Major in a three-hole playoff over Bubba Watson, but that's only telling half the story.

That's because Dustin Johnson birdied the 17th and needed a par down the last to win his first Major, and DJ hit it down the right into a sandy area before missing from around 6ft for the title, or so he thought.

He tapped in expecting a playoff but was then penalised a shot for grounding his club in the sand after being reminded that all of the sandy areas at Whistling Straits are deemed as hazards.

2018 Open

Carnoustie was baked after the heatwave the UK experienced in 2018 and it turned out to be an excellent tournament.

Francesco Molinari won by two strokes after a bogey-free weekend but he was behind playing partner Tiger Woods with eight holes to play, before Woods double-bogeyed the 11th and dropped another shot at the 12th.

Woods' children were following him around in Scotland and that was a big deal for the 14-time Major winner as his kids had only seen golf bring pain to their dad.

He didn't win but came very close, reminding himself and the world that he still can compete in Majors.

Rory McIlroy was charging with an eagle at the 14th and Justin Rose was in with a shout too, as were Americans Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele, Kevin Kisner who all struggled after strong 54-hole positions.

2017 Open

Jordan Spieth won wire-to-wire at Royal Birkdale but it so nearly went wrong for the Texan on the back nine when he hit a wayward drive on the 13th after playing his first 12 holes in three over.

He managed to find his ball buried up a dune so decided to drop it back in line with the pin and into the tour trucks, therefore getting a free drop to the side and onto the driving range.

It was genius from Spieth, although he receive much criticism for it after the whole situation took some 20 minutes and some believed the driving range should be out of bounds.

However, it wasn't and he made a miraculous bogey to fall one back of playing partner Matt Kuchar and then nearly holed his tee shot on the par-3 14th for a tap-in birdie before eagling the 15th, birdieing 16 and 17 and then parring the last for a three stroke win.

2017 Masters

The back nine on Sunday at Augusta is always an incredible watch but this was something else with Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose going toe-to-toe in what essentially became match play.

Rose was two clear of the Spaniard and looked certain to win after Garcia pulled his drive left on the 13th but they somehow both walked off with par after Garcia holed a long putt and Rose missed from short range.

Garcia then birdied 14 and made a phenomenal eagle on the 15th to draw level.

Rose then went birdie-bogey before they each parred 18 to tie at 8 under.

It was true theatre and unfortunately for Rose it was over after he carved his tee shot into the trees on the 18th at the first playoff hole as Garcia birdied for his first Major win in his 74th attempt.

2019 Open

Why Shane Lowry Wasn’t The Only Winner At Portrush This Week

The final Major of the decade was a special one as the Open Championship returned to Royal Portrush for the first time in 68 years.

Friday afternoon was one of the most memorable of the decade itself, as Rory McIlroy battled back from his 79 on day one with a 65 to miss the cut by a single shot before breaking down in tears post-round.

Shane Lowry then surged on Saturday with a 63 before easing to victory on Sunday in the island of Ireland in what were incredible scenes.

Royal Portrush and Northern Ireland made for the perfect host and it looks almost certain to host the world's oldest Major once again sometime in the next decade.

2012 Open

Adam Scott congratulates Ernie Els

Adam Scott congratulates Ernie Els.Credit: Getty Images

The Big Easy won his fourth and final Major at Royal Lytham and St Annes after a dramatic finish in the north west of England.

Adam Scott had a four stroke lead with four holes to play but an Ernie Els birdie on the 18th and four bogeys in a row from the Aussie handed the Claret Jug to his good friend.

It was devastation for Scott who, at the time, was one of the best players never to win a Major.

2013 Masters

Scott's Major came the following year at Augusta where he defeated Angel Cabrera in a playoff.

The Australian birdied the 72nd hole in the rain where the celebration scream of "Come on Aussie!" could be lip-read but El Pato followed him up the 18th with a stunning birdie of his own to take it to extra holes.

Scott then birdied the treacherous 10th hole to become the first ever Australian to win the Green Jacket.

2014 USPGA

Rory McIlroy's final Major to date came at Valhalla in 2014 in almost darkness.

He had just won the Open Championship and WGC-Bridgestone in his last two starts and was attempting to win three in a row - he did.

McIlroy was two back of Mickelson, Fowler and Stenson with nine to play but an eagle on the par-5 10th thrust him into contention and birdies at 13 and 17 were enough to see him edge past Mickelson by one.

2011 US Open

Rory's first Major came at Congressional in 2011 less than two months after his final round nightmare at Augusta.

The Northern Irishman led wire-to-wire and set 11 US Open records during the process as he won by an enormous eight strokes.

At the age of 22 this was an incredible performance that made the world stand up.

It was as gutsy as it was special after what happened at the recent Masters, too.

2011 Masters

The 2011 Masters is widely remembered for Rory McIlroy's final round meltdown where he shot 80 (+8, but +7 for the back nine alone) after holding the 54 hole lead.

It wasn't to be for McIlroy who visited the cabins way left on 10 before going triple-bogey-double to end his hopes.

It looked like one of Jason Day or Adam Scott would become the first Australian to with the Masters...that was until Charl Schwartzel birdied the final four holes to win by two.

Schwartzel chipped in for birdie on the 1st and then holed a wedge on the 3rd for eagle. He then played his next 11 holes in one over before the incredible finish.

2010 Masters

Lee Westwood had plenty of great chances to win a Major and this was right up there as the Englishman held the 54-hole lead.

The only problem was that Phil Mickelson was playing with him in the final group and was just one back, and an inspired Lefty shot five under on Sunday to win by three.

It was emotional for the Mickelson family with his wife Amy there to greet him on the 18th green after undergoing breast cancer treatment over the past year.

What was your favourite Major of the past decade? Let us know your thoughts on our social media channels

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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