When is a major a Major?

A couple of Sundays ago a dynamic young woman professional, Morgan Pressel, won the Kraft Nabisco Dinah Shore and replaced Sandra Post as the youngest female (at birth) winner of a major. The same people are also saying that Old Tom Morris is the youngest male (you can be either at birth for men’s events) major winner at 17 years old when he won the Open in 1868. How could that 68 Open not be a major, it was probably the only tournament that year.

Sandra Post won this same Kraft Nabisco Dinah Shore Tournament twice. However, the “major” that she won as a youngster was the LPGA Championship. She used to get very upset at me when I introduced her as winner of 3 majors, which I did very often. I was always very happy to find that everyone already knew that about Sandra Post, and this was often in some obscure part of Scotland, or Jamaica, or the Bahamas. She should be the next Governor General!

The question is, when were the Opens, PGA, LPGA, Kraft Nabisco Dinah Shore, DuMaurier, Titleholders etc. deemed Majors?
When Old Tom Morris won the Open, the word Major was not in the golfing dictionary (all the club secretaries were Colonels!).
Is it true that Arnie Palmer and Mark McCormack invented the Majors? Sure I think many events are far superior to others
but who decides, often retroactively, what’s a major?

Not that Sandra would care, she’s too busy booking lessons!

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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