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What Are The Top Golf Tournaments

PGA TourThere are some golf tournaments whose pedigrees demand respect and admiration for what they contribute to the game's history. These tournaments test the resolve and skills of the players to a degree that other contests can't begin to match. Actually, it's a good thing that the really great golf tournaments don't come around but a few times each year. Anything beyond the strain evident in those occasional contests could be so dangerous to the psyches of some players that they might very well have short golf careers.

The world's golf season doesn't begin until the Masters Tournament opens play at Augusta National in the first week of April. Until that time of year, golf tournaments have been fun to watch and even seemed to illuminate which players were mastering their craft to really compete for the famed Green Jacket. It's when the Saturday round is over, and the field has shaken out to leave a few who have a chance to take the Masters title, that the real contest begins. And it isn't on the golf course. It's in the players' minds where the real struggle takes place. It's Greg Norman in 1996 watching a six-shot lead on Sunday give way to the steady play of Nick Faldo. It's Scotsman Sandy Lyle serving haggis at the Champions' dinner in 1989. It's Tiger Woods winning his first Masters and crying on his father's shoulder after dropping his last putt. It's just the Masters.

Next on the list of great tournaments is the U.S. Open Championship. It’s held at various golf courses in America, and is known for how difficult the USGA can set a course for play. The real rough begins at two inches, a little further in it’s four inches, and beyond that even a hay mower would have trouble getting through it. U.S. Open officials don't like their tournament being roughed up by par breaking players. On Sunday, the pin placements are in their toughest positions and the greens are slick as glass.

Proof that golf can affect a person's outlook on life occurred in 1958, when fiery-tempered Tommy Bolt abandoned his lifelong gripe with the world and kept his cool. He won the Open at Southern Hills, and soon returned to throwing clubs and generally making himself a royal pain. That same U.S. Open saw 18-year-old Jack Nicklaus compete and make the cut for the first time. He did somewhat better in other Opens.

The Open Championship, a.k.a. the British Open, is a July event. It has been around since 1860, and, by some minds, is the greatest tournament of them all. That could have merit because some of America's best players realized their careers would never be complete until they took a shot at the Open. However it fits your great tournament list, The Open Championship deserves as high a ranking as you can muster.

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