Golf is one of the most popular sports in the world, and the number of tournaments being played all over the world and the following that these tournaments enjoy are proofs of this. If you really want to enjoy golf at its finest, it’s a good idea to check out what can be considered as the top 5 golf tournaments in the world.
The Masters (USA)
The US Masters is one of the four major tournaments in the US, and is undoubtedly the best among the four. At the very least, it’s the most popular, and its 8.1 rating according to Nielsen for 2011-2012 is proof of this. In a survey done by the Sports Illustrated, 50% out of 50 golf pros asked prefer this tournament. The Masters is also heavily sponsored. Here are some of its regular sponsors: IBM, AT&T and ExxonMobil.
The first ever tournament champion is Horton Smith in 1934. Here are other past winners of the tournament:
- José María Olazábal (1994 and 1999)
- Phil Mickelson (2004, 2006 and 2010)
- Bubba Watson (2012)
- Trevor Immelman (2008)
- Vijay Singh (2000)
- Tiger Woods (1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005)
The Open Championship (UK)
Affectionately called “The Open”, it’s the only major championship out of four major championships held outside of the US. It’s also the oldest out of the four. The tournament is held in July every year in different courses, with the St. Andrews being the most popular. After all, it’s widely considered as the home of golf.
Since golf is the 6th most participated in sport in the UK, it just follows that it enjoys support from a lot of sponsors. Here are some of them: HSBC, MasterCard, Mercedes-Benz, and Rolex. Here is a list of some of the past winners of The Open:
- Tom Watson (The American with the most number of wins with 5)
- Harry Vardon (Jersey’s pride with 6 total wins)
- James Braid (Scottish golfer with 5 total wins)
- Jock Hutchison (The first American to win The Open in 1921)
PGA Tour of Australasia (Australia)
Australia is 5th in the list of countries with the most number of golf courses, so it goes without saying that it enjoys quite a following. The most popular tournament of all is the PGA Tour of Australasia. It’s a tournament that has mainly Australians and New Zealanders among its top players, although it enjoys the participation of players from all over the world. It also serves as the feeder tour for the PGA Tour and the European Tour.
The tour encountered issues in the mid-2000s, with sponsors pulling out of the major events. The tournament is in the process of recovering with the help of the following sponsors: Coca-Cola, Amatil, and Holden.
- Here is a list of the past winners of the tour:
- Peter Senior (2012 Emirates Australian Open)
- Geoff Ogilvy (2010 Australian Open)
- Craig Parry (2005 Heineken Classic)
Singapore Open (Singapore)
This tournament is played at the Sentosa Golf Club every November as part of the Asian Tour. It’s a lucrative tournament except for the fact that it was shelved from 2001 to 2004 due to lack of sponsors. Barclays Bank rejuvenated the tournament with a five year deal, before pulling out last year. With the pullout of Barclays Bank as the title sponsor, tournament organizers are now open for sponsorship opportunities.
They started by teaming up with World Sport Group for a five-year deal. The current champion is Italy’s Matteo Manassero. Here are some past winners of the tournament:
- Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño of Spain (2011)
- Ian Poulter of England (2009)
- Adam Scott of Australia (2005 and 2006)
European Tour (Europe)
It’s considered by professional golfers and fans alike as the 2nd most prestigious tour in the whole world after the US PGA Tour. While it’s based in Europe, it has scheduled events in the US, Africa and Asia. Included is the Dubai World Championship which is rising fast as one of the most lucrative and most prestigious tournaments in the world of golf.
Obviously, the tour enjoys support from some of the biggest names in golf as sponsors. Club Car is the official golf vehicle of the tour and Titleist is the official range golf ball of the tour. Here’s a list of some of the other sponsors:
Rolex, R&A, and Abacus.
Here’s a list of the Merit winners of the tour:
- Rory McIlroy (2012)
- Luke Donald (2011)
- Ernie Els (2002 and 2003)