Golf's Grand Slam winners: Open champion Spieth close to joining elite club

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Jordan Spieth will have the chance to complete the career Grand Slam next month at the US PGA Championship after winning The Open for the first time on Sunday.

Having claimed victory at the Masters and U.S. Open in 2015, Spieth triumphed by three shots at Royal Birkdale following a rollercoaster final round to earn his third major success.

Only five players have won each of golf's modern-day major championships and Spieth, 24 next week, would become the youngest man to do so if he prevails at Quail Hollow.

We take a look at when the previous Grand Slams were completed and the notable names who have come close to achieving the feat.

 

GENE SARAZEN

Already a winner at the U.S. Open, US PGA Championship and The Open, Sarazen won the second edition of the Masters in 1935. Victory at Augusta gave Sarazen his seventh and last major title.

 

BEN HOGAN

Hogan completed the Grand Slam during a stunning 1953 season. After claiming a second Masters title and fourth U.S. Open crown, Hogan lifted the Claret Jug at Carnoustie - a particularly impressive achievement given he was making his first and last appearance in The Open. Sadly, Hogan was denied a shot at winning all four majors in one year, due to mandatory Open qualifying clashing with that year's US PGA Championship.

 

GARY PLAYER

Nine-time major champion Player completed his Grand Slam at the 1965 U.S. Open, defeating Kel Nagle in a play-off at Bellerive. To this day, the South African remains the only non-American to have won all four majors.

 

JACK NICKLAUS

Almost every list detailing great golfing achievements will feature Nicklaus, the winner of a record 18 major titles. The Golden Bear triumphed in each of his sport's premier strokeplay events at least three times and was only 26 when he secured victory in the 1966 Open Championship at Muirfield to complete the Grand Slam.

 

TIGER WOODS

While Woods now appears all but certain to fall short of Nicklaus' major haul, he did match the feat of earning three successes in each of the four majors. What is more, he was younger than Nicklaus, at 24, when he completed the Grand Slam at St Andrews in the 129th Open Championship. Woods is also the only man to hold all four major titles at the same time, success in the 2001 Masters rounding off a stunning 'Tiger Slam'.

 

THREE OUT OF FOUR ... AT LEAST FOR NOW

Spieth joins a dozen other golfers to have won three of the four majors. Greats of the game such as Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson were unable to complete the Grand Slam, while Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy are the two active players missing just one trophy. Mickelson has famously come up agonisingly short on multiple occasions at the U.S. Open, while the green jacket is the prize that has eluded McIlroy up to now.