The Lowest 72-Hole Scores at Every Men’s Golf Major Championship

Simply put, the four major championships are the most prestigious events in men’s golf. While winning an event on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, or any of the many professional tours worldwide, there’s nothing like winning a major.

And just to be clear, we’re talking about the four modern major championships here. While the U.S. Amateur and British Amateur were once considered majors, we’re sticking with The Open Championship, the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship, and The Masters for these purposes.

To date, 462 major championships have been played, the most recent being the 2022 Open Championship on the Old Course at St. Andrews. And in those 462 majors, 230 different players have won at least one. Of those 230, 84 have won two or more.

Jack Nicklaus, of course, leads the way with 18, while Tiger Woods is three back with 15. But despite their success on the biggest stages, neither holds the 72-hole scoring record at any of the four majors, although each did at various points.

So of the 230 men to win a major, which players do hold the honor of the lowest score at each? Let’s take a look.

What is the lowest 72-hole score at The Open Championship?

The Open Championship flag
The Open Championship flag | Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images

First played in 1860, The Open Championship is the oldest major championship in golf. Of the 88 different winners in 150 editions of The Open, 27 have won the tournament multiple times, led by Harry Vardon’s six victories.

But it’s a pair of one-time winners who share the 72-hole scoring record.

What is the lowest 72-hole score at the U.S. Open?

U.S. Open flag
A U.S. Open flag | Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The first U.S. Open was played in 1895 as a 36-hole competition. In fact, the first three U.S. Opens were contested as 36-hole events. But since 1898, the tourney has been 72 holes — minus playoffs, of course.

Before Tiger Woods’ historic 15-shot win in 2000 at Pebble Beach, no player had ever finished a U.S. Open double-digits under par. Since that 12-under performance, only two other winners have accomplished that same feat. And it’s those two players who share the 72-hole scoring record at the second-oldest major championship.

What is the lowest 72-hole score at the PGA Championship?

PGA Championship flaf
PGA Championship flag | Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The PGA Championship is the only men’s major championship with an all-professional field. Instead of amateur players, this tournament features 20 club professionals who compete for the coveted slots in the annual PGA Professional Championship.

While the first PGA Championship was held in 1916, the tournament was contested as a match-play event until 1958. So winners over the tourney’s first four decades didn’t even get a shot at the 72-hole scoring record.

As he has in all four majors, Tiger Woods once held this record, twice shooting 18-under. But just as all three of his other records have fallen, his PGA Championship record has as well.

What is the lowest 72-hole score at The Masters?

The Masters flag
The Masters flag | Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Last and certainly not least, we come to golf’s youngest major championship, The Masters.

First contested in 1934, The Masters is the only major held on the same course every year. And Augusta National has certainly provided some of the great moments in golf history over the years.

Typically held in early April, the tournament was forced to move to November in 2020 due to COVID-19. And it was that special edition when the 72-hole scoring record was set.

Stats courtesy of TheOpen.com, USOpen.com, PGAChampionship.com, Masters.com

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