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Professional golf is all about The Majors. The greats of the game like Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are compared by the number of Major Championship victories they have captured. But don't be fooled into thinking that the Majors are just the preserve of golfing legends though as Major Championship golf throws up more than its fair share of shock results. For every Phil Mickelson there's always a Michael Campbell, Todd Hamilton or Lucas Glover. As ever 2016 will see 4 Majors played across the United States (3) and the United Kingdom. Golf Betting System covers every Major, World Golf Championship, PGA Tour and European Tour tournament with expert analysis from Paul Williams and Steve Bamford - here's a brief overview of what to expect in 2016:
U.S. Masters Tips 2016
The US Masters, or the Masters Tournament to coin its official title, is always the first Major Championship of the golfing year. The 2016 US Masters is the 80th edition of the tournament, taking place between Thursday 7th April - Sunday 10th April 2016, when the elite of world golf make their annual pilgrimage to Augusta, Georgia. The Masters is always played at Augusta National Golf Club and the manicured beauty of the course, in tandem with the history that goes with it, puts winning this title on a level with the Open Championship.
Since 1949, Masters tradition dictates that every winner receives the obligatory Green Jacket, presented by the previous year's champion, inside the Butler Cabin soon after the end of the tournament with the presentation then being repeated on the 18th green in front of the patrons. Jack Nicklaus has won the Green Jacket more times than any other player with 6 wins, the last featuring his famous back 9 'charge' in 1986.
Augusta National is a 7,435 yard Par 72 which features extremely contoured fairways and greens. The bentgrass greens are traditionally some of the fastest putting surfaces of the year. Recent champions include Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel. Steve will be previewing this year's event here in the run-up to the tournament and his US Masters tips will be published here on Tuesday 5th April 2016.
U.S. Open Tips 2016
The U.S. Open is traditionally the toughest of the 4 Major Championships. Organised by the United States Golf Association (USGA), the Championship moves location from year-to-year following a championship rotation, but USGA Executive Director Mike Davis' remit is always to 'protect par'. For 2016 the 116th U.S. Open takes place between Thursday 16th June - Sunday 19th June and will be hosted at Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pennsylvania. The Henry Fownes design is known as the oldest top-ranked golf club in the United States and the par 70, 7,255 classical layout is sure to present a stern test to the golfing elite.
A field of 156 players will all be attempting to follow in the footsteps of recent champions Graeme McDowell (2010), Rory McIlroy (2011), Webb Simpson (2012), Justin Rose (2013), Martin Kaymer (2014) and last year's winner Jordan Spieth. With the exception of Kaymer and Spieth who'd secured his first Major at Augusta a matter of weeks before, all were first time Major Champions and all are sure to feature high up in the 2016 betting market due to their shared characteristic of being consistent performers from tee to green. Steve will also be previewing this year's event here and his 2016 US Open Tips will be published here on Tuesday 14th June 2016.
Jordan Spieth, 2015 Masters; Jordan Spieth, 2015 US Open; Zach Johnson, 2015 Open Championship; Jason Day, 2015 US PGA Championship.
Open Championship Tips 2016
The Open Championship is the original Major Championship. Now in its 145th year, The Open or the British Open as it's known in the United States, is the oldest of the Majors, established in 1860. Organised by the Royal & Ancient (R&A), it's the only Major Championship to be played outside of the United States, although there have been announcements from Ted Bishop, the President of the PGA of America, that they are seriously looking at taking the PGA Championship to international venues in the future. This year's Open Championship is being hosted for the 9th time at Royal Troon from Thursday July 14th - Sunday 17th July 2016.
Zach Johnson is the defending champion after his outstanding putting performance at St Andrews where he fended off Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in a 3-man play-off. Zach's unlikely to be anywhere near the bookies' favourite to defend his title though, instead the likes of Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy will headline a very international field of players as qualifying across Australia (Tour of Australasia), Asia (Japan and Asian Tour), Africa (Sunshine Tour), European and PGA Tours in tandem with automatic qualification for the associated Order of Merit winners plus the Top 30 in the European Tour's Race to Dubai makes for a truly international feel. Paul Williams will be previewing this year's event here and his 2016 Open Championship tips will be published here on Tuesday 12th July 2016.
U.S. PGA Championship Tips 2016
The fourth and final Major of 2016, the U.S. PGA Championship, features the biggest winner's purse. The Wanamaker Trophy is not in the least understated, nor is the tournament's prize fund which for 2016 has been maintained at $10 million making the 2016 PGA Championship the richest tournament of the season alongside the Players Championship. Played earlier this year due to the Olympics from Thursday 28th July - Sunday 31st July, the PGA Championship is returning to Baltusrol in 2016 to revisit the scene of Phil Mickelson's one and only US PGA title from 2005.
Recent PGA winners include Padraig Harrington, Y.E. Yang, Martin Kaymer, Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Rory McIlroy and defending champion Jason Day. That's 7 winners from 6 different nations, highlighting the truly international nature of the final Major Championship known as "Glory's Last Shot". Steve Bamford will write his customary pre-event preview that your can read here; he will also be previewing this year's event and his 2016 US PGA Championship tips will be published here on Tuesday 26th July 2016.