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The biggest golf tournaments in the world right now (ranked)

Golf is a worldwide sport with millions of fans keen to watch the best players competing against each other for the largest prizes.

We are going to be taking a look at the biggest golf tournaments in the world right now and ranking them in order of importance for the 2022-23 season.

These are the most important tournaments in men’s golf:

The ‘Majors’ are undoubtedly the biggest golf tournaments in the world. Their order of importance and prestige will vary depending on who you talk to, but winning any of these four tournaments is considered to be the pinnacle of the sport.

1st – The Open

The Open is the biggest golf tournament
Image credit: Peter Morrison, Associated Press

Sometimes referred to as The ‘British Open’, this is the oldest and most historic golf tournament in the world. Most commonly played on traditional links style golf courses, it is considered by many to be the ultimate test of golf due to the tough weather and undulating surfaces.

The winner each year gets awarded the title of ‘Champion Golfer of Year’ to go along with the famous Claret Jug trophy.

In 2022, The Open is likely going to be the biggest tournament in golf. The Open celebrates its 150th year and returns to ‘The Home of Golf’ at St. Andrew’s.

2nd – The Masters

Of all the Majors, The Masters is the only one held at the same golf course each year.

Augusta National, in Georgia, famed for its beautiful azaleas and stunning course, plays host to the most exclusive of golf tournaments.

Every year the best golfers in the world battle it out to win the coveted green jacket.

3rd – The U.S. Open

Extremely tough conditions and the largest prize purse of all the Majors make the U.S. Open another hugely popular tournament.

We have become used to birdies galore on the PGA Tour, so watching the best golfers often battling to break par makes for compelling viewing.

4th – The PGA Championship

Despite being regarded by most golfers as the fourth best of the Majors, The PGA Championship still deserves its place as one of the biggest tournaments in world golf.

The best golfers fight it out to win a Major, which for many golfers could be the crowning achievement in their career.

5th – The Players Championship

Commonly referred to as the unofficial fifth Major, The Players Championship is comfortably the next biggest golf tournament.

All of the best players in the world compete for an overall prize purse that is actually higher than any of the Majors.

Always played at the iconic TPC Sawgrass, the course conditions and media hype emulate that of a Major tournament.

6th – The Tour Championship

Outside of the top 5 on this list, the Tour Championship is probably the event that most PGA Tour golfers would most like to win.

There might be more prestigious or meaningful tournaments still to come on this list, but no tournament in world golf has a bigger financial incentive.

With an exclusive small field, the Tour Championship decides the fate of the top 30 golfers in the FedEx Cup.

Patrick Cantlay won the event in 2021, pocketed an eye-watering $15 million.

7th – The Memorial Tournament

The Memorial Tournament is one of the biggest golf tournaments, because it is hosted by one of the greatest golfers ever to play the sport, Jack Nicklaus.

Played every year at Muirfield Village Golf Club, a course Nicklaus designed, it always commands a stellar field.

There might be more lucrative tournaments on the PGA Tour, but winning The Memorial is considered special thanks to the golfer so many players idolize.

A special mention to the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which could equally be in the top 10 tournaments for the same reason.

8th – WGC Matchplay

The World Golf Championship Match Play is considered one of the most important tournaments in the world, with the major distinguishing feature being the tournament format.

Matchplay provides a different spectacle from the standard 72 stroke play format and pits the world’s best golfers against each other head-to-head.

It is always excellent for golf fans to watch and can be a chance for golfers to showcase their skills for potential future Ryder Cup picks.

9th – FedEx St. Jude Championship

One of the final FedEx tournaments of the season, the St. Jude Championship always has a standout field and one of the biggest prize pots in world golf.

Similarly, you could argue that the BMW Championship equally deserves a spot on our top 10 list of biggest golf tournaments.

Yet, it is impossible to ignore the amazing work the PGA Tour does raising money for the St. Jude’s Children’s charity, having raised over $50 million since the event started.

10th – DP World Tour Championship

Signaling the end of the Race to Dubai, for the newly formed DP Tour (formerly European Tour), this is the most lucrative tournament excluding the Tour Championship.

Despite having a smaller prize fund than several PGA Tour events, the winner of the Race to Dubai pockets an additional $1 million bonus.

Winning both the DP World Tour Championship and Race to Dubai in 2021, Collin Morikawa took home a tidy $3 million reward.

Team tournaments

Ryder Cup is the biggest team tournament in golf
Image credit: Andrew Redington

Ryder Cup

A biennial team match between Europe and the US, the Ryder Cup is arguably the biggest fan spectacle in golf. With plenty of history and rivalry between both the teams, there is always an incredible atmosphere and lots of tension.

Played over three days the contest includes foursomes, fourball and singles matchplay. It is an experience like no other in golf and one every golf fan should try to attend in person at least once.

Whilst we are covering the biggest tournaments in men’s golf in this article, an honorable mention to the ladies’ equivalent the Solheim Cup.

Olympic Games

Golf was reintroduced into the Olympic Games in 2016, so it would be remiss not to mention this as one of the most important golf tournaments in the world.

Golfers might be competing for individual medals, but there is arguably no bigger honor than to represent your nation at the Olympic Games.

Presidents Cup & EurAsia Cup

Similar to the Ryder Cup, both the Presidents Cup and EurAsia Cup are biennial team matchplay events.

In the Presidents Cup the US take on the Rest of the World (excluding Europe) and in the EurAsia Cup Europe compete against Asia.

Despite both being important events in their own right, they are considered good practice for European and US players and captains ahead of the Ryder Cup.

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