Lowest Round in a Men's Golf Major: The All-Time Bests

PGA Tour Records: Lowest 18-Hole Score in Major Championship

Branden Grace after finishing his 62 at the 2017 British Open
Branden Grace holds the all-time 18-hole scoring record in men's majors. Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

The record for the lowest round ever shot in a men's major championship is 62. That score has been recorded exactly once, and it happened at the 2017 British Open.

For decades, the score of 63 in a major was one of the best-known records in golf. And many golfers, since the first 63 was scored in a major in 1973, matched it. But none bettered it until 2017. We'll take a look at all those 63s here, too, but first, let's talk about the all-time record.

Lowest Round Ever In a Men's Major: 62

The first-ever 62 in a men's major happened at the 2017 Open Championship on the par-70 links at Royal Birkdale. The record-setter? Branden Grace.

In the third round, Grace birdied the first hole and never looked back. He birdied four more holes on the front side to make the turn in 29. On the back nine, he added three more birdies to come home in 33. With with eight birdies and no bogeys on the card, Grace shot 62. Grace finished the tournament tied for sixth place, eight strokes behind winner Jordan Spieth.

(The record for lowest round in a women's major is 61.)

Who held the previous record of 63 that Grace's 62 replaced? Many golfers had previously recorded 63s in majors.

The First 63 In a Major

We bet you probably already know who shot the first 63 in a major: Johnny Miller. Because it is one of the most famous rounds in golf history, and certainly one of the best. Many have argued is it the best round ever played (and Miller is probably one of them).

Miller was six shots off the lead at the start of the final round of the 1973 U.S. Open. But his 63 at the exceedingly difficult Oakmont Country Club vaulted him up the leaderboard and, finally, to a one-stroke victory. The next-best score that day was a 65 by Lanny Wadkins, but only four golfers broke 70.

At the other majors, Bruce Crampton was the first to shoot 63 in a PGA Championship, Mark Hayes in a British Open and Nick Price at The Masters.

The List of 63s in Major Championships

As noted, the first 63 in a major happened at the 1973 U.S. Open. The first 63 in the other majors happened in 1975 at the PGA Championship, 1977 at the British Open and 1986 at The Masters.

The Masters is the major with the fewest 63s (two) and the PGA Championship the one with the most (16). The golf course with the most 63s in majors is Baltusrol, where that score has been recorded four times.

Here is the list of rounds of 63 in men's majors:


U.S. Open

  • Johnny Miller, 1973 (Oakmont), final round (8-under)
  • Jack Nicklaus, 1980 (Baltusrol), first round (7-under)
  • Tom Weiskopf, 1980 (Baltusrol), first round (7-under)
  • Vijay Singh, 2003 (Olympia Fields), second round (7-under)
  • Justin Thomas, 2017 (Erin Hills), third round (9-under)
  • Tommy Fleetwood, 2018 (Shinnecock Hills), final round (7-under)

British Open

  • Mark Hayes, 1977 (Turnberry), second round (7-under)
  • Isao Aoki, 1980 (Muirfield), third round (8-under)
  • Greg Norman, 1986 (Turnberry), second round (7-under)
  • Paul Broadhurst, 1990 (St. Andrews), third round (9-under)
  • Jodie Mudd, 1991 (Birkdale), final round (7-under)
  • Nick Faldo, 1993 (St. George’s), second round (7-under)
  • Payne Stewart, 1993 (St. George’s), final round (7-under)
  • Rory McIlroy, 2010 (St. Andrews), first round (9-under)
  • Phil Mickelson, 2016 (Royal Troon), first round (8-under)
  • Henrik Stenson, 2016 (Royal Troon), final round (8-under)
  • Haotong Li, 2017 (Royal Birkdale), final round (7-under)
  • Shane Lowry, 2019 (Royal Portrush), third round (8-under)

PGA Championship

  • Bruce Crampton, 1975 (Firestone), second round (7-under)
  • Raymond Floyd, 1982 (Southern Hills), first round (7-under)
  • Gary Player, 1984 (Shoal Creek), second round (9-under)
  • Vijay Singh, 1993 (Inverness), second round (8-under)
  • Michael Bradley, 1995 (Riviera), first round (8-under)
  • Brad Faxon, 1995 (Riviera), final round (8-under)
  • Jose Maria Olazabal, 2000 (Valhalla), third round (9-under)
  • Mark O’Meara, 2001 (Atlanta AC), second round (7-under)
  • Thomas Bjorn, 2005 (Baltusrol), third round (7-under)
  • Tiger Woods, 2007 (Southern Hills), second round (7-under)
  • Steve Stricker, 2011 (Atlanta Athletic Club), first round (7-under)
  • Jason Dufner, 2013 (Oak Hill Country Club), second round (7-under)
  • Hiroshi Iwata, 2015 (Whistling Straits), second round (9-under)
  • Robert Streb, 2016 (Baltusrol), second round (7-under)
  • Brooks Koepka, 2018 (Bellerive), second round (7-under)
  • Charl Schwartzel, 2018 (Bellerive), second round (7-under)
  • Brooks Koepka, 2019 (Bethpage Black), first round (7-under)

Progression of the Major Championship 18-Hole Record

We've seen who shot the first 62 in a major, and who shot the first 63. And we know that Branden Grace's 62 was the round that the broke the previous record of 63.

But when Johnny Miller scored the first-ever 63 in a major in 1973, whose record did he break? Multiple golfers had posted 64s by that point. But the first 64 in major was recorded by Lloyd Mangrum in the first round of the 1940 Masters.

And Mangrum's 64 lowered the major championship record by a stroke. The first golfer to shoot 65 in a major was Henry Cotton in the second round of the 1934 British Open.