With four victories each, they are eighth and ninth in their respective rankings of major championship winners.

He is unquestionably one of the greatest figures in the history of South African golf, albeit without reaching the stature of compatriot Gary Player, who won no fewer than nine majors – a figure only surpassed by Jack Nicklaus (18), Tiger Woods (15) and Walter Hagen (11). Els has achieved 72 victories in a hugely successful professional career, including four majors (two US Opens and two British Opens), two World Golf Championships and a record seven World Match Play Championships.

The former top-ranked world golfer is one of the most prolific winners of his generation, and the global reach of his victories is almost unparalleled. Els, 53, known as “The Big Easy” for his large stature and fluid swing, has triumphed in tournaments in South Africa, Europe, the United States, Asia, the Far East, the Middle East and Australasia. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011 and the South African Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.

Born in Johannesburg on 17 October 1969, the South African excelled as a youngster in cricket, rugby and tennis. At the age of 13, he won a major regional tennis tournament, the Eastern Transvaal Junior Championship. A year later, he won the World Junior Golf Championship in San Diego, California. He was only 16 when he first officially competed against professional golfers. 

In 1989, at the age of 19, he turned professional after winning the South African Amateur Championship. His first victory as a professional came in 1991 on the Southern Africa Tour. 

In 1993 he won his first tournament outside South Africa, the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan, and in 1994 he secured his first major, the US Open, which would be the first of his 19 PGA Tour victories. Els was tied with Colin Montgomerie and Loren Roberts after 72 holes and had to play an 18-hole play-off the following day. Despite starting the play-off bogey-triple bogey, Els was able to match Roberts' score of 74 and then holed a birdie on the second sudden-death hole to secure his first Grand Slam title.

Els went on to win his first European Tour victory that same year at the Dubai Desert Classic and also his first World Match Play Championship that same season, a title he would go on to win six more times in his career. 

In 1997, he won a second US Open again, once again beating Montgomerie, and became the first non-American player since Scotland's Alex Smith (1906 and 1910) to win that major championship twice. That same year he came close to winning the World Match Play Championship for the fourth consecutive year, but lost to Vijay Singh in the final. The 1998 and 1999 seasons continued to be successful for Els, with four victories on both the PGA Tour and European Tour.

In 2000, he had a run of runner-up finishes: three second places in three of the majors (Masters, US Open and British Open Championship) and seven second places in tournaments worldwide. In 2001, Els failed to win a PGA Tour event for the first time since 1994, although he finished the year with nine second-place finishes.

In 2003 the South African won his first European Tour order of merit after collecting four more titles and finishing second in three, and that year he won his fifth World Match Play Championship.

In 2004 he was second in the US Masters behind Phil Mickelson, who birdied the last hole to win, and surprisingly he lost in a play-off in the British Open to the then-unknown Todd Hamilton.

With his victory at the 2005 Qatar Masters, an event jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the European Tour, Els became only the second golfer after Lee Westwood to win on all six major tours of the International Federation of PGA Tours.

After several victories in the following years, in 2008 Els began a dry journey through the desert, as he went three years without tasting victory, until he won his second World Golf Championship in 2010.

Els surprised the golf world by winning the 2012 British Open. It was a surprise because Adam Scott was four strokes ahead of him after a birdie on the 14th hole, but he bogeyed the last four holes and missed the play-off by one stroke. Els' victory rejuvenated his career as he became the eighth player to win major tournaments in three different decades. 

Apart  from his four wins in majors, Els has been a six-time runner-up in majors and has recorded 35 top-10 finishes in Grand Slam tournaments.

In 2013 he scored his last victory on the European Tour at the BMW International Open. 

In January 2020, at the age of 50, he joined the PGA Champions Tour, where he has two victories so far.



Meg Mallon dropped anchor on the LPGA Tour in 1987 when she was 23 years old. Although her professional career got off to a slow start, it took off after her breakthrough year in 1991. That season she finished in the top-10 a dozen times, earning four victories including two majors: the LPGA Championship and the US Women's Open. Mallon became one of only six women to win both those majors in the same year. She crowned her great season by being named player of the year by the Golf Writers Association of America.

The following year, she was selected to play in her first Solheim Cup, and would compete in the biennial competition eight consecutive times from 1992 to 2005. Mallon was honoured with the captaincy of the US Solheim Cup team in 2013, after serving as assistant captain in 2009.

Born in Natick, Massachusetts, on 14 April 1963, the youngest of six children, Mallon began playing golf at seven years of age under the guidance of her parents, the people (she has said) who most influenced her career, together with Paul VanLoozen, Elmer Preskorn and Mike McGetrick. 

Throughout her career Mallon would go on to accumulate 18 LPGA Tour victories, including all four majors of her era. In 2000 she won the then-major du Maurier Classic and secured her fourth Grand Slam title in 2004 with her second victory in the US Women's Open. On the final day of competition she carded a six-under 65, the lowest closing round in the history of the championship. She also set the record for the longest period of time between victories at the US Women's Open (13 years). With her $560,000 for winning the tournament, she surpassed the $8 million mark in career earnings.

That year, 2004, was extraordinarily successful for Mallon, as she also won the Canadian Women's Open the week after her US Women's Open victory, leading from the first to the last day. She became one of only four players in LPGA history (with Jane Geddes, Louise Suggs and Se Ri Pak) to win in consecutive weeks after the US Women's Open. She also won the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, her third victory in five tournaments played; and tied for second place in the Office Depot Championship organised by Amy Alcott.

In 2003 she triumphed in the season-ending ADT Championship and crossed the $7 million mark in career earnings with her victory. In the second round of the Welch's/Fry's Championship, she became the first player in LPGA history to card a 60. Scoring 64 and 60 in the first two rounds, she tied the LPGA record for the lowest 36-hole total of 124 (16-under). Mallon scored the eighth hole-in-one of her LPGA career that season, during the third round of the Safeway Classic, and is tied for second on the LPGA's all-time record list for most career aces.

Mallon was honoured during the LPGA's 50th anniversary in 2000 as one of the top 50 LPGA players and teachers. She retired from the Tour in 2010 at the age of 51. In 2009, her last full season on the Tour, her best finish was 23rd at the Sybase Classic. That year she was assistant captain of the team that won the Solheim Cup.

The talented Massachusetts player, whose hobbies include music, travel and sports, has earned more than $9 million in tournament prize money during her career, which places her 20th in the LPGA Tour career rankings.

On a personal level, Mallon has been in a relationship for three decades with fellow World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Beth Daniel. It was, in fact, at Mallon's induction ceremony into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2017 when – then 54 years old – she publicly acknowledged for the first time that she was gay and that she and Daniel had been a couple for 25 years.