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2013 majors could prove most difficult in last 40 years

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

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The first three majors of 2013 have been incredibly tough. I wrote about this a little bit the other day and noted that all three saw higher winning scores than any we've seen in recent years.

But it goes even deeper than that.

Going back to 1958, the first year all four majors were played as stroke play events, only a handful of times have the Masters, US Open, British Open, and PGA Championship played as tough as they have in 2013.

In 1959 the four tournament winners were a combined 5 under. Same for 1963. Then in 1966 they were played in a record 4 under as even par won the Masters and PGA Championship. In 1972 and 1974 we also got single-digit combined winning totals.

But since 1974 only twice have the combined winning totals reached single digits. Strangely, both of those came in 2007 and 2008.

In 2007 Zach Johnson won the Masters at 1 over and Angel Cabrera won the US Open at 5 over. Then in 2008 Tiger Woods won the US Open with a 1 under score and Padraig Harrington won the British Open at 3 over.

The total through the first three majors this year is 11 under. Adam Scott won the Masters at 9 under, Justin Rose won the US Open at 1 over, and Phil Mickelson won the British Open at 3 under.

I'm even more intrigued by what the score at the PGA Championship will be this week since only four golfers have broken par at the last two PGA Championships at Oak Hill.

I think scores will be a little bit better than you saw at the US Open or British Open but if 2 over wins this we'll have just the third year since 1974 in which the combined winning scores at all four majors will be in single digits.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

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