The PGA Championship, operated by the Professional Golfers' Association of America, is the fourth and final major tournament of professional golf's calendar year. First contested in 1916 at the Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, N.Y., the PGA is played at different courses throughout the United States and perennially features one of the strongest fields of participants in golf. Originally set up as a match-play tournament, the PGA Championship now is conducted as a stroke-play event, with four rounds of 18 holes determining the winner, who receives a replica of the famous Wanamaker Trophy. Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus hold the record for most PGA Championship titles, with five each, while Tiger Woods has won the event four times.
The PGA Championship has been a stroke-play tournament since its change of format in 1958. A maximum of 156 golfers participate in the tournament, which consists of four rounds of 18 holes. After the first 36 holes of play, the field is reduced to the best 70 scorers (and ties). Those players compete in the final two rounds, with the lowest score winning the championship.
If there is a tie for first place after all 72 holes have been completed, the tournament will be decided by a three-hole, aggregate-score playoff on holes Nos. 10, 17 and 18. If a tie remains, a hole-by-hole playoff will begin on hole No. 10 and move to Nos. 17 and 18 until a winner is decided.
The tournament follows the rules of golf as set by the United States Golf Association and applied by the PGA of America Board of Directors, which ultimately oversees the entire PGA Championship.
The PGA of America selects a list of players eligible to compete in the PGA Championship, consisting of former champions, winners of other major events and club professionals who qualify through a national championship. The full list in 2010 includes:
- All former PGA Champions
- Winners of the past five Masters (2006-10)
- Winners of the past five U.S. Opens (2006-10)
- Winners of the past five Open Championships (2006-10)
- The last Senior PGA Champion
- The lowest 15 scorers and ties in the 2009 PGA Championship
- The 20 lowest scorers in the 2010 PGA Professional National Championship
- The top 70 money winners on the PGA Tour in the period one week prior to the 2009 PGA Championship through two weeks prior to the 2010 PGA Championship
- Members of the most recent Ryder Cup teams, as long as they are in the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings
- Winners of tournaments co-sponsored or approved by the PGA Tour from the 2009 PGA Championship to the 2010 PGA Championship (excluding pro-am and team competitions)
- Vacancies will be filled by the first available player from the list of alternates (those below 70th place in the Championship Points list from the 2009 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone International through the 2010 Greenbrier Classic)
The PGA can invite other players, not included in those categories, to fill out the total field, which cannot exceed 156 players. Usually every golfer ranked in the world top 100 can count on a spot at the Championship. The PGA Championship is the only major that does not invite leading amateurs to compete (although they still can qualify by winning another major), having been created as a showcase event for professional golfers rather than wealthy amateurs.
In order to continue its commitment to club golfers, the PGA Championship reserves 20 spots (more than any other tournament) for golfers from the PGA club championship, which allows PGA of America members to qualify apart from the touring members.
The inaugural PGA Championship was played in 1916, the same year the Professional Golfers' Association of America was established. The group formed in January of that year, at a meeting of prominent golfers and industry representatives that was organized by department store owner Rodman Wanamaker at the Taplow Club in New York City.
Among the association's initial plans to help promote interest in the sport and elevate the vocation of golf professionals, an all-professional tournament was proposed with Wanamaker providing the prize money and awards. Set up in similar fashion to the existing PGA Championship of Great Britain, the initial PGA Championship was a 36-hole elimination match-play event, held in October 1916 at the Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, N.Y. Two British-born players emerged from the bracket of 32 entrants to reach the final of the inaugural tournament, with Jim Barnes defeating Jock Hutchison to claim the Wanamaker Trophy.
The event was interrupted for two years by World War I, but Barnes returned in 1919 to successfully defend his championship, finishing with a 6-and-5 victory over Fred McLeod in the final. In 1920, Hutchison earned his first title by defeating Douglas Edgar at Chicago's Flossmoor Country Club.
It would take five years into the event's existence before an American-born PGAer claimed the PGA Championship trophy, when Walter Hagen defeated Barnes in the final matchup to win the 1921 event at Inwood Country Club in Far Rockaway, N.Y. The tournament's dominating presence along with Gene Sarazen during the 1920s, Hagen captured four straight PGA titles from 1924 to 1927. Sarazen became the youngest winner at the age of 20 in 1922 and then repeated as champion the following year by defeating Hagen in a memorable final that was not decided until the 38th hole -- the first time in PGA history that extra holes were needed in the finale.
Sarazen was not only the PGA's youngest champion but went on to become its oldest participant when he competed in the 1972 event at the age of 70. He qualified 28 times for the match-play version of the PGA and took part in four PGA Championships after the format switched to a stroke-play tournament in 1958.
Other repeat PGA winners during the early years were Leo Diegel (in 1928 and 1929) and Denny Schute (1936 and 1937), who was the last player to successfully defend his PGA title until Tiger Woods accomplished the feat in 2000.
World War II forced the cancellation of the PGA Championship in 1943, but that decade saw Byron Nelson, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan claim titles while becoming household names in the sport. Nelson made five finals over a seven-year period, and won the event in 1940 and 1945. Hogan was champion in 1946 and 1948, when he became the first player since Sarazen in 1922 to win both the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in the same year.
Almost a decade after his first title in 1942, Snead won his second PGA at the famed Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club. Following that victory by Snead in 1951, 19 golfers were crowned as PGA champion from 1952 to 1970. In 1957, Lionel Hebert defeated Dow Finsterwald, 3-and-1 in the final, to win the last PGA Championship contested in match-play format.
The tournament changed to a stroke-play format in 1958, the year Dow Finsterwald shot a final-round 67 at Llanerch Country Coub in Havertown, Pa., to win the Wanamaker Trophy. Two years later, Jay Herbert won the PGA at Akron's Firestone Country Club, to mark the first time that American brothers had each won the same major championship.
In the 1960s, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus came into prominence and captured the first of their multiple PGA titles. Player was the fifth foreign-born winner of the PGA Championship, defeating Bob Goalby by one stroke at Aronimink Golf Club (in Newtown Square, Pa.) in 1962. Nicklaus captured the first of his five titles the following year at the Dallas Athletic Club.
Arnold Palmer -- the third of the sport's big three of that period -- became the first player to register in the 60s in all four rounds of a major championship at the 1964 PGA, but he finished second that year to Bobby Nichols. He also finished runner-up in 1968 and 1970, and is considered one of the best players to have never won a PGA Championship.
Nicklaus' title in 1971 was the beginning of a 13-year stretch that saw him win four PGA Championships, finish second twice and make the top four nine times. The "Golden Bear's" win in 1973 was his 14th major, overtaking the total Bobby Jones had amassed four decades earlier. He would go on to tie Hagen's record mark of five PGA titles by winning at Oak Hill Country Club in 1980 and later finished his career with a record 14 top-five finishes in the event.
Following the 1976 edition, the PGA decided to change its playoff system for the Championship by replacing the 18-hole format with a sudden-death situation for players tied after 72 holes. That new playoff format was needed in each of the next three years, with Lanny Wadkins, John Mahaffey and Australian David Graham all needing extra holes to claim PGA titles.
Larry Nelson won the tournament two times in the 1980s, a decade that also featured a second PGA title for both Ray Floyd and Lee Trevino. Following a surprise victory in 1991 by John Daly -- who qualified for the tournament at Indiana's Crooked Stick as an alternate -- two of the next three PGA Championships went to South African Nick Price. His second win came at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., which has hosted the tournament the most times (four) in the event's history.
Since that time, Illinois' Medinah Country Club and Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville have served as host twice each, with the two courses the sites of Tiger Woods' back-to-back championships in 1999 and 2000. Woods became the fifth-youngest winner of the PGA at Medinah, then repeated as victor at Valhalla, following up wins that season at the U.S. and British Opens in 2000, by outlasting Bob May in the first three-hole aggregate-score playoff in PGA Championship history.
The revised, aggregate playoff format also was needed in 2004, when Vijay Singh won his second PGA title over Justin Leonard and Chris De Marco. Woods would win a third PGA title in 2006, also at Medinah, one year after rival Phil Mickelson captured his sole PGA at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington rallied to claim the 2008 title, becoming the first European-born player to win since 1930. And unheralded Y.E. Yang of South Korea outdueled Woods at Minnesota's Hazeltine National Golf Club to became the first Asian-born male player to win a major golf championship in 2009.
Controversy dominated the headlines in 2010, when Dustin Johnson -- who was tied for the lead after 72 holes -- was assessed a penalty following the 18th hole on Sunday for grounding his club in a bunker. The rules violation happened in one of Whistling Straits many bunkers, which had been trampled by the crowd throughout the event. The penalty knocked Johnson out of the playoff, and Martin Kaymer went on to defeat Bubba Watson to earn his first major championship.
In 2012, Rory McIlroy won by a record eight strokes, becoming the youngest PGA Championship winner in the stroke-play era. The win gave McIlroy his second career major victory.
Seventy-two courses in 26 states have hosted the PGA Championship (through the 2012 edition), with 14 courses serving as host multiple times over the years. Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., has hosted the PGA four times (1970, 1982, 1994, 2007), while Firestone Country Club (Akron, Ohio), Oakmont Country Club (Oakmont, Pa.) and Oakland Hills Country Club (Bloomfield Township, Mich.) have hosted three times each. The event has been held in New York and Ohio 11 times each, and it has been contested nine times at courses in Pennsylvania.
PGA Championship Stroke Play Winners (Since 1958)
|2013||Jason Dufner||Oak Hill Country Club||68-63-71-68-270||-10|
|2012||Rory McIlroy||Kiawah Island||65-75-66-67-275||-13|
|2011||Keegan Bradley||Atlanta Athletic Club||71-64-69-68-272||-8|
|2010||Martin Kaymer||Whistling Straits||72-68-67-70-277||-11|
|2009||Y.E. Yang||Hazeltine National||73-70-67-70-280||-8|
|2008||Padraig Harrington||Oakland Hills||71-74-66-66-277||-3|
|2007||Tiger Woods||Southern Hills||71-63-69-69-272||-8|
|2004||Vijay Singh||Whistling Straits||67-68-69-76-280||-8|
|2003||Shaun Micheel||Oak Hill||69-68-69-70-276||-4|
|2002||Rich Beem||Hazeltine National||72-66-72-68-278||-10|
|2001||David Toms||Atlanta Athletic Club||66-65-65-69-265||-15|
|1997||Davis Love III||Winged Foot||66-71-66-66-269||-11|
|1994||Nick Price||Southern Hills||67-65-70-67-269||-11|
|1993||Paul Azinger||Inverness Club||69-66-69-68-272||-12|
|1991||John Daly||Crooked Stick||69-67-69-71-276||-12|
|1990||Wayne Grady||Shoal Creek||72-67-72-71-282||-6|
|1989||Payne Stewart||Kemper Lakes||74-66-69-67-276||-12|
|1988||Jeff Sluman||Oak Tree||69-70-68-65-272||-12|
|1987||Larry Nelson||PGA National||70-72-73-72-287||-1|
|1986||Bob Tway||Inverness Club||72-70-64-70-276||-8|
|1985||Hubert Green||Cherry Hills||67-69-70-72-278||-10|
|1984||Lee Trevino||Shoal Creek||69-68-67-69-273||-15|
|1982||Raymond Floyd||Southern Hills||63-69-68-72-272||-8|
|1981||Larry Nelson||Atlanta Athletic Club||70-66-66-71-273||-7|
|1980||Jack Nicklaus||Oak Hill||70-69-66-69-274||-6|
|1979||David Graham||Oakland Hills||69-68-70-65-272||-8|
|1977||Lanny Wadkins||Pebble Beach||69-71-72-70-282||-3|
|1972||Gary Player||Oakland Hills||71-71-67-72-281||1|
|1971||Jack Nicklaus||PGA National||69-69-70-73-281||-7|
|1970||Dave Stockton||Southern Hills||70-70-66-73-279||-1|
|1968||Julius Boros||Pecan Valley||71-71-70-69-281||1|
|1965||Dave Marr||Laurel Valley||70-69-70-71-280||-4|
|1963||Jack Nicklaus||Dallas Athletic Club||69-73-69-68-279||-5|
|1961||Jerry Barber||Olympia Fields||69-67-71-70-277||-3|
PGA Championship Match-Play Winners (1916-1957)
|1957||Lionel Hebert||Dow Finsterwald||Miami Valley||2 & 1|
|1956||Jack Burke Jr.||Ted Kroll||Blue Hill||3 & 2|
|1955||Doug Ford||Cary Middlecoff||Meadowbrook||4 & 3|
|1954||Chick Harbert||Walter Burkemo||Keller||4 & 3|
|1953||Walter Burkemo||Felice Torza||Birmingham||2 & 1|
|1952||Jim Turnesa||Chick Harbert||Big Spring||1-up|
|1951||Sam Snead||Walter Burkemo||Oakmont||7 & 6|
|1950||Chandler Harper||Henry Williams Jr.||Scioto||4 & 3|
|1949||Sam Snead||Johnny Palmer||Hermitage||3 & 2|
|1948||Ben Hogan||Mike Turnesa||Norwood Hills||2 & 1|
|1947||Jim Ferrier||Chick Harbert||Plum Hollow||2 & 1|
|1946||Ben Hogan||Ed Oliver||Portland||6 & 4|
|1945||Byron Nelson||Sam Byrd||Moraine||4 & 3|
|1944||Bob Hamilton||Byron Nelson||Manito||1-up|
|1943||>No Championship Played Due to WWII|
|1942||Sam Snead||Jim Turnesa||Seaview||2 & 1|
|1941||Vic Ghezzi||Byron Nelson||Cherry Hills||38 ho.|
|1940||Byron Nelson||Sam Snead||Hershey||1-up|
|1939||Henry Picard||Byron Nelson||Pomonok||37 ho.|
|1938||Paul Runyan||Sam Snead||Shawnee||8 & 7|
|1937||Denny Shute||Harold McSpaden||Pittsburgh||37 ho.|
|1936||Denny Shute||Jimmy Thomson||Pinehurst||3 & 2|
|1935||Johnny Revolta||Tommy Armour||Twin Hills||5 & 4|
|1934||Paul Runyan||Craig Wood||The Park||38 ho.|
|1933||Gene Sarazen||Willie Goggin||Blue Mound||5 & 4|
|1932||Olin Dutra||Frank Walsh||Keller||4 & 3|
|1931||Tom Creavy||Denny Shute||Wannamoisett||2 & 1|
|1930||Tommy Armour||Gene Sarazen||Fresh Meadows||1-up|
|1929||Leo Diegel||Johnny Farrell||Hillcrest||6 & 4|
|1928||Leo Diegel||Al Espinosa||Five Farms||6 & 5|
|1927||Walter Hagen||Joe Turnesa||Cedar Crest||1-up|
|1926||Walter Hagen||Leo Diegel||Salisbury||5 & 3|
|1925||Walter Hagen||William Mehlhorn||Olympia Fields||6 & 5|
|1924||Walter Hagen||James M. Barnes||French Lick Springs||2-up|
|1923||Gene Sarazen||Walter Hagen||Pelham||38 ho.|
|1922||Gene Sarazen||Emmet French||Oakmont||4 & 3|
|1921||Walter Hagen||James M. Barnes||Inwood||3 & 2|
|1920||Jock Hutchison||J. Douglas Edgar||Flossmoor||1-up|
|1919||James M. Barnes||Fred McLeod||Engineers||6 & 5|
|1918||>No Championship Played Due to WWI|
|1917||>No Championship Played Due to WWI|
|1916||James M. Barnes||Jock Hutchison||Siwanoy||1-up|
PGA CHAMPIONSHIP QUICK FACTS
First Played: 1916
Stroke Play Era: 1958
Most Championships: Walter Hagen, Jack Nicklaus: 5
Oldest Champion: Julius Boros: 48 years, 142 days (1968)
Youngest Champion: Gene Sarazen: 20 years, 174 days (1922)
Defending Champion: Jason Dufner
PGA CHAMPIONSHIP FUTURE VENUES
|2014||Valhalla Golf Club||Louisville, Ky.|
|2015||Whistling Straits (Straits Course)||Kohler, Wis.|
|2016||Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower)||Springfield, N.J.|
|2017||Quail Hollow Club||Charlotte, N.C.|
|2018||Bellerive Country Club||St. Louis|
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