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The US PGA Championship
The courses, the champions, the shots, the emotions...

About The Oakland Hills South Course, 2008's US PGA venue:

The course is playing the players instead of the players playing the course.
- Walter Hagen, at the 1951 US Open

I am glad to have brought this monster to its knees.
- Ben Hogan, winner of the 1951 US Open

I don't want to make it a lady's course, but I don't want every hole to play like the last one I'm ever going to play.
- Lionel Hebert, at the 1981 US Senior Open

About the tournament:

You always have butterflies in you stomach, but these butterflies are playing hockey.
- Mike Reid, leader after three rounds of the 1989 US PGA. His closing round was a 74 and he tied for second place.

Which one of you is going to be runner-up?
- Walter Hagen, to Leo Diegel and others on the eve of the 1925 US PGA. Hagen won.

At one time I had fifteen clubs. When we left the fifth green, Nicklaus couldn't find his putter. He had put it in my bag. I told him I'd take the two-shot penalty if he didn't use the putter for the rest of the round.
- Lee Trevino at the 1974 PGA, which he won by one shot from... Jack Nicklaus

Fairways and greens, Cuz.
- Note to Dave Marr from his cousin and fellow pro Jackie Burke before the last round of the 1965 Championship. Marr went on to win.

I'm searching for the perfect swing. I'm searching for something that's not there. I tried twetny different things today and nobody else out there would have done that. This game is too tough. If I'd have known, I'd have taken up tennis or something. I have a chance. But if you're a betting guy don't bet on me.
- Johnny Miller in 1978. He closed with a 79 and finished well down the field.

I was scared to death of that rough. I was very fortunate when I did miss a fairway. I never thought I'd be glad to see a fairway bunker.
- John Schlee of the 1974 PGA venue at Tanglewood. He finished tied 17th.

The knack for scoring can go at any moment. It can go while you're walking from the second green to the third tee. But it's like worrying about an atom bomb hitting you. You can't worry about it.
- Howard Twitty in 1980 - he finished in a tie for fifth.

You can describe my round as having moments of ecstasy and stark raving terror. I looked like I knew what I was doing at times and at other times I looked like a twenty handicap player.
- Arnold Palmer at the 1968 PGA, where he tied for second. He never won the PGA.

I knew I was going to make that putt. Why miss it after I'd gone to all that trouble to get there?
- Jack Nicklaus, who holed a 30 foot putt for a par five at Firestone in 1975, after driving into trees, taking a drop, hitting behind another tree and finally reaching the green in four. He won the Championship by two shots.

I've never to this day doubted that such luck could happen but having Gene's ball jump back through a fence and be found teed up could have resulted only from the hand of the Good Lord or one of those red-sweatered caddies roaming the course.
- Walter Hagen, with suspicions about rival Gene Sarazen's supporters at the 1923 PGA, when Sarazen went out of bounds but ultimately defeated him in the final.

It was like a game of 'gotchas'. I stood over the ball and thought: "Who's going to grab me next?" I can't play that way. I'm not looking forward to going out tomorrow.
- South African Gary Player, victim of anti-apartheid demonstrations and threats, in 1969. He nevertheless finished second, one shot behind Raymond Floyd.

The hell with demonstrators. This big cop bothered me. He looks at one hole and says he doesn't like the look of the crowd on the left of the green. Could I knock the ball over to the right hand side?
- Jack Nicklaus, during the same 1969 anti-apartheid demonstrations

I'm the kind of player who makes eye contact with fans during a round and with this hat I don't get distracted. It helps me with my concentration.
- Gary Hallberg, explaining why he wore a stetson during the 1984 Championship. Thanks to - or despite - it, he finished tied for sixth.

One of my attributes is that when I get ahead, I seldom fold . The trouble is I don't get in the lead often enough.
- Dave Stockton, after his second PGA victory in 1976. He also won in 1970.

I scored well enough to win, but JD ran the tables on the greens. He made a hundred and fifty feet of putts. But I can't complain. I did the same thing the first three days.
- Tom Watson, after losing in a playoff to John Drayton (JD) Mahaffey, Jr at the 1978 PGA, having been 7 shots ahead of him with 14 holes to play

Now that Arnold's become a member of the club, he's beginning to play like one.
- Dave Marr, winner of the 1965 PGA at Laurel Valley, on hearing that Arnold Palmer - who finished 14 shots behind him - had become a member of the club.

I feel like a villain. They don't come any finer than Gene Littler. I almost wished that someone else was out there. He's someone I like and look up to. At this point in his career it would have meant an awful lot to him.
- Lanny Wadkins, after defeating Gene Littler, who had recovered from cancer, in a playoff for the 1977 Championshop

I was playing with a man I loathe playing with. There I was in a twosome with him, just me and him, for eighteen holes. There couldn't have been four words between us. He's getting old and his nerves are gone but I don't feel sorry for him because he shouldn't be out there.
- Raymond Floyd, of the then veteran 1947 PGA Champion Jim Ferrier, at the 1969 PGA. Floyd, who went on to win the 1969 Championship, was ordered to apologise.

When I drive into the rough, let me not blame the club - maybe I am the sinner and need more discipline. If, by pure luck, I make a hole in one, let me not boast but think of all the exercise I missed. And finally teach me that the way I play golf, I would be better of in church on Sunday.
- Extract from a prayer written by The Reverend Fulton Sheen for the 1976 PGA

 

 






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