The PGA Championship - Tournament records

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The PGA Championship - Tournament records
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May 8, 2018
Ben Brett in
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The PGA Championship - Tournament records

In the early 1910s, American golfers such as Francis Ouimet, Walter Hagen and John McDermott were enjoying increasing success against the Scots and the English in the US Open, which spurred enormous growth of golf in America.

In Britain, the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) had been founded in 1901, and some 15 years later was already running a successful, commercially sponsored (by the News of the World newspaper) 36 hole matchplay Championship for professionals.

On January 17, 1916, Rodman Wanamaker, a department store magnate who foresaw the commercial potential for golf and admired the British PGA's initiatives, invited a group of 35 professional golfers (including Hagen), well-known amateurs, course architects and representatives from the golf industry to a lunch in New York.

The result was the founding of the PGA of America and the PGA Championship, sponsored by Wanamaker, who provided the trophy, a purse of $2,580 and a first prize of $500, ironically won by an English caddie and club-maker from Cornwall, Jim Barnes - although Barnes had moved to the US in 1906 and turned pro, taking US citizenship shortly after.

From 1916 to 1957 the format of the Championship remained the original 36 holes of matchplay, although the field was first whittled down to 32 or 64 qualifiers by 36 holes of strokeplay. Since 1958, it has been decided by 72 holes of strokeplay.

Automatic qualification for the PGA Championship is granted to:

• the winners of the last five U.S. Opens
• the winners of the last five Masters
• the winners of the last five Open Championships
• the last Senior PGA Champion
• the low 15 scorers and ties in the previous PGA Championship
• the 20 low scorers in the last PGA Professional National Championship (club pros and teachers)
• the 70 leaders in official money standings (starting one week prior to the previous year's PGA Championship and ending two weeks prior to the current year's PGA Championship)
• members of the most recent United States Ryder Cup Team
• winners of tournaments co-sponsored or approved by the PGA Tour since the previous PGA Championship (does not include pro-am and team competitions)


Multiple winners:

5 wins:
Walter Hagen: 1921, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927
Jack Nicklaus: 1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980

4 wins:
Tiger Woods: 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007

3 wins:
Gene Sarazen: 1922, 1923, 1933
Sam Snead: 1942, 1949, 1951

2 wins:
Jim Barnes: 1916, 1919
Leo Diegel: 1928, 1929
Raymond Floyd: 1969, 1982
Ben Hogan: 1946, 1948
Byron Nelson: 1940, 1945
Larry Nelson: 1981, 1987
Gary Player:1962, 1972
Nick Price: 1992, 1994
Paul Runyan: 1934, 1938
Denny Shute: 1936, 1937
Vijay Singh: 1998, 2004
Dave Stockton: 1970, 1976
Lee Trevino: 1974, 1984

Most consecutive wins:

4 times:
Walter Hagen: 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927

Jim Barnes: 1916, 1919
Gene Sarazen: 1922, 1923
Leo Diegel: 1928, 1929
Denny Shute: 1936, 1937
Tiger Woods: 1999, 2000 and again 2006, 2007

Youngest winner:

Gene Sarazen at 20 years, 5 months and 20 days, in 1922
Tom Creavy at 20 years, 7 months and 17 days in 1931

Oldest winner:

Julius Boros at 48 years, 4 months and 18 days, in 1968 (this is also the record for the oldest winner of any Major Championship)
Jerry Barber at 45 years, 3 months and 6 days, in 1961
Lee Trevino at 44 years, 8 months and 18 days, in 1984

Most times runner-up:

4, by Jack Nicklaus in 1964, 1965, 1974, 1983

Most times in the top 3:

12, by Jack Nicklaus

Most times in the top 10:

15, by Jack Nicklaus

Lowest aggregate:

265 (-15) by David Toms at Atlanta in 2001 (NB: this is also the lowest aggregate in any Major Championship)

Lowest under par:

20 under, by Jason Day at Whistling Straits in 2015 (also an all-time major socring record to par)
18 under, by Tiger Woods at Valhalla in 2000 and again at Medinah in 2006, and Bob May, who tied Tiger Woods at Valhalla in 2000

Biggest winning margin:

8 shots, by Rory McIlroy at Kiawah Island in 2012
7 shots, by Jack Nicklaus at Baltusrol in 1980

Lowest round:

63 (-7), by Bruce Crampton at Firestone in 1975
63 (-7), by Ray Floyd at Southern Hills in 1982
63 (-9), by Gary Player at Shoal Creek in 1984
63 (-8), by Vijay Singh at Inverness in 1993
63 (-8), by Michael Bradley at Riviera in 1995
63 (-8), by Brad Faxon at Riviera in 1995
63 (-9), by Jose Maria Olazabal at Valhalla in 2000
63 (-7), by Mark O'Meara at Atlanta in 2001
63 (-7), by Thomas Bjorn at Baltusrol in 2005
63 (-7), by Tiger Woods at Southern Hills in 2007
63 (-7), by Steve Stricker at Atlanta in 2011

Lowest 9 holes:

28, by Brad Faxon at Riviera in 1995

Lowest 36 holes:

131 (-11), by Hal Sutton at Riviera in 1983
131 (-11), by Vijay Singh at Inverness in 1993
131 (-11), by Ernie Els at Riviera in 1995
131 (-11), by Mark O'Meara at Riviera in 1995
131 (-9), by David Toms at Atlanta in 2001
131 (-9), by Shingo Katayama at Atlanta in 2001

Lowest 54 holes:

196 (-14), by David Toms at Atlanta in 2001

Lowest last 36 holes:

131 (-9), by Mark Calcavecchia at Atlanta in 2001

Lowest last 54 holes:

198 (-18), by Bob May at Valhalla in 2000

Biggest 18-hole lead:

3 shots, by Bobby Nichols at Columbus in 1964, and by Raymond Floyd at Southern Hills in 1982

Biggest 36-hole lead:

5 shots, by Nick Price atSouthern Hills in 1994

Biggest 54-hole lead:

5 shots, by Raymond Floyd at Dayton in 1969, by Tom Watson at Oakmont in 1978, and by Raymond Floyd again at Southern Hills in 1982

Best last-day comeback to win:

7 shots, by John Mahaffey at Oakmont, 1978

Most appearances:

37, by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus

Most sub-par rounds:

53, by Jack Nicklaus

Most rounds in 60s:

41, by Jack Nicklaus

Most cuts made:

27, by Raymond Floyd and Jack Nicklaus

Wire-to-wire winners:

Bobby Nichols in 1964
Raymond Floyd in 1969
Raymond Floyd in 1982
Hal Sutton in 1983
Tiger Woods in 2000

Lowest cut:

141 (+1) at Atlanta in 2001

Highest cut:

154 (+14) at Llanerch in 1958

Debut winners:

Jim Barnes at Siwanoy, 1916
Tom Creavy at Wannamoisett, 1931
Bob Hamilton at Manito, 1944
Doug Ford at Meadowbrook, 1955
Bob Tway at Inverness, 1986
John Daly at Crooked Stick, 1991
Shaun Micheel at Oak Hill, 2003
Keegan Bradley at Atlanta, 2011

Winners' nationalities (out of 93 playings):

US - 80 times
Australia - 4 times
Fiji, South Africa & Zimbabwe twice each
Ireland - once
South Korea - once
Germany - once

In 2008, Padraig Harrington became the first European (citizenship at the time of playing) to win the PGA, although a number of British born pros who had taken US citizenship won in the early years.

Winning brothers:

Jay Hebert in 1960 (strokeplay) and Lionel Hebert in 1957 (the last year of matchplay). They are one of only five sets of brothers to have won major championships.

Major record:

In winning the 1973 PGA Championship, Jack Nicklaus took his 12th professional major, overhauling Walter Hagen's record of 11. It was also his 14th professional or amateur major (he won the US Amateur twice), overhauling Bobby Jones' record of 13, thus making Nicklaus "officially" the greatest golfer of all time - a record he still holds with his final tally of 18 professional and 2 amateur majors.


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