Key moments in PGA Championship history
A look back at key anniversary dates for the PGA
5 years ago (2006): Tied for the lead with Luke Donald going
into the final round at Medinah, Tiger Woods birdied his first hole
and sailed to a 4-under 68 to win his second straight major with a
five-shot win. It was his 12th career major, second on the list
behind only Jack Nicklaus and his 18. Woods became the first player
in history to win multiple majors in back-to-back years, a feat not
even Nicklaus achieved.
10 years ago (2001): David Toms took the lead with a hole-in-one
on the 243-yard 15th hole with a 5-wood in the third round at
Atlanta Athletic Club, then never flinched on Sunday playing in the
final group with crowd favorite Phil Mickelson. Despite the ace,
this major will be remembered most for Toms’ decision on the final
hole. With a one-shot lead, he chose to play short of the water in
front of the 18th green, then hit sand wedge to 12 feet. Mickelson
narrowly missed his 35-foot birdie attempt, and Toms made the putt
for par to win. Toms closed with a 1-under 69 and set the major
championship scoring record at 265.
20 years ago (1991): John Daly was a PGA Tour rookie and the
ninth alternate, but enough players withdrew – including Nick Price
to be with his wife for the birth of their first child – that Daly
drove through the night to Indiana and got into the PGA
Championship. The rest is history. He introduced his ”grip it and
rip it” style to the world and overwhelmed Crooked Stick with raw
power and amazing accuracy. He took the lead with a 67 in the
second round, added a 69 on Saturday and closed with a 71 for a
three-shot lead over Bruce Lietzke.
25 years ago (1986): Greg Norman was famous in 1986 for his
”Saturday Slam,” leading all four majors after the third round.
He had his largest lead of the year at the PGA Championship, by
four shots over Bob Tway. Norman began dropping shots on the back
nine at Inverness as Tway hung on long enough to catch him going to
the 18th hole. From a greenside bunker, Tway holed out his shot for
birdie and leapt in the air. Norman failed to hole his pitch. For
all his history of hard luck, Norman blew this one. He had a
four-shot lead and shot 76 in the final round.
50 years ago (1961): Jerry Barber trailed by four shots with
only three holes to play at Olympia Fields before one of the most
stunning turnarounds in a major. Barber holed a 20-foot birdie putt
on the 16th, a 40-foot par putt on the 17th and a 60-foot birdie
putt on the final hole for a 70. That forced a playoff with Don
January, who bogeyed two of his last three holes. Barber shot 67 in
the Monday playoff for a one-shot victory, and at age 45, became
the oldest PGA champion (later surpassed by Julius Boros at
75 years ago (1936) Denny Shute won the first of his
back-to-back PGA Championship titles at Pinehurst No. 2. He
defeated Jimmy Thomson, 3 and 2, in the championship match.
Five-time champion Walter Hagen failed to qualify, while Gene
Sarazen, Tommy Armour and Paul Runyan were eliminated in the first
round. Shute was 2 down with four to play when he rallied to beat
Bill Mehlhorn in the semifinals. In the final, Shute gave up some
50 yards off the tee to the big-hitting Thomson, but he relied on
his superior short game. Leading by two holes, Shute hit his second
shot on the par-3 16th to 3 feet for an eagle. The referee for the
final match was Donald Ross, the course architect.