Key Anniversaries For This Year’s PGA
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2022-05-20
By DOUG FERGUSON, Associated Press
TULSA, Oklahoma — A look at some of the anniversaries this year at the PGA Championship:
100 Years Ago (1922)
Oakmont hosted the first of its 12 professional men’s majors, and Gene Sarazen made history of his own as the first man to win two majors in the same year. Sarazen had won the U.S. Open a month earlier when he arrived at the PGA Championship. Such was the status of majors a century ago that Walter Hagen didn’t defend because he had exhibitions lined up. It was the first PGA Championship to have a 64-man bracket. Sarazen took out Jock Hutchison, the 1920 champion, in the quarterfinals. He beat Bobby Cruickshank in the finals and then defeated Emmet French to win. It would be 26 years before another player, Ben Hogan, won the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in the same year.
75 Years Ago (1947)
Jim Ferrier won his only major in the PGA Championship at Plum Hollow in Michigan. For the first time in 10 years, the championship match did not feature either Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan or Sam Snead. Ferrier only had one close call, going 37 holes to beat Claude Harmon in the round of 16. After that, it was smooth sailing. He won 4 and 3 over Lloyd Mangrum in the quarterfinals, and then overwhelmed Art Bell 10 and 9 to reach the final against Chick Harbert. The match was still all square after 22 holes when Ferrier won the next three holes and Harbert never caught up. He won, 2 and 1, to become the first Australian to win the Wanamaker Trophy.
50 Years Ago (1972)
Gary Player had gone 16 majors without a victory, his longest drought since winning the 1959 British Open, and was on the verge of being forgotten beside the brilliance of Jack Nicklaus and the emergence of Lee Trevino. Player surged into the lead at Oakland Hills with a 67 in the third round. The signature moment was his 9-iron out of the rough to 4 feet on the 16th hole. Player said it was one of the best shots of his career. He closed with a 2-over 72 in a PGA in which no one finished under par. Player was at 1-over 281 for a two-shot victory over Tommy Aaron and Jim Jamieson. Jack Nicklaus, who won the Masters and U.S. Open, tied for 13th.
25 Years Ago (1997)
Davis Love III finally shed the label as best to have never won a major. Tied for the lead with British Open champion Justin Leonard going into the final round at Winged Foot, Love pulled away with a second straight 4-under 66 for a five-shot victory. Love’s brother, Mark, was his caddie. Their father was a prominent club professional who died in a plane crash in 1988. There was a poignant moment on the 18th green when Love rolled in one last birdie. A rainbow emerged through the clouds and Love was in tears as he embraced his mother. That turned out to be the only major Love would win. Tiger Woods, who began the major season with a 12-shot victory in the Masters, never broke par and tied for 29th.
20 Years Ago (2002)
Rich Beem captured his only major on a final day of high entertainment at Hazeltine. Beem hit 5-wood to 6 feet for eagle on the par-5 11th to seize control. And when Tiger Woods recovered from back-to-back bogeys by closing with four straight birdies, Beem didn’t blink. Beem holed a 35-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole to stay in front, and a bogey on the final hole gave him a 4-under 68 and a one-shot victory over Woods. Most memorable was Beem doing a shimmy shake on the 18th green. Woods was trying to win the “American Slam” having won the Masters and U.S. Open earlier in the year. Already an eight-time major champion, it was the first time Woods had finished second in a major.
10 Years Ago (2012)
Rory McIlroy validated his eight-shot win at the U.S. Open a year earlier with another eight-shot win in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. At age 23, he became the youngest player since Seve Ballesteros to win two majors. Because of rain, McIlroy had to play 27 holes on Sunday. He built a three-shot lead over Carl Petterson. No one got closer than two shots to McIlroy in the final round. His 25-foot birdie putt on the last hole gave him a 6-under 66. The eight-shot victory was a PGA record for margin of victory, topping the record Jack Nicklaus had set in 1980. David Lynn of England was runner-up. Tiger Woods shared the 36-hole lead but shot 74-72 on the weekend to finish 11 behind. For the first time in his career, Woods failed to break par on the weekend in any of the four majors.