By News Team
14th May 2020
The PGA Championship has produced some extraordinary moments down the years.
With more than 100 years of history to choose from, we’ve put together some of the most memorable moments from the competition.
Breaking Walter’s heart – 1923
Tied through 36 holes, Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen were forced into a sudden death play-off to decide the winner of what was then a match-play championship in 1923. Hagen looked to be the favourite after winning three out of the final seven holes to level proceedings, but Sarazen refused to lie down.
After hitting his tee shot into the rough on the second play-off hole, Sarazen reportedly told spectators gathered around his ball, “I’ll put this one so close to the hole that it will break Walter’s heart.”
That’s exactly what he did. He dropped his shot within two feet and popped it in for a birdie to take the title.
Daly’s Hollywood win – 1991
Even the day before the 1991 championship, as the seventh alternative, John Daly was not expected to take part in the tournament. However, when Nick Price opted to be with his wife, who was expecting a baby at the time, Daly got the call to take part at Crooked Stick.
He may have had to drive through the night to be there in time for the opening round, but it was worth it in the end. The mullet-sporting Daly bashed the ball round Crooked Stick, taking the lead with a third-round 69.
While regularly chugging down cans of Diet Coke, he closed out his first Major win with a final-round 71, propelling himself to worldwide notoriety.
Woods caps a three-Major season – 2000
With Tiger Woods very much establishing himself as an all-time great in the making, few had expected Bob May to take the world number one to the wire at Valhalla.
The two went toe-to-toe in the final round, with May forcing the pace and demanding Tiger match it. Both shot 31 on the back-nine on Sunday and tied the record for lowest score to par at the PGA Championship, with Woods forced to make some vintage Tiger putts to stay in it.
With the two unable to be separated after 72 holes, Woods prevailed after three play-off holes, to seal his third Major title of the season.
After Woods won the 2001 Masters title, he held all four Major crowns at the same time – an accolade nicknamed the ‘Tiger Slam’.
Rory Mac goes back-to-back – 2014
With the ominous Valhalla once again hosting the tournament, a surreal final day saw Rory McIlroy win consecutive Majors after his win at The Open a few weeks previously and become just the fourth man to win four Major titles by the age of 25.
Despite trailing by three with nine to play, McIlroy stormed up the leaderboard and took a two-shot lead into the 18th. As the darkness closed in on Louisville though, it looked like McIlroy may have to play the final hole on Monday.
Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler would gracefully let McIlroy tee-off before hitting their second shots and let him play-up before they finished the hole, allowing the Northern Irishman to see out the victory in near darkness.
Brooks holds his nerve at Bethpage…just – 2019
With 2018 PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka holding a seven-shot lead ahead of the final round in 2019, it seemed a foregone conclusion that the American would close out his second PGA title on Sunday.
Nobody had ever failed to convert a margin that wide in a Major championship, and for a minute it seemed like Koepka might be making history in a way he wouldn’t have predicted. Late on the back-nine, a combination of some loose shots and a late rally from Dustin Johnson had seen the world number one’s lead shrink to just one shot.
Amid the unexpected excitement, Koepka managed to hold his nerve, eventually winning by two shots and becoming the first man to win back-to-back Major titles at two different major events simultaneously.