Lee Trevino, Payne Stewart, John Daly, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. With his victory last year at Oakland Hills Country Club outside Detroit, Irishman Padraig Harrington became the first European-born player to win the PGA Championship at stroke play – and the first to win the Wanamaker Trophy since Scotland’s Tommy Armour won in 1930.
The PGA Championship has become known as the major championship with the strongest field. When Hazeltine National hosted the event in 2002, it was the strongest all-professional field ever assembled: 98 of the top 100 players in the world rankings competed. As you would expect, getting into the field is no easy matter. It is made up of all past winners of the PGA Championship, winners from the last five Masters, U.S. Opens and British
Opens, the 2009 Senior PGA Champion (Michael Allen), the low 15 scorers and ties from the 2008 PGA Championship, the low 20 scorers at the 2009 PGA Professional National Championship, the 70 leaders on the PGA Championship points list from the 2008 World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational through the 2009 Buick Open, members of the 2008 U.S. and European Ryder Cup teams that are in the top 100 of the world rankings, and winners of sanctioned PGA Tour events from the 2008 PGA Championship through this week. In addition, The PGA of America reserves the right to invite additional players not included in these categories to fill the field to a maximum of 156 players.
David Toms holds the record for the best 72-hole score in Championship history, recording a 265 on his way to victory at the 2001 PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Duluth, Ga. PGA Championship factoid
Oct. 9–14, 1916, at Siwanoy Country Club in
Bronxville, N. Y. Jim Barnes defeated Jock
Hutchison, 1-up, in the match-play final.
Wanamaker donated a purse of $2,500 and the trophy that still bears his name today. The PGA Championship is celebrating its 91st edition this week.
Some 21 years following the inaugural
PGA Championship, another major championship was launched on the grounds of one of golf’s original majors at the invitation of one of golf’s greatest players — Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club and Bobby Jones.
In 1937, Jones and fellow Augusta
National members, who three years earlier
had hosted the first Masters, thought it
right that PGA members 50 and over
should have a continued opportunity to
compete with their peers. Alfred S. Bourne,
an original Augusta National member and a
longtime friend of PGA Professionals,
donated a check for $1,500 for the creation
of a trophy, and the same Jock Hutchison
who was runner-up in the inaugural PGA
Championship claimed the Bourne Trophy
and the winner’s share of the $2,000 purse
as the inaugural Senior PGA Champion.
Michael Allen captured the 70th Senior
PGA Championship earlier this year at
Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio.
The 2009 PGA Grand Slam of Golf, which
brings together four major champions each
year, will be contested Oct. 20–21 at Port
Royal Golf Club in Bermuda.
The PGA of America also conducts the biennial Ryder Cup when it occurs on U. S. soil, which produces golf’s greatest drama. Last September, at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., the 12-man United States Team reclaimed the Ryder Cup in pulsating fashion, topping their counterparts from Europe.
In September 2010, the Ryder Cup will
be played for the first time in the country of
Wales, at The Celtic Manor Resort. Corey Pavin (U.S.) and Colin Montgomerie (Europe) have been selected as Captains.
has played over its 93-year history
The PGA of America and the PGA Tour
When The PGA of America was formed, there was no distinction between club and touring professionals. As The PGA began to develop and promote tournaments, it became easier for the touring professionals to devote their efforts to playing tournaments and exhibitions. In 1968, PGA tournament players, who comprised a small percentage of the membership, broke away from the Association to form a Tournament Players Division and acquire more control of the tournament schedule.
In 1975, the Tournament Players Division was renamed the PGA Tour. Today, the PGA Tour is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and maintains a close working relationship with The PGA of America, as most PGA Tour professionals maintain dual membership in the organizations.
While the Tour professionals may have
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