The clubhouse at Atlanta Athletic Club overlooks the 18th green, which is protected by both water and bunkers. The 18th played as the most difficult hole during the 2001 PGA Championship.
265). The cut was 1-over that year and 43 of the players who qualified for the weekend matched or bettered par. Anderson theorizes that 8-to- 12 under might be good enough to win in 2011.
“It will be interesting to see how well they do on hard, fast greens,” says Jim Thorne, a member of the Atlanta Athletic Club’s executive board.
with the Joneses on our own property.”
With the latest changes, players aren’t
likely to approach the numbers from 2001,
when David Toms set a record for lowest
score in a major championship (15-under
Holes 15–18 the Most
Once again, the final four holes are
expected to have a large role in
determining the winner. “That’s
our version of Amen Corner,” Anderson
The finale begins with the par- 3 15th hole, aced from 243 yards in the third round by Toms in 2001, the longest hole-in-
Toms and Nelson captured previous PGA Championships at the Atlanta
Athletic Club in 2001 and 1981, respectively
The two PGA Championships held previously at the Atlanta Athletic Club have provided polar opposite results. Larry Nelson (pictured right) scored an easy, drama-free victory in 1981, while David Toms walked a tightrope when he won in dramatic fashion in 2001.
Sunday, as Nelson played a trouble-free 71 to seal the victory.
Toms, a native of Louisiana, was more
theatrical in winning his only major title to
date. He held a share of the lead after the
in the week Toms had said he would not
hesitate to lay up on the long par 4 in such
a situation rather than potentially fall
victim to the water. Even in the final
round, Toms said he would be content to
live or die with his short game.
Nelson, who grew up in nearby Acworth, won the first of his three career major championships with a four-shot victory over Fuzzy Zoeller. But the breakthrough may not have taken place had it not been for a rain delay during the first round that occurred about the time
Faced with that exact dilemma on Sunday, Toms played short of the water, then grabbed a wedge and laid up to 12 feet.
Knowing he must make the putt or face Mickelson in a playoff, the Louisiana native calmly rolled it in.
Nelson finished the ninth hole.
“That gave me the
opportunity to go to the putting
green and I figured something
out – I don’t even remember
what it was – but I putted well
the rest of the week,” Nelson says. “That
was probably the difference in me
winning the Championship.”
“I turned to my caddie and
said: ‘These are the ones you’re
supposed to make to win a
major, especially your first
one,’” Toms recalls. “I took a
couple of deep breaths, and to
be honest, I was not shaking.”
Toms shot all four rounds in
the 60s, including a 69 on
When play resumed, Nelson played the
back nine in 3-under and finished with a
70. He then put together back-to-back
66s that allowed him to start the final
round with a four-shot lead. No one
ever got closer than three strokes on
“I’m somewhat shocked that it's
actually happened to me,” Toms says. “I’m
very proud of the way I played and the
way I finished it off.”
THE PGA OF AMERICA
second round and was the outright leader
going into the final day thanks to a third-
round 65. Toms never gave up the lead on
Sunday, although Phil Mickelson tied him
164 THE OFFICIAL PROGRAM OF THE 2010 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP