93rd PGA: Celebrating five anniversaries
Sunday, August 7, 2011
A look back at key anniversary dates for the PGA Championship:
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.
The PGA Championship in the 2000s
Check out photos of The PGA Championship in the 2000s
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. Cllck here for a story on the 20th anniversary.
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 48).
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.
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