Key moments in PGA Championship history

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Margin: 1 shot.

Winner’s share: $13,000.

Recap: Gary Player’s win at the PGA Championship made 1962, in retrospect, the year of the “Big Three.” Arnold Palmer won the Masters and British Open, while Jack Nicklaus won the U.S. Open as a 22-year-old rookie. For Player, it was his third major in four years. The South African seized control with a 69 in the third round at Aronimink to build a two-shot lead. His challenge came from Bob Goalby, who started four shots behind and got within one shot on the back nine. The decisive shot for Player came on the 18th, after hitting his drive into the trees. He took out a 3-wood and aimed it well left of the green to play a huge slice around the corner, setting up par. Player closed with an even-par 70 for a one-shot victory. Player became the first foreign-born winner of the PGA since Tommy Armour in 1930.


1987 (25 years ago)

Winner: Larry Nelson.

Course: PGA National Golf Club.

Score: 287.

Runner-up: Lanny Wadkins.

Margin: Playoff.

Winner’s share: $150,000.

Recap: The PGA Championship returned to south Florida for the first time since 1971, but instead of being held in late February, it kept its summer date. Players endured temperatures in the mid-90s which, combined with the humidity, made Southern Hills in Tulsa feel somewhat mild. Arnold Palmer is said to have sent someone to the tennis shop to get him sweatbands. Larry Nelson won his second PGA title and third major, and he gave Lanny Wadkins a footnote in history as the only player to win (1977) and lose the PGA Championship in a sudden-death playoff. Conditions were tough all week, and Nelson remains the last player to win the PGA Championship without a round in the 60s. Raymond Floyd was one behind going into the final round and shot 80. Seve Ballesteros, famous for his 3-wood on the 18th hole at PGA National in the 1983 Ryder Cup, was two shots behind and closed with 78. Nelson never led until he closed with an even-par 72 to force a playoff. Wadkins had his own history at PGA National, stuffing a wedge to within a foot that clinched a U.S. win in the Ryder Cup. This time, however, he made bogey on the first extra hole and Nelson won with a par.


1992 (20 years ago)

Winner: Nick Price.

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