- Associated Press - Saturday, August 4, 2012

A look at some of the key anniversaries this year in PGA Championship history:

1937 (75 years ago)

Winner: Denny Shute.

Course: Pittsburgh Field Club.

Score: Match play.

Runner-up: Harold “Jug” McSpaden.

Margin: 37 holes.

Winner’s share: $2,000.

Recap: Denny Shute won the PGA Championship for the second straight year, and no one else successfully defended his title in this major until 63 years later when Tiger Woods won at Valhalla. But here’s one piece of history not even Woods can match. Shute is the only player to win the same major in a span of 189 days. He won the 1936 PGA at Pinehurst on Nov. 22. The 1937 PGA was held in the spring and ended on May 30. This was as close as McSpaden came to winning a major. He was 3 up through five holes, until Shute one-putted nine of the next 13 holes to build a 3-up lead after the morning session. McSpaden rallied and had a 2-up lead with four holes to play until bogeys on the 34th and 35th holes to square the match. McSpaden’s tee shot on the 18th hit a spectator and went back to the fairway, and he had a 4-foot birdie putt to win. He backed away from the putt when cameras began grinding. “Please give me the chance I’ve been fighting for all week,” he told them. He missed the putt, and then missed a 10-foot par putt on the 37th hole. Shute made a 4-foot par putt for the win.

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1962 (50 years ago)

Winner: Gary Player

Course: Aronimink Golf Club.

Score: 278.

Runner-up: Bob Goalby.

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.

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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.

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1992 (20 years ago)

Winner: Nick Price.

Course: Bellerive Country Club.

Score: 278.

Runners-up: John Cook, Nick Faldo, Jim Gallagher Jr., Gene Sauers.

Margin: 3 shots.

Winner’s share: $280,000.

Recap: Nick Price missed the PGA Championship the previous year when his wife gave birth to their first child. His spot went to a big-hitter from Arkansas named John Daly who overpowered Crooked Stick. Price, twice a runner-up in the British Open, finally cashed in on his first major. Gene Sauers was atop the leaderboard throughout the championship and had a two-shot lead over Price and Jeff Maggert going into the final round before closing with a 75. That paved the way for Price, who was steady even in the face of a late charge by British Open champion Nick Faldo, who shot 67. Price wound up winning the first of his three majors. John Cook was a runner-up in his second straight major, and never came close again.

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2002 (10 years ago)

Winner: Rich Beem.

Course: Hazeltine National.

Score: 278.

Runner-up: Tiger Woods.

Margin: 1 shot.

Winner’s share: $990,000.

Recap: With his hopes of a Grand Slam over, Tiger Woods still had a shot at becoming the first player to win the “American Slam.” He was five shots behind the 54-hole leader, Justin Leonard, going into the final round. Also in the mix was Rich Beem, a former car stereo salesman who had won the International two weeks earlier. But it was Beem who came through in the clutch. Leonard fell apart early and closed with a 77. Beem was leading when Woods began charging. First, Beem turned him back with a 5-wood into 6 feet for eagle on No. 11 to seize control. Woods put together another stunning charge with four birdies on the last four holes. Beem answered with a 35-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole, and he took a two-shot lead into the 18th. He made a bogey that didn’t matter, raised his arms and did a shimmy-shake on the 18th green.

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2007 (5 years ago)

Winner: Tiger Woods.

Course: Southern Hills.

Score: 272.

Runner-up: Woody Austin.

Margin: 2 shots.

Winner’s share: $1.26 million.

Recap: Tiger Woods played in the final group of the first two majors of the year without winning, and the talk at the PGA Championship was that his game did not fit Southern Hills. He tied for 21st in a 30-man field at the Tour Championship in 1996 and tied for 12th at the 2001 U.S. Open. In stifling temperatures, Woods executed his game plan to perfection to win back-to-back in the PGA Championship for the second time and make sure the year did not end without a major. Woods had a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole of the second round for a 62 that would have set a major championship record. It circled around the cup and he had to settle for 63, but he was on his way. The last challenge came from Woody Austin, who pulled within one shot on the back nine. Looking back, it’s curious to watch Woods hole a 25-foot birdie putt behind the eighth green and stumble as he turned to pump his fist. He said he wasn’t hurt. He had two knee surgeries over the next 10 months.