With the 2016 installment of the PGA Championship getting under way this week and all of the best golfers will be out in full force trying to end the season. And being that the tournament just started, it’s as good a time as any to take a trip down memory lane and take a closer look at the final major in each and every golf season.
The PGA Championship was first played all the way back in 1916 and this year’s installment is the 98th official PGA Championship. The tournament is normally played in mid-August, but this year it was bumped up to late July to accommodate for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. While the purse for the event was a cool $10 Million last year (and will likely be similar this year), there are a ton of other benefits that come to a golfer that takes home this trophy.
First of all, a PGA Championship win allows the golfer to automatically play in the other three majors for the next five years and they never have to qualify for the PGA Championship ever again in their lives. They also automatically receive a membership on the PGA and European tours for the next five years. For golfers that aren’t in the top 10, this can be a huge factor in security in this line of work.
In terms of the tournament location, it varies from year to year, but is normally at one of a few celebrated courses that have hosted other big events in the past. A large majority of the courses are on the east coast and last year’s event was held in Wisconsin and this year’s takes place in New Jersey.
Now that you know a bit more about this major, let’s take a look at how the event has panned out over the years. The person with the most PGA Championship victories is none other than Jack Nicklaus, who has hoisted the trophy five times. Even more insane is that he had also finished second at the event a record four times. Last year’s winner was Jason Day, who also set the tournament record with a ridiculous score of -20.
The tournament has also played host to some iconic moments in golf history. John Daly, who was one of the most popular players on tour throughout the 2000s, won his first major here (in 1991) and was actually a late replacement (as he was the ninth alternate), making this one of the best underdog stories in golf history. He didn’t even get a practice round and was a rookie coming into this event.
The PGA Championship is also where Tiger Woods had one of his biggest career definining moments when he won the trophy in 2000. He was on a roll heading into this event but Bob May (the 48th ranked golfer at the time) gave him all he could handle. Tiger dealt with the adversity and went on to win the event in a three-hole playoff.