PGA Championship


PGA Championship

Infobox Golf Tournament
tournament_name = PGA Championship
nickname = Glory's last shot


location = USA
establishment = 1916
course = Hazeltine National Golf Club in 2009
par = 72 in 2009
yardage = 7,685 in 2009
tour = PGA Tour
PGA European Tour
Japan Golf Tour
format = Match play 1916–1957
Stroke play 1958–present
month_played = August
purse = $7,500,000
aggregate = 265* David Toms (2001)
*record for all majors
to-par = -18 Bob May (2000)
-18 Tiger Woods (2000, 2006)
Current Champion = Pádraig Harrington

The PGA Championship (sometimes referred to as the U.S. PGA Championship outside of North America) is an annual golf tournament conducted by the PGA of America as part of the PGA Tour. It is one of the four major championships in professional golf, and it is the golf season's final major, usually played in mid-August (customarily four weeks after the British Open, but it was advanced a week in 2007 and 2008 because of local scheduling conflicts). Due to its distinction as the season's final major, the PGA Championship is nicknamed "Glory's last shot". It is an official money event on the PGA Tour, the European Tour, and the Japan Golf Tour, with a purse of $7.5 million.

In line with the other majors, winning "The PGA" gives a golfer several privileges which make his career much more secure, if he is not already one of the elite players of the sport. PGA champions are automatically invited to play in the other three majors (Masters, U.S. Open, and British Open) for the next five years, and are exempt from qualifying for the PGA Championship for life. They also receive membership on the PGA Tour for the following five seasons and invitations to The Players Championship for five years.

The PGA Championship has been held at a large number of venues, some of the early ones now quite obscure, but currently it is usually staged by one of a small group of celebrated courses, each of which has also hosted several other leading events.

History

The first PGA Championship was held in 1916 at Siwanoy Country Club in Eastchester, New York. The winner, Jim Barnes, received $500. The 2008 winner, Pádraig Harrington, earned $1.35 million. The champion is also awarded the Wanamaker Trophy, which was donated by Rodman Wanamaker.

Initially a match play event, the tournament changed to stroke play in 1958. Network broadcasters, preferring a large group of well-known contenders on the final day, are sometimes accused of pressuring tournament organizers to make the format change.

In 1971, the PGA was played in February in Florida, as the first major of the calendar year. Prior to the 1960s, the tournament was often played in late July, the week following the British Open, making it difficult for player to compete in both majors.

Qualification

The PGA Championship was established for the purpose of providing a high-profile tournament specifically for professional golfers at a time when they were generally not held in high esteem in a sport that was largely run by wealthy amateurs. This origin is still reflected in the entry system for the Championship. It is the only major which does not invite leading amateurs to compete, and the only one which reserves a large number of places, 20 of 156, for club professionals. These slots are determined by the top finishers in the
club pro championship, which is held in June.

Since 1968, the PGA Tour has been independent of the PGA of America. The PGA Tour is an elite organization of tournament professionals, but the PGA Championship is still run by the PGA of America, which is mainly a body for club and teaching professionals. The PGA Championship is the only major that does not explicitly grant entry to the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings, although it invariably invites all of the top 100 (not just top 50) players who are not already qualified.

List of qualification criteria:
*All former PGA Champions.
*Winners of the last five U.S. Opens.
*Winners of the last five Masters.
*Winners of the last five British Opens.
*The last Senior PGA Champion.
*The low 15 scorers and ties in the previous PGA Championship.
*The 20 low scorers in the last PGA Professional National Championship.
*The 70 leaders in official money standings (starting one week prior to the previous year's PGA Championship and ending two weeks prior to the current year's PGA Championship).
*Members of the most recent United States Ryder Cup Team.
*Winners of tournaments co-sponsored or approved by the PGA Tour since the previous PGA Championship (does not include pro-am and team competitions).
*The PGA of America reserves the right to invite additional players not included in the categories listed above.
*The total field is a maximum of 156 players. Vacancies are filled by the first available player from the list of alternates (those below 70th place in official money standings).

Winners

trokeplay era winners

* In 1921, the field consisted of the defending champion and the top 31 finishers at the U.S. Open.

Records

*Oldest winner: Julius Boros in 1968 (48 years, 142 days)
*Youngest winner: Gene Sarazen in 1922 (20 years, 174 days)
*Greatest winning margin in the matchplay era: Paul Runyan beat Sam Snead 8 & 7 in 1938
*Greatest winning margin in the strokeplay era: 7 strokes, Jack Nicklaus in 1980
*Lowest absolute 72-hole score: 265, David Toms (66-65-65-69), 2001
**This is the lowest 72-hole score ever recorded in any major championship
*Lowest 72-hole score in relation to par: -18, Tiger Woods (66-67-70-67, 270) and Bob May (72-66-66-66, 270), 2000; Tiger Woods (69-68-65-68, 270), 2006
**Toms' 2001 score was -15. The 2001 site, the Highlands Course at Atlanta Athletic Club, plays to par 70, while the 2000 site, Valhalla Golf Club, and the 2006 site, Medinah Country Club, both play to par 72
*Lowest 18-hole score: 63 – Bruce Crampton, 2nd round, 1975; Raymond Floyd, 1st, 1982; Gary Player, 2nd, 1984; Vijay Singh, 2nd, 1993; Michael Bradley, 1st, 1995; Brad Faxon, 4th, 1995; José María Olazábal, 3rd, 2000; Mark O'Meara, 2nd , 2001; Thomas Bjørn, 3rd, 2005; Tiger Woods, 2nd, 2007

Future tournament sites

*2009 – Hazeltine National Golf Club (Chaska, Minnesota)
*2010 – Whistling Straits, Straits Course (Sheboygan, Wisconsin)
*2011 – Atlanta Athletic Club, Highlands Course (Duluth, Georgia)
*2012 – Kiawah Island Golf Resort, The Ocean Course (Kiawah Island, South Carolina)
*2013 – Oak Hill Country Club, East Course (Pittsford, New York)
*2014 – TBA
*2015 – Whistling Straits, Straits Course (Sheboygan, Wisconsin)
*2016 – Baltusrol Golf Club, Lower Course (Springfield, New Jersey)

External links

* [http://www.pgamediaguide.com/pgachampionship.cfm PGA Media Guide]
* [http://www.pga.com/pgachampionship/2009/index.html Official site-2009]
* [http://www.pga.com/pgachampionship/2008/index.html Official site-2008]
* [http://www.pga.com/pgachampionship/2007/index.html Official site-2007]
* [http://www.pga.com/pgachampionship/2006/ Official site-2006]
* [http://www.pga.com/pgachampionship/2005/ Official site-2005]
* [http://www.pga.com/pgachampionship/2004/ Official site-2004]
* [http://www.pga.com/pgachampionship/2003/ Official site-2003]
* [http://www.pga-championship.co.uk/ PGA Championship Guide]
* [http://champexhibit.pgalinks.com/index.cfm?page=history_main/ PGA History Exhibit]


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