History

History of the USPGA Championship

PGA Championship Golf HistoryFew people know that the first PGA Championship was won by a Cornishman. Jim Barnes had left his home in Cornwall in the UK in 1906 in search of greater riches. He found them 10 years later in 1916 after taking up golf and winning the first ever PGA Trophy and a cheque for $500.

The Tournament was the brainchild of businessman, Rodman Wanamaker, who had some years earlier founded the Millrose Games, still one of the most famous track and field events held in the USA. Wanamaker wanted to create a prestigious Tournament for professional players only. In the USA at the time it was Amateur sport that dominated.

Agreement was reached with several other business owners and sporting authorities and the PGA was formed as a consequence. It was June 1916. The first PGA Championship followed in October the same year at the Siwanoy Country Club in New York. Today the tournament has prize money in excess of $7m and the Wanamaker trophy is one of the most coveted awards in golf and it has been held by a great many true champions, some of them are listed in our PGA Champions results.

PGA Championship Golf Tour BettingUp until 1958 the Tournament was played as a matchplay event, but due to the popularity and commercial viabilty of stroke play it was changed. This year of course will be the 90th Championship and will be played at the magnificent Oakland Hills Golf Club, scene of the 2004 Ryder Cup.

The PGA is now the second largest sporting association in the world. The main role of the PGA was to organise Professional Golfing events, but a split in the organisation in 1968 led to the formation of the affiliated PGA tour. The PGA itself still organises the Major Championships and the Ryder Cup.

Taking place at various venues around the United States, the tournament has always been classed as one of the most difficult events to win and with it being played at a different venue every year; one man can't dominate the competition over and it's always an ultra-competitive tournament.

Walter Hagan was the first man to dominate the PGA Championships as during the 1920's the legendary American bagged five victories in the tournament and he stood alone in the records list until a certain Jack Nicklaus came along.

The Golden Bear nothched up his first victory in the PGA Championships in 1963 and as he became a dominant force in the 1970s went on to win another three titles, but in 1980 he joined Hagan on five winners, as he recorded his fifth and last success in the tournament to go down in PGA Championship history.

However, another emerging American was soon to go in search of the aforementioned pair's record and Tiger Woods, another mesmerising player, bagged his maiden PGA Championships title in 1999 before retaining it 12 months later in the Millennium year.  Having won a plethora of titles all round the world, Woods won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007 and is still looking to bag the quintet and is widely regarded by his peers as the greatest golfer on the tour.