1981 PGA Championship Winner and Scores

The 1981 PGA Championship was the 63rd time the tournament was played. It was a home-field victory for the champ: Larry Nelson, earning his first of three major wins, lived near the golf course.

Winner: Larry Nelson, 273

Where it was played: Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands Course) in Duluth, Georgia

Tournament dates: August 6-9, 1981

Leader after first round: Bob Murphy, 66

Leader after second round: Bob Murphy, 135

Leader after third round: Larry Nelson, 202

What Happened in the 1981 PGA Championship

Larry Nelson, a Georgia native who lived about an hour from Atlanta Athletic Club, seized control of the tournament with back-to-back scores of 66 in the second and third rounds, grabbing a four-stroke lead heading into the final round. And Nelson held onto that lead, winning by four over Fuzzy Zoeller.

It was Nelson's first win in a major championship (he later added two more, including the 1987 PGA Championship), and the fifth of his 10 career PGA Tour victories.

One year after winning his fifth PGA title, defending champion Jack Nicklaus finished tied for fourth, but the Bear never seriously challenged Nelson.

Another PGA champion, Lee Trevino, was disqualified after failing to sign his scorecard for the first round. Trevino had a 74 in that first round, and turned himself in when he realized he hadn't signed.

Two other past champs — Doug Ford and Sam Snead — entered the PGA Championship for the final time this year, and both withdrew without completing Round 1.

1981 PGA Championship Final Scores

Larry Nelson 70-66-66-71—273
Fuzzy Zoeller 70-68-68-71—277
Dan Pohl 69-67-73-69—278
Bruce Lietzke 70-70-71-68—279
Jack Nicklaus 71-68-71-69—279
Keith Fergus 71-71-69-68—279
Tom Kite 71-67-69-72—279
Greg Norman 73-67-68-71—279
Bob Gilder 74-69-70-66—279
Isao Aoki 75-68-66-70—279
Jerry Pate 71-68-70-71—280
Vance Heafner 68-70-70-72—280
Andy North 68-69-70-73—280
Tommy Valentine 73-70-71-66—280
J.C. Snead 70-71-70-70—281
David Edwards 71-69-70-72—282
Hale Irwin 71-74-68-69—282
Bob Murphy 66-69-73-75—283
Don January 70-72-70-72—284
Raymond Floyd 71-70-71-72—284
Tom Purtzer 70-70-73-71—284
John Cook 72-69-70-73—284
Joe Inman 73-71-67-73—284
Gil Morgan 70-69-74-71—284
Jay Haas 73-68-74-69—284
Don Pooley 74-70-69-71—284
Tom Weiskopf 71-72-72-70—285
Hubert Green 71-74-71-69—285
Curtis Strange 73-72-74-66—285
Peter Jacobsen 74-71-71-69—285
Bill Rogers 72-75-66-72—285
Bobby Clampett 75-71-70-69—285
Seve Ballesteros 71-73-72-70—286
Ed Fiori 73-73-67-73—286
Mark Hayes 70-74-68-74—286
Greg Powers 70-70-74-72—286
Lanny Wadkins 70-71-74-71—286
Bob Eastwood 67-69-72-78—286
Jim Thorpe 71-72-72-72—287
D.A. Weibring 71-74-74-68—287
Terry Diehl 72-74-71-70—287
Lon Hinkle 69-76-69-73—287
Calvin Peete 74-71-74-69—288
Howard Twitty 74-71-74-69—288
Dave Stockton 70-75-70-73—288
Bruce Fleisher 73-72-68-75—288
Rod Curl 75-72-69-72—288
David Graham 75-69-74-70—288
Jack Renner 74-70-73-72—289
Wayne Levi 70-71-73-75—289
Gary Player 75-72-71-71—289
Lee Elder 75-71-74-69—289
Ron Streck 69-77-75-68—289
Rex Caldwell 68-72-71-78—289
Doug Tewell 71-73-76-70—290
Tom Jenkins 73-73-73-72—291
Mark McCumber 70-74-73-74—291
Mike Sullivan 70-72-74-75—291
Jim Colbert 72-75-71-73—291
Mark Lye 67-76-74-74—291
Don Padgett 74-71-73-74—292
Leonard Thompson 75-72-71-74—292
Roger Maltbie 69-78-76-69—292
Mike Morley 72-71-71-78—292
Danny Edwards 73-71-70-78—292
John Fought 74-71-78-69—292
Bobby Wadkins 73-74-72-74—293
Al Geiberger 73-74-77-69—293
Barry Jaeckel 72-74-69-78—293
George Burns 74-71-74-75—294
Ed Sneed 71-75-72-76—294
Mark O'Meara 72-71-74-77—294
George Cadle 74-72-74-75—295
Charles Coody 69-74-78-75—296
John Jackson 75-70-76-76—297
Arnold Palmer 74-73-74-77—298
Bruce Summerhays 73-74-75-80—302
David Glenz 72-73-77-84—306

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