1979 PGA Championship Winner and Scores

The 1979 PGA Championship was the 61st time the tournament was played. An Australian golfer who almost carded one of the all-time great major championship rounds beat Ben Crenshaw in a playoff.

Winner: David Graham, 272

Where it was played: Oakland Hills Country Club (South Course) in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Tournament dates: August 2-5, 1979

Leader after first round: Tom Watson, 66

Leader after second round: Ben Crenshaw, 136

Leader after third round: Rex Caldwell, 203

What Happened at the 1979 PGA Championship

Australian David Graham won the 1979 PGA Championship the old-fashioned way: He earned it. And he earned it despite recording a double-bogey on the 72nd hole.

Graham began the final round four strokes off the lead of Rex Caldwell, with Ben Crenshaw in second, two behind Caldwell. Crenshaw was one of the most popular players in golf and the big fan favorite, but he was still looking for his first win in a major. Three weeks earlier, Crenshaw finished second in the 1979 British Open.

Caldwell didn't play poorly in the final round, carding a 71, but both Graham and Crenshaw zipped past him, Crenshaw with a 67 that got him in the clubhouse at 8-under 272.

Graham, who had four PGA Tour wins entering the tournament, reached the 72nd hole with a two-stroke lead. And promptly blew it, recording a double-bogey. He had been having one of the all-time great closing rounds in major championship history up to that point. How good? Despite the double-bogey, Graham still shot 65. Had he parred the final hole, Graham would have won by two strokes with what would have been just the second 63 in PGA Championship history.

But with the double-bogey, he fell into a tie with Crenshaw and the two headed into a playoff. Crenshaw ended his career with one of the worst playoff records in PGA Tour history — zero wins in eight playoffs. So you know he lost this one. But as noted above, he made Graham earn the win.

On the first extra hole, Crenshaw sank a 50-foot par putt. Graham then made his own 30-footer for par. On the second extra hole, Crenshaw sank a mid-range birdie putt. Graham than made his own 10-footer for birdie. Graham won the trophy with a birdie on the third extra hole.

It was the first of two major championship wins for Graham, who also won the 1981 U.S. Open. Crenshaw later won a pair of Masters titles.

The 1979 PGA Championship also was the site of Sam Snead's last cut made in a major. Snead, 67 years old at the time, finished 42nd. But he set the record as oldest golfer to make the cut in a major.

1979 PGA Championship Final Scores

David Graham 69-68-70-65—272
Ben Crenshaw 69-67-69-67—272
Rex Caldwell 67-70-66-71—274
Ron Streck 68-71-69-68—276
Jerry Pate 69-69-69-71—278
Gibby Gilbert 69-72-68-69—278
Don January 69-70-71-69—279
Jay Haas 68-69-73-69—279
Howard Twitty 70-73-69-67—279
Gary Koch 71-71-71-67—280
Lou Graham 69-74-68-69—280
Jerry McGee 73-69-71-68—281
Tom Watson 66-72-69-74—281
Jack Renner 71-74-66-70—281
Andy Bean 76-69-68-68—281
Graham Marsh 69-70-71-72—282
Hubert Green 69-70-72-71—282
Bruce Lietzke 69-69-71-73—282
Gene Littler 71-71-67-73—282
Bob Gilder 73-71-68-70—282
John Schroeder 72-72-70-69—283
Bob Byman 73-72-69-69—283
Frank Conner 70-73-69-72—284
Gary Player 73-70-70-71—284
Peter Jacobsen 70-74-67-73—284
Rod Funseth 70-69-76-69—284
Alan Tapie 73-65-76-70—284
Gil Morgan 72-73-70-70—285
Miller Barber 73-72-69-71—285
Artie McNickle 69-70-72-74—285
George Burns 71-74-67-73—285
Larry Nelson 70-75-70-70—285
Mark McCumber 75-68-70-72—285
Ed Sneed 77-67-70-71—285
Lee Elder 70-71-73-73—287
Bill Rogers 70-72-73-72—287
Lee Trevino 70-73-72-72—287
Lynn Janson 73-71-72-71—287
Jim Masserio 69-73-71-74—287
Tom Kite 72-72-69-74—287
Dave Stockton 70-75-72-70—287
Sam Snead 73-71-71-73—288
Jimmy Wright 72-69-72-75—288
Kermit Zarley 73-69-71-75—288
Calvin Peete 75-71-70-72—288
Jim Colbert 73-73-72-71—289
Chi Chi Rodriguez 71-72-72-74—289
Tommy Aaron 73-73-69-74—289
Don Padgett 71-75-73-70—289
Jim Simons 76-68-73-72—289
Rod Curl 72-72-73-73—290
John Mahaffey 72-74-71-73—290
Bob Mann 71-73-71-75—290
Dewitt Weaver 73-73-71-74—291
Wally Armstrong 74-71-73-73—291
Fuzzy Zoeller 70-75-75-71—291
Jim Dent 70-72-76-73—291
Dave Barber 74-69-71-77—291
Leonard Thompson 72-67-78-74—291
Barry Jaeckel 71-73-75-73—292
Keith Fergus 73-70-73-76—292
Rocky Thompson 72-72-73-76—293
Mark Hayes 71-73-77-72—293
Raymond Floyd 74-70-77-72—293
Scott Bess 73-72-75-74—294
Al Geiberger 76-70-73-75—294
Lon Hinkle 73-72-71-78—294
Jack Nicklaus 73-72-78-71—294
Austin Straub 73-70-72-79—294
Lanny Wadkins 71-75-73-76—295
Bobby Wadkins 77-68-75-76—296
Dean Refram 75-69-79-75—298
Ronald Smoak 72-74-78-79—303
Dennis Coscina 76-70-74-83—303

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