PGA Championship Playoff Results: All the Golfers and Winners

There have been many playoffs at the PGA Championship, one of the four majors of men's professional golf, over the years. The tournament dates to 1916, and for its first 40(ish) years was contested at match play. The PGA switched to stroke play for its major championship in the late 1950s.

And the PGA Championship playoff format has changed multiple times over the years, from 18-holers to sudden death to three-hole aggregates. Below you'll find the rundown of every playoff that has been played in the PGA Championship. That includes extra holes during the match-play era. But we'll start with the earliest stroke-play playoff and trace PGA Championship playoffs to the present day.

1961 PGA Championship: Jerry Barber def. Don January

This was the 43rd PGA Championship played, but just the fourth that used stroke play. And the first playoff in the tournament's stroke-play era was won by 45-year-old Jerry Barber, which made him, at the time, the oldest winner of this major. Barber forced the playoff by making a 20-foot birdie putt, a 40-foot birdie and a 60-foot birdie on the final three holes of regulation. In the playoff, Barber beat January by one stroke, 67 to 68.

1967 PGA Championship: Don January def. Don Massengale

Don January lost in the first stroke-play playoff at the PGA Championship, but he won the second one. And those were the only two times the PGA played 18-hole playoffs to determine the winner. Here, January shot 69 to Massengale's 71.

1977 PGA Championship: Lanny Wadkins def. Gene Littler

This wasn't just the first sudden-death playoff at the PGA Championship, it was the first sudden-death playoff at any of the four majors. It went three holes before Wadkins won it with a 6-foot par putt, earning what turned out to be his only major championship win.

1978 PGA Championship: John Mahaffey def. Jerry Pate, Tom Watson

The PGA Championship is the only major Tom Watson failed to win. He got into the playoff here, but John Mahaffey sank a 12-foot birdie on the second hole to beat Watson and the third man in the playoff, Pate. Three years earlier, Mahaffey had lost a playoff in the U.S. Open.

1979 PGA Championship: David Graham def. Ben Crenshaw

Graham shot a 65 in the final round to tie Crenshaw atop the leaderboard — despite the fact that Graham double-bogeyed the last hole to fall into the playoff. And in that playoff, both players put on a putting display. On the first hole, Crenshaw made a 50-foot par, then Graham sank his own 25-footer. On the second hole, Graham followed Crenshaw's birdie by making his own with a 10-foot putt. Graham won with another birdie on the third playoff hole. Crenshaw got into eight playoffs during his PGA Tour career, and he lost all eight of them.

1987 PGA Championship: Larry Nelson def. Lanny Wadkins

Ten years earlier, Wadkins won the PGA Championship in a sudden-death playoff. This time, he lost it. Both players missed the green on the first playoff hole. Nelson chipped to six feet, Wadkins to four. Nelson made his par-saver, Wadkins didn't.

1993 PGA Championship: Paul Azinger def. Greg Norman

Paul Azinger won with a par when Greg Norman missed a 4-foot par putt on the second sudden-death hole. Azinger got into the playoff by birdying four of the last seven holes of the final round. His loss here made Norman only the second man in golf history to lose all four major championships in extra holes (Craig Wood was the first).

1995 PGA Championship: Steve Elkington def. Colin Montgomerie

Colin Montgomerie never won a major, and this was one of his two losses in playoffs at majors. Steve Elkington won on the first sudden-death playoff hole by making a 25-foot birdie; Monty followed with a 20-foot birdie effort but missed.

1996 PGA Championship: Mark Brooks def. Kenny Perry

Brooks birdied the 72nd hole to force the sudden-death playoff, then won with a birdie on the first extra hole. This was the first time Valhalla Club in Kentucky hosted a major tournament, but it was the last time the sudden-death format was used in a PGA Championship playoff.

2000 PGA Championship: Tiger Woods def. Bob May

Valhalla was the site of the tournament's last sudden-death playoff, and, this year, the site of the tournament's first aggregate-score playoff. The new format — play three holes, low total score wins — was inaugurated by Tiger Woods and Bob May, and the journeyman May took titanic Tiger to the limit.

Woods had to birdie the final two holes of regulation to get into the playoff. May stood toe-to-toe with Tiger through the final round (shooting 66 to Woods' 67) and the playoff. May parred all three extra holes, but Woods' birdie on the opening playoff hole gave him the one-stroke playoff win and the Wanamaker Trophy. The final playoff score was 12 for Woods, 13 for May.

2004 PGA Championship: Vijay Singh def. Chris DiMarco, Justin Leonard

The first PGA Championship at Whistling Straits produced a 3-man playoff, and Vijay Singh's third career major championship win. The three-hole, aggregate score format was once again used, as it was from this point forward. Singh scored 3-3-4 for a 10 total, with a birdie on the first playoff hole. DiMarco and Leonard both had bogeys on that first extra hole.

2010 PGA Championship: Martin Kaymer def. Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson double-bogeyed the third and final playoff hole, letting Martin Kaymer take the title despite a closing bogey of his own. But this playoff at Whistling Straits is most famous (or infamous) for the 72nd-hole penalty assessed to Dustin Johnson that kept Johnson out of the playoff. Johnson was penalized for grounding his club in a bunker that he didn't realize was a bunker. Johnson, therefore, missed the playoff. The final score was 11 for Kaymer, 12 for Watson.

2011 PGA Championship: Keegan Bradley def. Jason Dufner

Keegan Bradley won this major championship playoff in his rookie season on tour. He was No. 108 in the world rankings at the time. Dufner fell into the playoff after losing a 4-stroke lead with four holes to go in the final round. In the playoff, the scores were 3-3-4 (10) for Bradley, 4-4-3 (11) for Dufner.

Extra Holes in the Match Play Era

Prior to 1958, the PGA Championship used a match play format. Championship matches were scheduled for 36 holes in length, but if the two finalists completed 36 holes tied (or "all square"), they had to continue playing extra holes until someone won a hole to claim the trophy. These are the match play finals at the PGA Championship that required extra holes:
  • 1923: Gene Sarazen defeated Walter Hagen on the 38th hole (second extra hole)
  • 1934: Paul Runyan defeated Craig Wood on the 38th hole (second extra hole)
  • 1937: Denny Shute defeated Harold "Jug" McSpaden on the 37th hole (first extra hole)
  • 1939: Henry Picard defeated Byron Nelson on the 37th hole (first extra hole)
  • 1941: Vic Ghezzi defeated Byron Nelson on the 38th hole (second extra hole)

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