Back-to-Back Winners of the PGA Championship

How many golfers, in the history of the PGA Championship, have repeated as winners in consecutive years? Since the tournament switched to stroke play, only two golfers have been back-to-back PGA Championship winners.

In an earlier era, when this major was a match-play tournament, there were a few more. But there was also a long gap between the last match-play repeat champion and first stroke-play repeat champion — more than 60 years.

Consecutive Winners in Stroke-Play Era

Beginning in 1958, the PGA Championship, which had previously been a match-play tournament, switched to the stroke-play format. So far, there have been only two repeat winners in stroke-play PGA Championships — but one of those two golfers did it twice.

  • Tiger Woods, 1999-2000: More than 60 years after the last back-to-back winner (see below), Woods won consecutive crowns in the 1999 PGA and 2000 PGA. In 1999, the 23-year-old Woods won by a single stroke over the 19-year-old runner-up, Sergio Garcia. In 2000, Woods won a memorable final-round duel against Bob May, finally winning the title by one stroke after a three-hole, aggregate-score playoff.

  • Tiger Woods, 2006-07: Not content to win this major in consecutive years just once, Woods did it twice. In his second time repeating, Woods won the 2006 PGA Championship by five strokes over Shaun Micheel; and the 2007 PGA by two over Woody Austin.

  • Brooks Koepka, 2018-19: Koepka is the most-recent back-to-back PGA Championship winner, and the only one in the stroke-play era other than Woods. And it was Woods who was runner-up by two strokes to Koepka at the 2018 PGA Championship. In 2019, Koepka repeated as champ with a two-stroke victory.

Repeat Winners in Match-Play Era

From 1916 through 1957, the PGA Championship used a match-play format. Back-to-back winners were more common then, but only in the earliest years.

  • Jim Barnes, 1916 and 1919: Jim Barnes won the very first PGA Championship in 1916. Because of World War I, the tournament wasn't played in 1917-18, but then Barnes also won the second PGA in 1919. So even though there is two-year gap between his wins, those wins were consecutive. Barnes' championship-match victories were over Jock Hutchison, 1-up, in 1916; and over Fred McLeod, 6 and 5, in 1919.

  • Gene Sarazen, 1922-23: By beating Jock Hutchison, 3 and 1, in the final of the 1922 PGA Championship, Sarazen, at age 20, became the youngest PGA Championship winner. And that is a record that he still holds today. Sarazen repeated in 1923 by winning over Barnes, 1-up, in the title match.

  • Walter Hagen, 1924-27: Hagen didn't just repeat as champ, he won back-to-back-to-back-to-back — four consecutive years as PGA Champion. Hagen is one of just two golfers to win the same major four years running. His championship match victories were over Barnes, 2-up, in 1924; over Wild Bill Mehlhorn, 6 and 5, in 1925; over Leo Diegel, 5 and 3, in 1926; and over Joe Turnesa, 1-up, in 1927.

  • Leo Diegel, 1928-29: From 1916 through 1929, a stretch of 12 tournaments, only Jock Hutchison in 1920 and Hagen in 1921 did not win the PGA Championship back-to-back. Diegel's consecutive wins were the last in that opening period of the tournament's history. In the 1928 PGA Championship, Diegel defeated Al Espinosa in the title match, 6 and 5; and in 1929, Diegel downed Johnny Farrell in the title tilt, 6 and 4. In both years, Diegel beat both Sarazen and Hagen en route to his trophies.

  • Denny Shute, 1936-37: Denny Shute was the final repeat winner of the match-play era, and the last until Tiger Woods' wins in 1999-2000. In the 1936 PGA Championship, Shute beat Jimmy Thomson, 3 and 2, in the final; in the 1937 PGA, he defeated Jug McSpaden, 1-up on the 37th hole, to win the trophy.

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