Wire-to-Wire Winners of the PGA Championship

How many golfers have won the PGA Championship wire-to-wire? A "wire-to-wire win" is one is which the golfer holds the lead after each round of the tournament (is the first-round leader, second-round leader, third-round leader and winner). In the history of the PGA Championship, only five golfers are on the list of wire-to-wire champs.

With the PGA Championship, though, we must point out that from 1916-1957, the tournament used a match-play format. There is no such thing as a wire-to-wire winner in a match-play tournament. So the list belows considers only the tournament's stroke-play champions. The PGA Championship has used the stroke-play format since 1958.

Also note that the five golfers on the following were all outright leaders after each round. Some tournaments include golfers who held or shared the lead on such lists. The PGA of America, though, includes only golfers who held the solo lead following each round.

These are all the wire-to-wire winners of the PGA Championship:

  • Bobby Nichols, 1964 PGA Championship: This was the 46th PGA Championship overall, but the seventh since the switch to stroke play. And Nichols was this major's first wire-to-wire winner. Nichols recorded the first 64 in PGA Championship history in the first round, and his 271 total was the tournament scoring record for 30 years. He won by three over a couple of pretty good runners-up, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.

  • Jack Nicklaus, 1971 PGA Championship: Nicklaus led by one after the first round and two after the second round. Following the third round, his lead over second-place Gary Player was four. Nicklaus wound up winning by three over runner-up Billy Casper. It was the Bear's second PGA Championship victory.

  • Raymond Floyd, 1982 PGA Championship: The only thing hotter than the 100F weather at Southern Hills was Floyd, who tied the tournament record with a 63 in the first round. He led by three at that point, by two after the second round, and by five after the third round. Floyd's margin of victory was three strokes over runner-up Lanny Wadkins.

  • Hal Sutton, 1983 PGA Championship: Sutton's only win in a major was a big one, given that he won it wire-to-wire and held off a challenge from Nicklaus to do so. Sutton's lead over the second-place golfer entering the final round was two, but he was six ahead of Nicklaus. And he needed that margin, because in the final round Nicklaus fired a 66 and Sutton a 71. But Sutton held on for the one-stroke win.

  • Brooks Koepka, 2019 PGA Championship: It took 36 years after Sutton's victory for the next wire-to-wire winner to emerge. Koepka had a 63 in Round 1 and led by one. But after a 65 in Round 2 (his 128 was the lowest 36-hole score in major championship history to that point), his lead stretched to seven strokes. It was still seven after the third round, and after 74 in Round 4, Koepka won by two. Koepka was the winner in 2018, too, and this victory made him the first golfer ever to post back-to-back wins in both the PGA Championship and U.S. Open.

Related articles:

Popular posts from this blog