Golfers Who Won PGA Championship in First Attempt

The PGA Championship, one of the four major championships of men's professional golf, has been played since 1916. Over the tournament's history, how many golfers have won it when playing this major for the very first time? Debut victories aren't common, but they do happen. And in the PGA Championship, these are the players who won in their inaugural appearance:

Jim Barnes, 1916: The 1916 PGA Championship was the very first one played, so whoever won it was going to be on this list. Jim Barnes did win it, beating Jock Hutchison, 1-up, in the 36-hole, match-play final. Barnes also won the second PGA Championship in 1919 (following a two-year break due to World War II), and also won the U.S. Open and British Open titles.

Tom Creavy, 1931: Tom Creavy was a young phenom whose career was over much too quickly after he slipped on a slick clubhouse floor and injured his back. He was 20 years old at the 1931 PGA Championship, still the second-youngest winner. Gene Sarazen is the youngest PGA Championship winner, and that's who Creavy beat in the semifinals. In the title match, Creavy downed Denny Shute, 3 and 1.

Bob Hamilton, 1944: After skipping 1943 due to World War II, the PGA Championship returned in 1944. And Bob Hamilton was the winner, beating Byron Nelson, 1-up, in the title match. (It was Nelson's third runner-up finish in the PGA, but he also won it twice.) This was one of only four Top 10 finishes in majors for Hamilton (who years later, at age 59, became the youngest golfer to shoot his age).

Doug Ford, 1955: The last of the match-play winners on our list, Doug Ford was also the last golfer to win the stroke-play qualifier in a PGA Championship and then go on to win the Wanamaker Trophy that same year. In the championship match, Ford beat Shelley Mayfield, 4 and 3. He went on to win a Masters title, too.

Bob Tway, 1986: The first golfer from the tournament's stroke-play era to win the PGA Championship in his very first try. Tway and third-round leader Greg Norman were tied going to the last hole. On that last hole, Tway holed-out from a greenside bunker to win the tournament.

John Daly, 1991: Daly had only three Top 10 finishes in majors, but two of them were wins — the 1991 PGA Championship and 1995 British Open. In the 1991 PGA, Daly was the ninth alternate into the field, but players kept withdrawing and he finally got in. His massive swing and booming drives that week turned him into a golfing folk hero. Daly won by three strokes over runner-up Bruce Lietzke.

Shaun Micheel, 2003: Micheel was the 169th-ranked golfer in the world when he won the 2003 PGA Championship. He beat runner-up Chad Campbell by two strokes. Micheel finished runner-up in the PGA in 2006, but overall missed a lot more cuts in majors than he made. And his PGA Championship victory remained his only win on the PGA Tour.

Keegan Bradley, 2011: He didn't just win the PGA Championship in his first try. The 2011 PGA was also Bradley's first attempt at any of the four professional majors. Bradley beat Jason Dufner in a 3-hole, aggregate score playoff, 10 to 11, after they finished 72 holes tied at 272.

Collin Morikawa, 2020: Morikawa won the 2020 PGA Championship by two strokes over runners-up Paul Casey and Dustin Johnson. And this wasn't the only major he won in his first attempt. Morikawa also won the British Open on his first try at that major.

Related articles:

PGA of America. PGA Media Guide 2012, PGA Championship Player Records
PGA of America. PGA Media Guide 2024, 2020 PGA Championship

Popular posts from this blog