PGA CHAMPIONSHIP FIVE: The best 5 held in the state of New York

  • Article by: DOUG FERGUSON , AP Golf Writer
  • Updated: August 6, 2013 - 2:36 AM

PITTSFORD, N.Y. — The PGA Championship can't be accused of being only in a New York state of mind.

At least not over the long haul.

True, the inaugural PGA Championship was held at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, N.Y. And yes, eight of the first 22 championships were held in the Empire State. But the PGA of America moves its major around the country. It has been held in 26 states, compared with 17 states for the U.S. Open. And while the U.S. Open has gone to New York 18 times, Oak Hill marks the 12th time the PGA Championship is in the Empire State.

Jim Barnes won at Siwanoy, 1 up over Jock Hutchison in 1916. Barnes often gets left out of conversation on the back-to-back winners of this major. He also won in 1919, after a two-year absence brought on by World War I.

Even more impressive? The PGA Championship has been held at 10 golf courses in New York, compared with eight New York courses for the U.S. Open. Oak Hill is the only New York course to hold the PGA more than once. This will be the third time.

The tough part is figuring out the best five PGA Championships played in New York. Here's one offering:

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5. JACK IS BACK

Jack Nicklaus never really went anywhere during his peak years. In his first 20 years as a professional, his longest drought was 12 majors without winning — from the 1967 U.S. Open until the 1970 British Open, during which time his father died.

Even so, he turned 40 in 1980. Tom Watson was the top player. Seve Ballesteros captured his second major at age 23 when he won the Masters, leading by 10 shots on the back nine until settling for a four-shot win.

Nicklaus picked up his 16th career major by winning the U.S. Open at Baltusrol. But it was his 1980 PGA Championship win at Oak Hill that summer that affirmed his place in the game. He became only the second player, behind Ben Hogan in 1953, to win two majors in his 40s. Mark O'Meara would join them in 1998.

Nicklaus shot 66 in the third round to take a three-shot lead, and he wound up winning by seven. The margin of victory remained a record for 33 years, until Rory McIlroy won by eight last year at Kiawah Island. Nicklaus tied Walter Hagen with his fifth Wanamaker Trophy.

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4. THE SILVER SCOT

Tommy Armour was born in Scotland and took up U.S. citizenship after World War I. He picked up his first major in 1927 at Oakmont when he won the U.S. Open.

But the odds were against him in the 1930 PGA Championship at Fresh Meadow Country Club, even though two-time champion Jim Barnes and five-time winner Walter Hagen failed qualify for match play. Armour faced Gene Sarazen, who not only was a three-time major champion, but the head professional at Fresh Meadow.

Neither player led by more than two holes during the 36-hole match. They were all square with nine holes to play, and remained tied playing the 18th. Both hit their second shots into a greenside bunker. Armour blasted out to 12 feet, and Sarazen was just inside him.

Armour holed the putt for a birdie, forcing Sarazen to match him. It would have been the first PGA Championship final to go extra holes. But it wasn't. Sarazen missed the putt, giving the Silver Scot a 1-up win and his second major. Sarazen atoned for the loss by winning a U.S. Open at Fresh Meadow two years later.

Of the three majors Armour won, he got the least amount of attention for this one. It was overshadowed by Bobby Jones winning the Grand Slam.

Armour remains the last player born in Britain to win the PGA Championship.

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3. LITTLE POISON AND THE BLOND BOMBER

Craig Wood was an impressive figure, known as the "Blond Bomber" because of his good looks and his ability to smash the ball a long way. In the final match of the 1934 PGA Championship at Park Club of Buffalo, he had his hands full against a man that seemed half his size — Paul Runyan, who went by the nickname "Little Poison."

Wood built a 1-up lead in the morning round, and he regained the lead in the afternoon with an eagle on the 29th hole. Runyan won back-to-back holes to take the lead, only for Wood to square the match by nearly holing his approach on the 35th hole. With the title on the line, both made birdie putts on the 36th hole to force overtime. Runyan beat him on the 38th hole by making an 8-foot par putt.

It was the first of two PGA Championship titles for Runyan, and it set the tone for Wood's career. He went on to lose the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open in extra holes. Greg Norman, another blond bomber of sorts, joined him six decades later by losing all four majors in a playoff in stroke play.

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2. SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW

Davis Love III was considered the best player to have never won a major when he arrived at Winged Foot for the 1997 PGA Championship.

He was runner-up at the Masters in 1995 by one shot to Ben Crenshaw, and his best shot at a major was a year later at Oakland Hills in the U.S. Open when he three-putted the 18th and finished one back of Steve Jones.

Love shot 66 in the third round and was tied for the 54-hole lead with Justin Leonard, a good friend who had won his first major a month earlier at the British Open. Love was always in control over the final round in what became a two-man race, and he finally pulled away late. It was fitting that Love's major would be the PGA Championship — his father was a popular club pro who died in a plane crash nine years later.

It might not have been a coincidence, then, that when Love holed an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole of a cloudy Sunday at Winged Foot, the sun had just broken through and a massive rainbow filled the sky. It rained tears that day.

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1. THE SQUIRE AND THE HAIG

Gene Sarazen won the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in 1922, but the latter might have carried as asterisk — the great Walter Hagen didn't play the 1922 PGA Championship because he had prior engagements.

There was no doubting the Squire in the 1923 PGA Championship at Pelham Golf Club.

Hagen crushed everyone in his path — he won his opening match 10 and 9, and beat George McLean in the semifinals, 12 and 11 — to set up a championship match against Sarazen that lived up to its hype. The match was all square after the morning session, and Sarazen was 2 up late in the match until Hagen won the 34th and 35th holes to square the match again, setting up the first overtime in the PGA's short history.

On the second extra hole, Sarazen hooked a tee shot that was a few feet from going out-of-bounds. Sarazen — whose birth name was Eugenio Saraceni — later said Hagen complained there was spaghetti sauce on the ball. "He said the greens keeper lived there and was eating spaghetti and threw the ball back out," Sarazen said in a 1999 interview.

From deep rough, Sarazen slashed it onto the green to 2 feet away. Hagen was in a bunker and nearly holed it. That left Sarazen a short putt, which he made to win in 38 holes for his second straight PGA title. A year later, Hagen began his run of four in a row.

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Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 64 3rd Qtr 8:21
Sacramento 61
Oklahoma City 50 2nd Qtr 6:16
Golden State 50
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 3 2nd Prd
Los Angeles 1
Edmonton 1 2nd Prd 18:33
San Jose 0
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
LSU 79 FINAL
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 35 2nd Half 8:02
Cal State Fullerton 52
Walla Walla 18 2nd Half 16:00
Idaho 54
DePaul 38 2nd Half 12:27
Oregon State 62
Nevada 33 2nd Half 12:25
Pacific 47
Portland State 28 2nd Half 8:06
San Francisco 70
CS-Bakersfield 20 2nd Half 17:12
Utah State 29
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
Santa Clara 83 2nd OT 2:02
Oregon 85
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