USPGA Championship History

A look back at USPGA Championship history ahead of the final major of the year...

USPGA Championship history
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A look back at USPGA Championship history ahead of the final Major of the year at Baltusrol...

USPGA Championship History

First played for in 1916, the US PGA Championship is the third oldest of the four Majors after The Open (1860) and US Open (1894).

Department store magnate Rodman Wanamaker donated the trophy for the inaugural event as well as the sum of $2,580 in prize money. Since then times have changed and the purse for this year's competition is a staggering $10 million.

Related: 2016 USPGA Championship Betting Tips

England's Jim Barnes claimed the first ever PGA Championship at Siwanoy Country Club, New York, and made it two in a row when the tournament returned to the schedule after the First World War.

Other famous names to grace the trophy in the early years of the event included Walter Hagen (who holds the joint record with Jack Nicklaus for the most USPGA victories - five), Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson and Sam Snead.

Up until 1958 the competition was played in a match play format, Paul Runyan recording the largest margin of victory in a final at Oakmont in 1938, defeating Snead 8&7 over 36 holes.

Related: Baltusrol Golf Club Hole by Hole Guide

In the modern era there have been 11 play-offs for the Wanamaker trophy with the likes of Don January (1961), Tom Watson (1978), Greg Norman (1993) and Colin Montgomerie (1995) all missing out on glory.

Jason Day holds the record for the lowest score against par with his winning total of -20 at the 2015 USPGA at Whistling Straits.

2014 Champion Rory McIroy has the record for the greatest winning margin in the stroke play era with his eight-stroke eclipsing of the field in 2012.

Although the US PGA is often seen as the least important of the four Major golf championships, it traditionally has the strongest field, despite the fact the tournament reserves places for the top 20 players from the PGA Professional National Championship. The top 70 players on the US money list gain automatic entry.

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