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Sports Then and Now



PGA Championship History is Full of One Hit Wonders 0

Posted on August 03, 2020 by Dean Hybl

Like the musical group that had one big hit then faded off into the world of elevator music and reunion tours, the PGA Championship has more than its share of champions whose greatest moment under the professional golf sun came at what was for many years the final major of the season.

Jason Dufner is one of 33 golfers whose lone major title came at the PGA Championship.

Names like Jim Turnesa, Chandler Harper, John Mahaffey, Wayne Grady, Jeff Sluman, Shaun Micheel, Jason Dufner and Rich Beem grace the victory roster at the PGA Championships while golf greats including Arnold Palmer, Nick Faldo, Hale Irwin and Seve Ballesteros never claimed the crown.

Of the four major championships, the PGA Championship has by far been the kindest to players looking for their first (and in many cases only) major championship.

Since World War II, 44 golfers have claimed their first major title at the PGA Championship. This compares to 38 for the U.S. Open, 31 for the British Open and 31 for the Masters.

The PGA Championship is also home to the greatest number of golf’s “one hit wonders” as 33 of the first-time winners of the tournament failed to claim another major title. In comparison, 24 winners of the U.S. Open, 22 of the British Open and 19 of the Masters failed to win another major.

It is hard to pin-point one specific reason for why so many golfers have won their only major at the PGA Championship, but there is no question that it has been the toughest tournament for great players to win multiple times.

Known for many years as “Glory’s last shot” because it was always the final major of the year, the PGA Championship moved to second in the order of majors in 2019. However, because of COVID-19, this year it will be the first major of the season.

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