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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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PGA Championship History is Full of One Hit Wonders 9

Posted on August 12, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Rich Beem is one of 27 golfers whose victory at the PGA Championship makred their only win in a major.

Rich Beem is one of 27 golfers whose victory at the PGA Championship makred their only win in a major.

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 the final major of the season.

Names like Jim Turnesa, Chandler Harper, John Mahaffey, Wayne Grady, Jeff Sluman Shaun Micheel 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, 37 golfers have claimed their first major title at the PGA Championship. This compares to 33 for the U.S. Open, 26 for the British Open and 24 for the Masters.
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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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