History

1928: The streak comes to an end

Champion: Leo Diegel, Tijuana, Mexico
Site: Five Farms Country Club, Baltimore, Md.
Date: Sept. 8-13
Purse: $10,300

Leo Diegel was determined not to go 0-3 against five-time champion Walter Hagen, who had built a 22-match victory streak in the PGA Championship. Diegel started strong against Hagen in the quarterfinals, building a five-hole advantage. Hagen battled back, trimming the deficit to two holes after the morning 18-hole round. In the afternoon, Hagen lost another hole on the outgoing nine and rallied coming home to be one down with two holes remaining. Both players hit the par-3 green, with Diegel putting first and making a 15-foot birdie putt. Hagen missed from 12 feet, thus ending the longest reign of any professional in PGA Championship history. The big victory was all Diegel needed to roll through the Championship. Diegel routed former champion Gene Sarazen, 9 and 8, in the semifinals. He then built a four-hole advantage on Al Espinosa in the finals after 18 holes and cruised to a 6 and 5 decision.

Following Diegel's victory, PGA of America officials asked Hagen to produce the Rodman Wanamaker Trophy to present to the new Champion. Hagen, all smiles, apologized that the Trophy was lost. Hagen said he left it in the care of a taxi driver to return to a hotel following the 1926 Champions hip. However, two years later, workmen were poring through old boxes in a Detroit sporting goods plant, and found a sealed leather case with the Wanamaker Trophy inside. The sporting goods plant was represented by Hagen.

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