History

1956: Burke triumphs in a crowd

Champion: Jack Burke Jr., Kiamesha Lake, N.Y.
Site: Blue Hill Golf & Country Club, Canton, Mass.
Date: July 20-24
Purse: $63,130
Par: 36-35 - 71
Field: 128

It was the second-to-last PGA Championship under the match-play format and the first with a 128-player field. Jack Burke Jr. manufactured a series of outstanding matches to capture the Championship 3 and 2 over Ted Kroll. In the semifinals, Burke overcame a five hole deficit and outdueled Ed Furgol 1-up in 37 holes. Kroll, meanwhile, walloped Bill Johnston 10 and 8. Johnston posted an 81 in the morning round.

It was a Championship that had a little of everything, including a controversial match involving defending champion Doug Ford. On the second day of play, Ford held a 1-up lead on Mike Dietz at the 15th hole. Ford drove into the woods and pitched out, and got his third shot on the green. Dietz called out to spectators near the putting surface before his second shot, asking, "How far away is he?" Ford then protested, calling on Rule 8-1: "A player shall not give or ask for advice or take any action which may result in his receiving advice from his caddie, his partner or his partner's caddie." After the hole, the match referee agreed with Ford and awarded the hole to Ford. The match continued to the fifth extra hole (the 23rd), where Ford sealed things by holing a 40-yard wedge approach for a birdie 3.

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