History

1972: The "miracle" at Oakland Hills

Champion: Gary Player, Alaqua, Fla.
Site: Oakland Hills Country Club, Birmingham, Mich.
Date: Aug. 3-6
Purse: $224,087
Par: 35-35 - 70 (7,054 yards)
Field: 138 Cut at 150 (77 players advanced)

Gary Player appeared to be in a deep slide in the final round of the 54th PGA Championship, making bogeys at the 14th and 15th holes to slip into a tie with Jim Jamieson. When Player sliced his tee shot on the par-4 16th hole behind a weeping willow, he thought his Championship chances were gone. But Player had driven far enough to the right that the rough was beaten down by spectators. Despite his lie, Player still had trees in front and a lake guarding the front and right side of the green.

Player couldn't see the flagstick, but borrowed a chair from a member of the gallery and stood on it to line up his shot. Pulling out a nine iron from his bag, Player then hit one of the most spectacular recovery shots in championship golf. The ball barely cleared the trees and the lake, caught the from portion of the green and rolled within four feet of the cup. Player sank the birdie putt, while Jamieson was missing a two-foot par putt on the 18th green. Player pocketed his second PGA Championship with pars on the final two holes. Jamieson and Tommy Aaron finished two strokes behind. Player joined Jim Barnes as the only foreign-born players to win two PGA Championships.

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