History

1973: It's just a number

Champion: Jack Nicklaus, North Palm Beach, Fla.
Site: Canterbury Golf Club, Cleveland, Ohio
Date: Aug. 9-12
Purse: $225,000
Par: 36-35 - 71 (6,852 yards)
Field: 148 Cut at 149 (75 players advanced)

Jack Nicklaus made his 55th PGA Championship memorable for golf historians, capturing his 14th major championship to eclipse Bobby Jones' record that had stood for 43 years. Nicklaus opened with a 72 on the unyielding course, lodged in a share of 22nd place. Then he ran off a pair of 68s to grab the third-round lead. His closing 69 - spoiled only by his lone three-putt of the Championship on the 72nd hole - gave him a 277 total for a four stoke victory over Australian Bruce Crampton, who had finished runner-up to Nicklaus in three major events, including the U.S. Open and Masters. Crampton later said that finishing runner-up to Nicklaus more than once was "an honor." He also added, "It took the best in the world to beat me in a major tournament." Nicklaus said his "shot of the tournament" was on the 14th hole when he bent a 4-iron around trees and onto the green from 215 yards away. Later, when pressed about edging Jones' standard, Nicklaus said 14 major championship victories "is just a number, and I don't know which is the better feat, Jones' or mine. It may be better to compare all records when a person has finished playing... and I'm not done." Jones won five U.S. Amateurs, one British Amateur, three British Opens and four U.S. Opens, all as an amateur.

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