1997: Love wins over the rainbow

Champion: Davis Love III, Sea Island, Ga.
Site: Winged Foot Golf Club, N.Y.
Date: Aug. 14-17
Purse: $2,600,000
Par: 35-35 - 70 (6,987 yards)
Field: 150 Cut at 146 (77 players advanced)

Davis Love III shot a final-round 66 to win his first major by five strokes over Justin Leonard. The two champions started the final day tied at 7-under-par, seven strokes ahead of anyone else. And with no one making a move, it was clear by the time they teed off that the PGA Championship would be decided in their group.

The outcome was all but settled early as Leonard struggled off the tee and Love played with calm precision to shoot a 32 on the front nine to Leonard's 37. Leonard never got closer than three strokes the rest of the way.

The victory was an emotional one for Love, whose father, a respected PGA Professional, died in a plane crash in 1988. The son always saw winning a major championship as a special gift for his father.

"It was hard to get through those last three holes without breaking down," Love said, choking back emotion. "It's been a rough trip getting to this point."

His father taught him the game, and watching his father play made him decide he wanted to be a professional.

"In the summer after I turned 10, in 1974, I went with dad to the PGA Championship," Love wrote in "Every Shot I Take," his recent book.

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