PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Whistling Straits, which drew worldwide attention in 2004 as one of the game's most unique and challenging major championship venues, has been selected to host its second PGA Championship in August 2010. Whistling Straits replaces Sahalee Country Club of Redmond, Wash., which played host to the 1998 PGA Championship and was scheduled to welcome the 92nd PGA Championship.
"Golf experienced a new chapter of major championship excitement at Whistling Straits and The PGA of America is excited to be able to return to Wisconsin and its outstanding sports fans for another PGA Championship," former PGA of America Chief Executive Officer Jim L. Awtrey said when the announcement was made in January 2005.
"The PGA Championship has grown significantly since we last visited Sahalee in 1998. Together with the timing of the Winter Olympics in the Vancouver and Pacific Northwest region in 2010, we believe that such demands would place unfair burden on Sahalee and the local business community. We will continue to consider Sahalee for future PGA of America events."
Whistling Straits' acclaimed Pete Dye-designed Straits Course, which opened for play in 1998, is ranked by Golf Digest as one of "America's 100 Greatest Courses," and is one of two 18-hole courses on the unique property along the shore of Lake Michigan. One of the longest layouts in major championship history at 7,536 yards, Whistling Straits attracted more than 40,000 spectators per day during the 86th PGA Championship, which was won by then-world No. 1 Vijay Singh.
All but counted out of the 86th PGA Championship with a putter that wasfailing him, Singh took advantage of a late Sunday collapse by Justin Leonard to get into a three-way playoff that also included Chris DiMarco, then made the only birdie over the three extra holes to win the final major of the year.
Despite closing with a 4-over 76 -- the highest winning score ever by a PGA champion -- and taking 34 putts in regulation, Singh nearly drove the green on the par-4 10th, the first of three playoff holes, and made a 6-foot putt.
Leonard and DiMarco never had a good look at birdie in the playoff, and they stood helplessly on the 18th green as Singh tapped in from 2 feet for par for his third career major.
Phil Mickelson, who earlier that year in April won his first major at the Masters, had an outside chance to win his second major of 2004 until he missed a 15-foot birdie on the 17th and then hit into the bunker and finished with a bogey for a 74, dropping him into a tie for sixth. Mickelson, who would go on to win the 2005 PGA Championship and 2006 Masters, needed a birdie on the 18th to become the first player to finish in the top three in all four majors.
Meanwhile, Tiger Woods bogeyed two of the first four holes in the final round and wound up with a 73 to finish in a tie for 24th, his worst finish in the majors in 2004. Since Whistling Straits, though, the reigning world No. 1 has won six of 13 majors, including two PGA Championships, to give him 14 for his career.
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