Ocean Course has history of hosting big events

Denis Watson captured the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy in an emotional victory in 2007 at Kiawah.

Ocean Course has history of hosting big events

By Opeyemi Akinbamidele, PGATOUR.COM

The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island opened in 1991 and wasted little time in establishing itself as one of the premier venues in the game. 

Just months after the first drives were hit on Pete Dye’s challenging creation, the course hosted one of the most memorable Ryder Cup Cups in history, the one that earned the nickname of the “War by the Shore.”

As we await Thursday’s start of the 94th PGA Championship, let’s take a look at all the top tournaments that have been contested on the Ocean Course.

2007 Senior PGA Championship
Zimbabwe’s Denis Watson won the 68th Senior PGA Championship, his first win in nearly 23 years. It was an emotional victory for Watson, who suffered nerve damage and lost 70 percent of his strength in his right shoulder during a freak injury at a tournament in South Africa in 1985. The decisive moment came at the par-3 14th when Argentina’s Edoardo Romero suffered a double bogey. Watson birdied the hole en route to winning by two shots.

2005 PGA Professional National Championship
Mike Small, golf coach at the University of Illinois, won with a 1-over total of 289 – the highest winning   total in tournament history to that point. Travis Long led Small by a stroke until he suffered two bogeys and a double bogey on the back nine.

2003 World Cup
The South African duo of Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini won by four strokes over England’s Paul Casey and Justin Rose. The U.S. team of Jim Furyk and Justin Leonard was in contention until a triple bogey at the 13th hole when Furyk hit his tee shot into a water hazard.

1997 World Cup of Golf
Ireland’s Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley won the team title while Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie took individual honors.

1991 Ryder Cup
The War by the Shore came down to a six-foot putt in the decisive match between Germany’s Bernhard Langer and the USA’s Hale Irwin. On the final hole, Irwin hit a spectator and ultimately finished with a bogey. Langer could win the hole and the match by two-putting from 45 feet, but he missed the six-foot par putt. The half-point Irwin got for halving the match secured Team USA’s 14.5-13.5 win.