100th PGA: Gene Sarazen's 1923 win vs. Rory McIlroy's 2014 win

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100th PGA: Gene Sarazen's 1923 win vs. Rory McIlroy's 2014 win

In celebration of the 100th PGA Championship that takes place this year at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, we’ve unveiled the PGA 100 – a bracket-style competition to determine which year’s championship was the greatest in PGA Championship history. Over the course of six weeks, you can help us identify the greatest championship in the tournament’s history by voting once a day as the field is narrowed from 16 championships on July 8 to the single greatest championship on August 12.

You can vote and join the conversation here. In this matchup, the No. 3-seeded 1923 PGA Championship faces the No.-14 seeded 2014 PGA Championship.

No. 3 seed: 1923 PGA Championship

Back in 1923 at Pelham Country Club in Pelham Manor, N.Y., the sixth PGA Championship was a single-elimination, 64-player, match-play championship.

After five grueling matches apiece, all of them scheduled for 36 holes, Gene Sarazen and Walter Hagen – two of the game’s all-time greats – found themselves squaring off in the 36-hole final.

But this one would require more than 36 holes, because Sarazen made it interesting.

Sarazen was 2-up with three holes to play but made consecutive bogeys to bring the match to all square. Both players parred the 36th hole and both birdied the 37th hole. 

The match ended at the 38th hole when Sarazen got up and down from 50 feet for a birdie. It was Sarazen’s second consecutive PGA Championship win and his second of three overall.

No. 14 seed: 2014 PGA Championship

In nearly complete darkness, Rory McIlroy claimed his second PGA Championship title at Valhalla Golf Club in 2014, defeating Phil Mickelson by a single shot. Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson finished two shots back.

McIlroy began the final round with a one-stroke lead, but it quickly disappeared when he bogeyed two of his first six holes. 

Trailing by as many as three shots, McIlroy pulled it all together with an eagle on the par-5 10th hole to get back within one shot of the lead. 

With birdies at 13 and 17, McIlroy moved to 16 under. 

As darkness enveloped Valhalla, it looked like the tournament might not finish until Monday. McIlroy, however, was allowed to hit his tee shot on 18 with Mickelson and McIlroy in the fairway, meaning he’d have the option to finish the hole.

Mickelson and Fowler each needed an eagle at the last to have a shot at a playoff (provided McIlroy would make no worse than par). Mickelson made birdie, while Fowler parred.

McIlroy would make par moments later to edge Mickelson by one and claim his fourth career major.