ORLANDO, Florida -- In the buildup to the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis this August, the PGA of America is asking fans for help identify the greatest PGA Championship ever played.
To make this task a little easier for fans, the list has been whittled to 16 Championships, which will play out in a bracket format.
“I think it will be fun to watch and see who the fans pick as their favorite PGA Championship moment. The 1997 PGA Championship was an incredible moment for me, my family and my career," said Davis Love III, 1997 PGA Champion, two-time U.S. Ryder Cup captain and owner of the No. 6 seed in the bracket.
Beginning this summer, and through the final round of the 100th PGA Championship, fans will vote to determine the best Championship of the 16.
The bracket ranges from Walter Hagen v. Gene Sarazen in 1923 to Rory McIlroy edging Phil Mickelson at dusk in a Bluegrass thriller in 2014 at Valhalla.
Here's a look at the bracket:
So how were the 16 seeds established?
The PGA of America compiled a team of experts made up of members from the Golf Writers’ Association of America, the Association of Golf Writers in the UK and past recipients of the PGA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism.
The group voted on the 99 PGA Championships played since 1916 and the seeds were set based on number of votes received. The "bracket" concept was developed to create a format that would resonate with fans and spark a healthy debate.
"This is a unique moment in time for the PGA Championship," said Jeff Price, PGA of America Chief Commercial Officer. "Our goal is to drive conversation and debate and have fans enjoy those past PGA Championships. We want to create dialogue leading up to and during our 100th [PGA Championship] around these great moments and great championships.”
How about that No. 1 Tiger Woods in 2000 at Valhalla vs. No. 16 Phil Mickelson in 2005 at Baltusrol match up to kick things off in Round 1? Or another Round 1 match up of No. 7 Bob Tway's "out of a bunker and into history" in 1986 v. No. 10 Byron Nelson's PGA win in 1945 to continue his incredible string of 11 victories in as many starts?
“There are so many different, special parts on this bracket,” said Bob Denney, PGA of America Historian. “But I'd have to say that 2000 was the ultimate for me. That'll stick in my memory bank forever. What Bob May and Tiger Woods did on the final day was incredible theatre. It wasn't just the playoff. It was the back and forth all day long.”
So, which of the 99 PGA Championships will be No. 1 when the dust settles?
That will be up to you, the fans.
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