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. 7-seeded 1986 PGA Championship faces the No.-10 seeded 1945 PGA Championship.
No. 7 seed: 1986 PGA Championship
Bob Tway won the 1986 PGA Championship at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio – one of several crushing major losses in the U.S. dealt to Australian Greg Norman.
Norman began the final round leading Tway by four strokes. The pair only played one hole before weather forced the end of play for the day before resuming on Monday.
Norman maintained his four-stroke lead through nine holes, but after he double-bogeyed the 11th and bogeyed the 14th, the two shared the lead.
Still tied at the 18th hole, Tway sent his approach shot in a greenside bunker, while Norman was just off the green on the fringe, 25 feet away.
What happened next is the stuff of dreams... at least it was for Tway. He improbably holed out from the bunker for birdie. Moments later, Norman missed his chance to tie and Tway would go on to win his lone major.
Notably, Norman led all four majors through 54 holes in 1986, but only won the Open Championship.
No. 10 seed: 1945 PGA Championship
Lord Byron Nelson defeated former major league baseball player Sam Byrd 4 and 3 in the final at Moraine Country Club in Kettering, Ohio, to win the 1945 PGA Championship. It was Nelson’s fifth and final major win.
So, what made it so special? The 1945 PGA Championship marked the ninth of Nelson’s record 11 consecutive victories that season, a season in which he won 18 times total.
Due to World War II, the PGA Championship was the only major contested in 1945. The other three returned in 1946.
In the finals match, Nelson was actually 3 down through 21 holes, but pulled all square by the 26th hole. He would win four holes in a row beginning at the 28th hole to go 4 up and then closed the match out on the 33rd hole.