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Monday, 19 May 2008

Senior PGA Championship history

Legendary amateur player Bobby Jones organized the inaugural Senior PGA Championship in 1937 at Augusta National Golf Club. Jock Hutchison won the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy and the winner's share of a $2,000 purse that year. Hutchison dominated the first 15 Senior PGA Championship's, celebrating 2 victories and 6 second-place finishes (a record that stands today). Upon settling in the Pittsburgh area, Hutchison spent the early part of his career winning 5 Western Pennsylvania Open Championships at Oakmont Country Club and Allegheny Country Club.

The Senior PGA Championship moved to PGA National Golf Club in 1945 where Gene Sarazen, Paul Runyan, Al Waltrous and Eddie Williams enjoyed multiple victories, and saw the purse increase from $5,000 to $25,000.

In the 1960's and 1970's, Sam Snead shot 33 rounds under par, posted fifteen top-10 finishes and celebrated 6 victories (all Senior PGA Championship records). His remarkable run was capped by a 15-shot victory in the 1973 Championship.

Arnold Palmer won the 1980 and 1984 Senior PGA Championships joining Gary Player, Lee Trevino and Hale Irwin on the list of multiple winners in the 1980's and 1990's. Mr. Palmer led all four rounds of the 1984 Championship, and shot a record 63 in the second round.

The Senior PGA Championship moved out of Florida in 2001, and has since seen champions such as Tom Watson, Fuzzy Zoeller and John Jacobs compete on the best courses in the United States. The tradition of pairing legendary players with the finest courses continues with the 66th Senior PGA Championship at Laurel Valley Golf Club.

Past Winners

1937 Jock Hutchison Augusta National (Ga.) G.C.
1938 Freddie McLeod* Augusta National (Ga.) G.C.
1940 Otto Hackbarth* Bobby Jones G.C. & North Shore CC, Sarasota,Fla.
1941 Jack Burke Sr. Bobby Jones G.C. & SarasotaBay C.C. Sarasota, (Fla.)
1942 Eddie Williams Fort Myers (Fla.) C.C.
1943-44 No Championships played due to World War II
1945 Eddie Williams PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1946 Eddie Williams* PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1947 Jock Hutchison PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1948 Charles McKenna PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1949 Marshall Crichton PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1950 Al Watrous PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1951 Al Watrous* PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1952 Ernie Newnham PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1953 Harry Schwab PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1954 Gene Sarazen PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1955 Mortie Dutra PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1956 Pete Burke PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1957 Al Watrous* PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1958 Gene Sarazen PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1959 Willie Goggin PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1960 Dick Metz PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1961 Paul Runyan PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1962 Paul Runyan PGA National G.C. Dunedin,Fla.
1963 Herman Barron Port St. Lucie (Fla.) C.C.
1964 Sam Snead PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens,Fla.
1965 Sam Snead Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) C.C.
1966 Fred Haas Jr. PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens,Fla.
1967 Sam Snead PGA National GC, Palm Beach Gardens,Fla.
1968 Chandler Harper PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1969 Tommy Bolt PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1970 Sam Snead PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1971 Julius Boros PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1972 Sam Snead PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1973 Sam Snead PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1974 Roberto De Vicenzo Port St. Lucie (Fla.) C.C.
1975 Charles Sifford* Walt Disney World, Orlando, Fla.
1976 Pete Cooper Walt Disney World, Orlando, Fla.
1977 Julius Boros Walt Disney World, Orlando, Fla.
1978 Joe Jimenez* Walt Disney World, Orlando, Fla.
1979 Jack Fleck* Walt Disney World, Orlando, Fla.
1979† Don January Turnberry Isle C.C. North Miami Beach, Fla.
1980 Arnold Palmer* Turnberry Isle C.C. North Miami Beach, Fla.
1981 Miller Barber Turnberry Isle C.C. North Miami Beach, Fla.
1982 Don January PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1984 Arnold Palmer PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1984† Peter Thomson PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1986 Gary Player PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1987 Chi Chi Rodriguez PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1988 Gary Player PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1989 Larry Mowry PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1990 Gary Player PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1991 Jack Nicklaus PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1992 Lee Trevino PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1993 Tom Wargo* PGA National G.C.Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1994 Lee Trevino PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1995 Raymond Floyd PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1996 Hale Irwin PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1997 Hale Irwin PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1998 Hale Irwin PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
1999 Allen Doyle PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
2000 Doug Tewell PGA National G.C. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
2001 Tom Watson The Ridgewood Country Club, Paramus, N.J.
2002 Fuzzy Zoeller Firestone Country Club, Akron Ohio
2003 John Jacobs Aronimink Golf Club, Philadelphia, Penn.
2004 Hale Irwin Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, Ky.
2005 Mike Reid Laurel Valley Golf Club, Ligonier, Pa.
2006 Jay Haas Oak Tree Golf Club, Edmond, Okla.
2007 Denis Watson The Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, S.C.
*Won playoff.
† Two Championships played in 1979 and 1984.

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