Skip to main content
Original Issue


A PGA Championship quiz to excite the memory and increase the knowledge of casual fans and armchair experts

? a) When was the Professional Golfers' Association Championship first played? b) Who won?

•a) In 1916 the PGA held its first championship, a match-play event, at Siwanoy CC in Bronxville, N.Y. b) Jim Barnes, an angular Cornishman, took the lead from Jock Hutchison on the 33rd hole of the 36-hole final and kept it to finish 1 up. He received the Wanamaker Trophy, the prize still awarded PGA champions, and $500.

? Who has won the most PGA championships?

•Walter Hagen, the first great American professional golfer, won five PGA titles. In 1921 he outputted Jim Barnes, a two-time champion (1916, 1919), to win 3 and 2. In 1924 "The Haig" took the first of four consecutive championships. He had won 22 straight matches in the PGA competition when he was stopped in the 1928 quarterfinals by Leo Diegel, the eventual winner.

? When did the PGA Championship become a stroke-play competition?

•In 1958 Dow Finsterwald shot 67-72-70-67—276, still the lowest 72-hole score in PGA championship competition, to win the first stroke-play event. The conservative Ohioan had reached the final in his first try for the PGA Championship the year before, only to be beaten 2 and 1 in a close match with trumpet-playing Lionel Hebert.

? Who was the most decisive winner in match-play competition? b) in stroke play?

•a) In 1938 Paul Runyan, the champion four years before, routed Sam Snead 8 and 7, in the most lopsided PGA final. Snead, who had come from the mountains of Virginia and had been "discovered" by golfing galleries on the 1937 winter tour, consistently outdrove Runyan by 50 yards, but Runyan's brilliant short game proved decisive, b) Dow Finsterwald's two-stroke victory over Bill Casper in 1958 was the biggest winning margin in stroke-play competition.

? Who was the oldest PGA winner?

•Jerry Barber, who won the championship in 1961 at 45. The 5-foot-5, 135-pound golfer finished the regulation 72 holes in a tie with Don January but took the 18-hole playoff by one stroke (67-68).