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History of the PGA Championship

What exactly is the PGA Championship? When did it start? Who plays in it? Here is a brief history and the answer to those questions!

News 12 Staff

Apr 24, 2019, 5:35 PM

Updated 1,883 days ago

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History of the PGA Championship
The 2019 PGA Championship is being held at Bethpage Black May 13-19. But what exactly is the PGA Championship? When did it start? Who plays in it? Below is a brief history and the answers to those questions!
A Brief History:
The PGA Championship started in 1916, and this is the 101st tournament. Each year it is played at a different venue. The 2019 Championship establishes a new place within golf’s major championship rotation, as it moves from August to May. This makes it the second of four annual events. It was previously the last major of the season.
The Championship features the strongest field based on the Official World Golf Ranking. It is the only all-professional major championship with 156 players. The winner gets one of golf’s most prized possessions, the Wanamaker Trophy. The PGA champion also receives the largest share of the winner’s purse.
The Bethpage Black Course:
The Black Course at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale is no stranger to tournaments. In 2002 and 2009, the Black Course was home to the U.S. Open. And in 2024, the course will host the Ryder cup. However, 2019 will be the first time that the course will host the PGA Championship. 
In addition, The Barclays, now known as The Northern Trust, was held at the course in 2012 and 2016 as part of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs.
Where else will the Championship be played?
Click here for a list of future sites of the PGA Championship.
Who is playing?
There will be 156 players competing in the Championship. Click here to see the list of players.
Who has won in years past?
In 2018, Brooks Koepka won the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri. Those that hold the record for the most PGA Championship wins, with five each, are Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen.
Check out the gallery below for the past 20 winners.
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Who can play in the PGA Championship?
Players must meet one of 13 qualifications. Here is who qualifies: (Information courtesy of PGA)
  1. All former winners of the PGA Championship
  2. Winners of the past five Masters (2015-2019)
  3. Winners of the past five U.S. Opens (2014-2018)
  4. Winners of the past five Open Championships (2014-2018)
  5. Winners of the past three Players Championships (2017-2019)
  6. Winner of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship
  7. The top 15 finishers at the 2018 PGA Championship
  8. The top 20 finishers at the 2019 PGA Professional Championship - Click here for more on that tournament
  9. The top 70 players who have earned the most PGA Championship Points from the 2018 The Players Championship through the 2019 PGA Tour event (ending May 5, 2019).
  10. Playing members of the last-named U.S. and European Ryder Cup teams (2018) provided they remain within the top 100 on the Official World Golf Ranking as of May 5, 2019.
  11. Winners of PGA TOUR co-sponsored or approved tournaments, whose victories are considered official, from the 2018 Players Championship to the 2019 PGA Championship.
  12. The PGA of America reserves the right to invite additional players not included in the categories listed above.
  13. If necessary to complete the field, those players beyond the top 70 players who have earned the most PGA Championship Points from the 2018 The Players Championship through the 2019 PGA Tour event ending May 5, 2019 in order of their position on such list.
Click here for more on how to qualify.


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