1978 PGA Championship

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1978 PGA Championship
Tournament information
Dates August 3–6, 1978
Location Oakmont, Pennsylvania
Course(s) Oakmont Country Club
Tour(s) PGA Tour
Statistics
Par 71
Length 6,989 yards (6,391 m)[1][2]
Field 149 players, 78 after cut[2]
Cut 148 (+6)
Prize fund $300,240
Winner's share $50,000
Champion
United States John Mahaffey
276 (−8), playoff
Oakmont CC is located in United States
Oakmont CC
Oakmont CC
Location in the United States

The 1978 PGA Championship was the 60th PGA Championship, played August 3-6 at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, a suburb northeast of Pittsburgh. John Mahaffey won his only major championship in a sudden-death playoff over Jerry Pate and Tom Watson.[3][4]

Watson led the tournament each day and held a five-shot lead after 54 holes, but he faltered on Sunday with a 73 (+2) in his best opportunity for a PGA Championship, the only major he has never won. Pate had a four-foot (1.3 m) putt for a par and the victory on the 72nd hole, but it lipped out. After opening with a four-over 75 on Thursday, Mahaffey rebounded to go 12-under for the next three rounds, including a five-under 66 in the final round to gain the seven strokes on Watson. He had a history of hard luck in majors: at the U.S. Open, he lost the 18-hole playoff in 1975 and was the 54-hole leader in 1976, won by tour rookie Pate. Mahaffey broke that streak when he birdied the second extra hole to win the playoff at Oakmont.[5] It was the second of three consecutive playoffs at the PGA Championship.

Jack Nicklaus, age 38, shot a 79 in the first round[6][7] and missed the cut by five strokes in one of his worst performances in a major. Four-time champion Nicklaus was a pre-tournament favorite: in previous majors at Oakmont he won the 1962 U.S. Open, his first major and first win as a professional, and tied for fourth in the 1973 U.S. Open. At the previous year's PGA Championship at Pebble Beach, he finished third, one stroke out of the playoff.

This was the third PGA Championship held at Oakmont and its eighth major.

Past champions in the field[edit]

Made the cut[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 R3 R4 Total To par Finish
Lee Trevino  United States 1974 69 73 70 72 284 E T7
Don January  United States 1967 73 72 75 69 289 +5 T19
Bobby Nichols  United States 1964 75 67 73 74 289 +5 T19
Dave Stockton  United States 1970, 1976 68 75 74 72 289 +5 T19
Gary Player  South Africa 1962, 1972 76 72 71 71 290 +6 T26
Lanny Wadkins  United States 1977 70 73 72 76 291 +7 T34
Raymond Floyd  United States 1969 76 72 73 73 294 +10 T50

Missed the cut[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 Total To par
Julius Boros  United States 1968 78 71 149 +7
Doug Ford  United States 1955 74 75 149 +7
Al Geiberger  United States 1966 76 75 151 +9
Dow Finsterwald  United States 1958 77 74 151 +9
Jack Nicklaus  United States 1963, 1971,
1973, 1975
79 74 153 +11

Source:[1][8][3]

Round summaries[edit]

First round[edit]

Thursday, August 3, 1978

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Tom Watson  United States 67 –4
2 Dave Stockton  United States 68 –3
T3 Dave Hill  United States 69 –2
Ben Crenshaw  United States
Johnny Miller  United States
Lee Trevino  United States
T7 Grier Jones  United States 70 –1
Phil Hancock  United States
Lanny Wadkins  United States
Mike Sullivan  United States
Mike Marley  United States
Bill Kratzert  United States
Jerry McGee  United States
Rod Funseth  United States
Craig Stadler  United States

Second round[edit]

Friday, August 4, 1978

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Tom Watson  United States 67-69=136 –6
T2 Tom Weiskopf  United States 73-67=140 –2
Joe Inman  United States 72-68=140
Ben Crenshaw  United States 69-71=140
5 Johnny Miller  United States 69-72=141 –1
T6 John Mahaffey  United States 75-67=142 E
Bobby Nichols  United States 75-67=142
Bob Zender  United States 73-69=142
Jerry Pate  United States 72-70=142
Tom Purtzer  United States 72-70=142
Hubert Green  United States 71-71=142
Lee Trevino  United States 69-73=142

Source:[1]

Third round[edit]

Saturday, August 5, 1978

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Tom Watson  United States 67-69-67=203 –10
2 Jerry Pate  United States 72-70-66=208 –5
T3 Joe Inman  United States 72-68-69=209 –4
Tom Weiskopf  United States 73-67-69=209
5 John Mahaffey  United States 75-67-68=210 –3
6 Craig Stadler  United States 70-74-67=211 -2
7 Lee Trevino  United States 69-73-70=212 –1
T8 Gil Morgan  United States 76-71-66=213 E
Kermit Zarley  United States 75-71-67=213
Phil Hancock  United States 70-73-70=213
Johnny Miller  United States 69-72-72=213

Source:[9]

Final round[edit]

Sunday, August 6, 1978

Place Player Country Score To par Money ($)
T1 John Mahaffey  United States 75-67-68-66=276 –8 Playoff
Jerry Pate  United States 72-70-66-68=276
Tom Watson  United States 67-69-67-73=276
T4 Gil Morgan  United States 76-71-66-67=280 –4 14,500
Tom Weiskopf  United States 73-67-69-71=280
6 Craig Stadler  United States 70-74-67-71=282 -2 10,000
T7 Andy Bean  United States 72-72-70-70=284 E 8,000
Graham Marsh  Australia 72-74-68-70=284
Lee Trevino  United States 69-73-70-72=284
10 Fuzzy Zoeller  United States 75-69-73-68=285 +1 6,500

Source:[8][3]

Playoff[edit]

The sudden death playoff began on the front nine at hole #1, a par-4 which all three parred.
After Watson and Pate could not birdie hole #2, Mahaffey sunk a 12-foot (3.7 m) birdie putt to win the title.[4]

Place Player Country Score To par Money ($)
1 John Mahaffey  United States 4-3 –1 50,000
T2 Jerry Pate  United States 4-x E 25,000
Tom Watson  United States 4-x

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Watson leads a PGA without Jack by four". Eugene Register-Guard. Wire Services. August 5, 1978. p. 1B. 
  2. ^ a b "Tournament Info for: 1978 PGA Championship". PGA.com. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Mahaffey healthy, wealthy and alive again". Eugene Register-Guard. wire services. August 7, 1978. p. B1. 
  4. ^ a b Parascenzo, Marino (August 7, 1978). "Mahaffey wins PGA in 3-way playoff". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 11. 
  5. ^ Jenkins, Dan (August 14, 1978). "Jumping for joy". Sports Illustrated. 
  6. ^ "Nicklaus scuffles around in 79 in the PGA". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. August 4, 1978. p. 1D. 
  7. ^ Axelrod, Phil (August 4, 1978). "Dame Oakmont plays Jack". p. 11. 
  8. ^ a b "1978 PGA Championship". databasegolf.com. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Watson has all but wrapped up the PGA". Eugene Register-Guard. UPI. August 6, 1978. p. B1. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
1978 Open Championship
Major Championships Succeeded by
1979 Masters

Coordinates: 40°31′34″N 79°49′37″W / 40.526°N 79.827°W / 40.526; -79.827