1957 PGA Championship

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1957 PGA Championship
Tournament information
Dates July 17–21, 1957
Location Dayton, Ohio
Course(s) Miami Valley Golf Club
Organized by PGA of America
Tour(s) PGA Tour
Format Match play - 7 rounds
Par 71
Length 6,773 yards (6,193 m)[1]
Field 128 players (all match play)
Prize fund $42,100[2]
Winner's share $8,000
United States Lionel Hebert
def. Dow Finsterwald, 2 & 1[1]
Miami Valley Golf Club is located in the US
Miami Valley Golf Club
Miami Valley Golf Club
Location in the United States
Miami Valley Golf Club is located in Ohio
Miami Valley Golf Club
Miami Valley Golf Club
Location in Ohio

The 1957 PGA Championship was the 39th PGA Championship, held July 17–21 at Miami Valley Golf Club in Dayton, Ohio. It was historically notable as the last PGA Championship played under the match play format. Lionel Hebert won the championship 2 & 1 over Dow Finsterwald,[3] who won the following year, the first as a 72-hole stroke play event.

Defending champion Jack Burke, Jr. lost in the second round to Milon Marusic, 2 & 1.

At the time, it was not yet known that this was the last at match play,[3] the decision to switch to stroke play was announced in during the November meetings.[4][5]


The match play format at the PGA Championship in 1957 called for 9 rounds (162 holes) in five days. As in 1956, the two-day stroke play qualifying segment (36 holes) was eliminated; 128 players were entered in the single-elimination bracket. The PGA Championship had concluded on Tuesday since 1947; this year's schedule was modified for a Sunday final, with match play beginning on Wednesday. The first five rounds were 18-hole matches contested over the first three days, which reduced the field to four players for the weekend. The semifinals and finals were 36-hole matches played on the final two days, Saturday and Sunday.[2]

  • Wednesday – first round, 18 holes
  • Thursday – second and third rounds, 18 holes each
  • Friday – fourth round and quarterfinals, 18 holes each
  • Saturday – semifinals – 36 holes
  • Sunday – final – 36 holes

Consolation matches at 18 holes were held on the weekend to determine 3rd to 8th places.[6][7]

Past champions in the field[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won Record Advanced to Finish
Walter Burkemo  United States 1953 6–1 Semifinals 3
Doug Ford  United States 1955 3–1 Fourth round T9
Sam Snead  United States 1942, 1949, 1951 3–1 Fourth round T9
Jack Burke, Jr.  United States 1956 1–1 Second round T33
Vic Ghezzi  United States 1941 1–1 Second round T33
Denny Shute  United States 1936, 1937 1–1 Second round T33
Chick Harbert  United States 1954 0–1 First round T65
Chandler Harper  United States 1950 0–1 First round T65
Jim Turnesa  United States 1952 0–1 First round T65

Final results[edit]

Sunday, July 21, 1957

Place Player Country Money ($)
1 Lionel Hebert  United States 8,000
2 Dow Finsterwald  United States 5,000
3 Walter Burkemo  United States 3,500
4 Don Whitt  United States 3,000
5 Dick Mayer  United States 2,500
6 Claude Harmon  United States 2,000
7 Jay Hebert  United States 1,500
8 Charles Sheppard  United States 1,000

Final eight bracket[edit]

In the quarterfinals Friday, a clash of the Hebert brothers was avoided when Walter Burkemo defeated Jay Hebert, 2&1, while Lionel Hebert defeated Claude Harmon, 2&1. On the other side of the bracket, Dow Finsterwald defeated Charles Sheppard, 2 up, and Don Whitt defeated Dick Mayer, 2&1.[8] In the semifinals on Saturday, Finsterwald defeated Whitt, 2 up, and Hebert prevailed over Burkemo 3&1.[9] The final match on Sunday was all-square after the first 18 holes. Finsterwald bogeyed the 34th hole and was two holes down with two to play; the par-3 35th was halved with pars to end the match. Hebert earned $8,000 for the victory and Finsterwald received $5,000 as runner-up.[1] Burkemo, the 1953 champion, defeated Whitt 3 & 1 to claim third place and $3,500.[7] Finsterwald captured the title the following year in the new stroke play format. Hebert's older brother Jay won the title three years later in 1960.

July 19
July 20
July 21
 Lionel Hebert 2&1
 Claude Harmon
 Lionel Hebert 3&1
 Walter Burkemo
 Walter Burkemo 2&1
 Jay Hebert
 Lionel Hebert 2&1
 Dow Finsterwald
 Dow Finsterwald 2up
 Charles Sheppard
 Dow Finsterwald 2up Third place
 Don Whitt
 Don Whitt 2&1  Walter Burkemo 3&1
 Dick Mayer  Don Whitt

Consolation brackets[edit]

  Consolation match
July 20
    Fifth place
July 21
   Claude Harmon 20h  
   Jay Hebert    
       Claude Harmon
       Dick Mayer def.
   Charles Sheppard    
   Dick Mayer 2&1   Seventh place
 Jay Hebert 5&3
   Charles Sheppard


  1. ^ a b c "Hebert beats Finsterwald in PGA final, 2-1". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. July 22, 1957. p. 21. 
  2. ^ a b "Tournament Info for: 1957 PGA Championship". PGA.com. Retrieved December 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Wind, Herbert Warren (August 5, 1957). "The PGA comes back". Sports Illustrated. p. 54. 
  4. ^ "Medal play in pro golf slated". Time-News. (Hendersonville, North Carolina). United Press. November 15, 1957. p. 8. 
  5. ^ "P.G.A. swings from match to medal play". Chicago Daily Tribune. November 15, 1957. p. 1, part 4. 
  6. ^ "Lionel Hebert succeeds in his quest to 'make a name,' wins PGA crown". Milwaukee Journal. United Press. July 22, 1957. pp. Part 2–9, 12. 
  7. ^ a b "Burkemo wins third-place cash". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. July 22, 1957. p. 21. 
  8. ^ "Have nots meet the Haves as match into semi-finals". Fort Scott Tribune. (Kansas). July 20, 1957. p. 6. 
  9. ^ "Finsterwald, Hebert seek PGA crown". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. July 21, 1957. pp. Part 3–1, 5. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°47′31″N 84°14′31″W / 39.792°N 84.242°W / 39.792; -84.242