1979 PGA Championship

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1979 PGA Championship
Tournament information
Dates August 2–5, 1979
Location Bloomfield Township, Michigan
Course(s) Oakland Hills Country Club,
South Course
Organized by PGA of America
Tour(s) PGA Tour
Statistics
Par 70
Length 7,054 yards (6,450 m)
Field 150 players, 74 after cut[1]
Cut 146 (+6)
Prize fund $350,600
Winner's share $60,000
Champion
Australia David Graham
272 (−8), playoff
← 1978
1980 →
Oakland Hills Country Club is located in the US
Oakland Hills Country Club
Oakland Hills Country Club
Location in the United States
Oakland Hills Country Club is located in Michigan
Oakland Hills Country Club
Oakland Hills Country Club
Location in Michigan

The 1979 PGA Championship was the 61st PGA Championship, played August 2–5 at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township, Michigan, a suburb northwest of Detroit. After a double-bogey on the 72nd hole, David Graham won the first of his two major titles on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff with Ben Crenshaw.[2][3] Through 17 holes in the final round, Graham was seven-under, with seven birdies and ten pars. Of the 21 holes he played Sunday, nine were birdies.

After 54 holes, Rex Caldwell was the leader at 203 (−7), Crenshaw was two strokes back and Graham four behind at 207 (−3), all in search of their first major title.[4] It was the fifth runner-up finish for Crenshaw in a major, and second consecutive.[5] He later won two majors, both at the Masters, in 1984 and 1995; Graham won his second at the U.S. Open in 1981 at Merion.

Three-time champion Sam Snead set the record for the oldest player to make the cut in a major. He was 67 years, 2 months, and 7 days of age at the cut and finished 42nd at 288 (+8). He won in 1942, 1949, and 1951, all in match play.

It was the sixth major championship held on the South Course, which previously hosted the PGA Championship in 1972 and the U.S. Open in 1924, 1937, 1951, and 1961. It later hosted the U.S. Open in 1985 and 1996, the PGA Championship in 2008, and the Ryder Cup in 2004.

This was the third consecutive playoff at the PGA Championship (and nearly the fourth, as the 1976 title was decided by the final putt on the 72nd green).[6]

Graham became the second Australian-born player to win the PGA Championship, preceded by Jim Ferrier in 1947.

Jerry Pate and Tom Watson, runners-up in the previous year's playoff, were tied with Graham in third place after 54 holes. Pate's 71 tied for fifth but Watson's 74 dropped him into a tie for twelfth at 281. Watson had won three of his eight majors at this time, but never completed the career grand slam, missing the PGA Championship leg. Defending champion John Mahaffey tied for 51st.

Past champions in the field[edit]

Made the cut[edit]

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 R3 R4 Total To par Finish
Don January  United States 1967 69 70 71 69 279 −1 T7
Gary Player  South Africa 1962, 1972 73 70 70 71 284 +4 T23
Dave Stockton  United States 1970, 1976 70 75 72 70 287 +7 T35
Lee Trevino  United States 1974 70 73 72 72 287 +7 T35
Sam Snead  United States 1942, 1949, 1951 73 71 71 73 288 +8 T42
John Mahaffey  United States 1978 72 74 71 73 290 +10 T51
Raymond Floyd  United States 1969 74 70 77 72 293 +13 T62
Al Geiberger  United States 1966 76 70 73 75 294 +14 T65
Jack Nicklaus  United States 1963, 1971,
1973, 1975
73 72 78 71 294 +14 T65
Lanny Wadkins  United States 1977 71 75 73 76 295 +13 70

Missed the cut[edit]

Player Country Year won R1 R2 Total To par
Julius Boros  United States 1968 77 73 150 +10
Dow Finsterwald  United States 1958 77 74 151 +11
Bobby Nichols  United States 1964 74 82 156 +16
Jerry Barber  United States 1961 83 75 158 +18
Doug Ford  United States 1955 81 82 163 +23

Source[7][8]

Round summaries[edit]

First round[edit]

Thursday, August 2, 1979

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Tom Watson  United States 66 −4
2 Rex Caldwell  United States 67 −3
T3 Jay Haas  United States 68 −2
Ron Streck  United States
T5 Ben Crenshaw  United States 69 −1
Gibby Gilbert  United States
David Graham  Australia
Hubert Green  United States
Don January  United States
Bruce Lietzke  United States
Graham Marsh  Australia
Jim Masserio  United States
Artie McNickle  United States
Jerry Pate  United States
Alan Tapie  United States

Source:[9]

Second round[edit]

Friday, August 3, 1979

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Ben Crenshaw  United States 69-67=136 −4
T2 Rex Caldwell  United States 67-70=137 −3
David Graham  Australia 69-68=137
Jay Haas  United States 68-69=137
T5 Bruce Lietzke  United States 69-69=138 −2
Jerry Pate  United States 69-69=138
Alan Tapie  United States 69-69=138
Tom Watson  United States 66-72=138
T9 Rod Funseth  United States 70-69=139 −1
Hubert Green  United States 69-70=139
Don January  United States 69-70=139
Graham Marsh  Australia 69-70=139
Artie McNickle  United States 69-70=139
Ron Streck  United States 68-71=139
Leonard Thompson  United States 72-67=139

Source:[7]

Third round[edit]

Saturday, August 4, 1979

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Rex Caldwell  United States 67-70-66=203 −7
2 Ben Crenshaw  United States 69-67-69=205 −5
T3 David Graham  Australia 69-68-70=207 −3
Jerry Pate  United States 69-69-69=207
Tom Watson  United States 66-72-69=207
6 Ron Streck  United States 68-71-69=208 −2
T7 Gibby Gilbert  United States 69-72-68=209 −1
Bruce Lietzke  United States 69-69-71=209
Gene Littler  United States 71-71-67=209
T10 Graham Marsh  Australia 69-72-68=209 E
Jay Haas  United States 68-69-73=210
Don January  United States 69-70-71=210

Source:[10]

Final round[edit]

Sunday, August 5, 1979

Place Player Country Score To par Money ($)
T1 David Graham  Australia 69-68-70-65=272 −8 Playoff
Ben Crenshaw  United States 69-67-69-67=272
3 Rex Caldwell  United States 67-70-66-71=274 −6 25,000
4 Ron Streck  United States 68-71-69-68=276 −4 20,000
T5 Gibby Gilbert  United States 69-72-68-69=278 −2 14,500
Jerry Pate  United States 69-69-69-71=278
T7 Jay Haas  United States 68-69-73-69=279 −1 9,200
Don January  United States 69-70-71-69=279
Howard Twitty  United States 70-73-69-67=279
T10 Lou Graham  United States 69-74-68-69=280 E 6,750
Gary Koch  United States 71-71-71-67=280

Source:[8]

Scorecard[edit]

Birdie Bogey Double bogey

Final round

Hole   1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9    10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18 
Par 4 5 3 4 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 5 3 4 4 4 3 4
Australia Graham −4 −5 −5 −5 −5 −5 −6 −7 −7 −8 −9 −9 −9 −9 −10 −10 −10 −8

Cumulative tournament scores, relative to par

Playoff[edit]

The sudden-death playoff began at the first tee and Graham saved par with one putt from 18 feet (5.5 m) to tie. At the par-5 second hole, Crenshaw tapped in for birdie while Graham sank a ten-footer (3 m) to continue. He won with a birdie on the 202-yard (185 m) par-3 third hole, after Crenshaw found a bunker and his 25-foot (8 m) putt for par lipped out. Graham put his 4-iron tee shot to within 8 feet (2.4 m) and with two putts to win, sank the first.[2][3][6]

Place Player Country Score To par Money ($)
1 David Graham  Australia 4-4-2 −2 60,000
2 Ben Crenshaw  United States 4-4-4 E 40,000

Scorecard[edit]

Hole   1     2     3  
Par 4 5 3
Australia Graham E −1 −2
United States Crenshaw E −1 E

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tournament Info for: 1979 PGA Championship". PGA of America. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Parascenzo, Marino (August 6, 1979). "Graham's birdie wins PGA in sudden death". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 9. 
  3. ^ a b Taylor, Jim (August 6, 1979). "Graham's win 'extra' special". Toledo Blade. Ohio. p. 15. 
  4. ^ Taylor, Jim (August 5, 1979). "Caldwell leads PGA by 2". Toledo Blade. Ohio. p. 1D. 
  5. ^ "Delray's Graham wins PGA". Palm Beach Post. Associated Press. August 6, 1979. p. B5. 
  6. ^ a b Jenkins, Dan (August 13, 1979). "This Graham simply refused to crack". Sports Illustrated. p. 42. 
  7. ^ a b "Gentle Ben says he's ready to win". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. wire reports. August 4, 1979. p. 1B. 
  8. ^ a b "1979 PGA Championship". databasegolf.com. Retrieved August 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Watson swings out of slump". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. UPI. August 3, 1979. p. 1D. 
  10. ^ "A longshot good shot for PGA". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. wire reports. August 5, 1979. p. 1B. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
1979 Open Championship
Major Championships Succeeded by
1980 Masters

Coordinates: 42°32′38″N 83°16′37″W / 42.544°N 83.277°W / 42.544; -83.277