The reigning champion of the competition is automatically invited to play in the other three majors for the next five years, and is exempt from qualifying for the PGA Championship for life. The champion also receives membership on the PGA Tour for the following five years and invitations to The Players Championship for five years. The prize of the tournament is the Wanamaker Trophy, which the champion keeps until the following year's competition. The PGA Championship was originally a match play event; however, in 1958 it was changed to a stroke play event.
Walter Hagen (match play) and Jack Nicklaus (stroke play) hold the record for the most victories; both men have won the competition five times. Hagen holds the record for most consecutive wins in match play with four (1924–27), and Tiger Woods holds the record for most consecutive wins in stroke play with two, which he did twice (1999–2000, 2006–07). Julius Boros is the oldest winner of the PGA Championship; he was 48 years, 142 days old when he won in 1968. The youngest winner of the PGA Championship is Gene Sarazen, who was 20 years, 174 days old when he won in 1922. David Toms holds the record for the lowest score over 72 holes, which is 265.Jason Day holds the distinction of being the most strokes under par for 72 holes, being 20 strokes under par (−20) when he won the 2015 PGA Championship. This is the record under par score in all major championships. The PGA Championship has had three wire-to-wire champions: Bobby Nichols in 1964, Raymond Floyd in 1982, and Hal Sutton in 1983. Two others have led wire-to-wire if ties after a round are counted: Floyd in 1969 and Woods in 2000.
Jack Nicklaus, five-time PGA Championship champion (1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, and 1980). He holds the record for most wins in stroke play competition.
Tiger Woods, four-time PGA Championship champion (1999, 2000, 2006, and 2007). He is the only golfer to win the PGA Championship back-to-back in stroke play competition, accomplishing this twice. He is one of four champions to win wire-to-wire with his victory in 2000.
a The PGA Championship was not held from 1917 to 1918 because of World War I.
b The 1943 PGA Championship was not held because of World War II.
c Par is a predetermined number of strokes that a golfer should require to complete a hole, a round (the sum of the total pars of the played holes), or a tournament (the sum of the total pars of each round). E stands for even, which means the tournament was completed in the predetermined number of strokes.