PGA Championship
April 30, 2019

PGA Championship 2019: Frequently Asked Questions

PGA Championship - Final Round

Ross Kinnaird

For the first time in a long time, the PGA Championship will be held at a new date in 2019. The tournament officially moves to May with the 101st PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y. This year's event will be held from May 16-19.

With the help of Tiger Woods' Masters victory, and a great host site in the Black Course, this year's PGA hardly feels like the "fourth major" it's been known as in previous years. For that, the new date on the schedule is a huge plus, but going forward we'll find out how successful the move is with the added weather concerns May brings, as five of the next 11 scheduled PGA Championships will be held at the Northeast courses.

But for now it's all good things for the PGA, which promises to be an exciting one. Not only is Woods back to winning majors, but Brooks Koepka will look to defend his title after nearly spoiling Woods' party at Augusta just like he did a year ago at Bellerive. Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas are also hoping to get back in the winner's circle in a major, and then there is Rickie Fowler, still looking for his first. As for Jordan Spieth, he's struggled mightily of late, but he does have a chance to complete the career Grand Slam with a win.

Here are some frequently asked questions about the PGA Championship.

When and where is the PGA Championship being held in 2019?

After being held in July or August for the last 50-plus years, the PGA Championship will be played in May beginning this year and going forward. This year it will be held at Bethpage State Park's Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y., which is located on Long Island roughly 40 miles east of New York City. This will be the first time Bethpage hosts the PGA, and the third time it will host a major. The public facility previously hosted a pair of U.S. Opens, the first in 2002 (won by Tiger Woods) and the second in 2009 (won by Lucas Glover). In 2002, it became the first publicly owned and operated golf course to host a U.S. Open, and has since opened the door for Torrey Pines, Chambers Bay and Erin Hills to host U.S. Opens. The PGA Tour also held the Northern Trust (formerly known as the Barclays) as part of its FedEx Cup Playoffs at Bethpage Black in 2012 (won by Nick Watney) and 2016 (won by Patrick Reed).

Who conducts the PGA Championship?

The Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) of America conducts the event.

Are the PGA Tour and the PGA of America different?

Yes, the PGA Tour and the PGA of America have been independent of one another since 1968. The PGA Tour is an elite organization of tournament professionals, while the PGA of America is made up of club and teaching professionals who work at on- and off-course golf facilities around the country (and the world).

When and where was the first PGA Championship? And who won?

The first PGA Championship was played in 1916 at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, N.Y. England's Jim Barnes won, 1 up, over Jock Hutchinson.

When did the PGA Championship use a match-play format?

From 1916 to 1957, the PGA Championship was a match-play event with a stroke-play qualifier, and it was not uncommon for players to play more than 200 holes in seven days. Starting in 1958, the PGA Championship switched to the standard 72-hole, stroke-play format. Dow Finsterwald won the first stroke-play version of the event in 1958 at Llanerch Country Club in Havertown, Pa.

How many players are in the field?

There are 156 players in the field at this year's PGA Championship, with 20 of those spots reserved for club professionals who are PGA of America members.

How do club professionals earn one of the 20 spots?

The PGA of America fills the 20 spots held for club professionals for the top finishers at the PGA Professional Championship, which was formerly held in June but will now be held in April because of the PGA's new May date.

Has a club professional ever won the PGA Championship?

Not in the modern era of the PGA Tour. According to, the best performance since 1970 by a club professional playing in the PGA Championship was a third place finish in 1971 by Tommy Bolt, a former tour pro who had retired from the tour. The last top 10 also came from a former tour pro—a very famous one—turned club professional: Sam Snead in 1973. Only one club professional has finished inside the top 20 in the last 30 years, Jay Overton in 1988 at Oak Tree. Only three have made the cut in the last seven years: Ben Kern as year ago at Bellerive, Omar Uresti two year ago at Quail Hollow and Brian Gaffney in 2015 at Whistling Straits.

How are the 136 other spots in the PGA Championship determined?

For a list of ways to qualify for the PGA Championship, click here.

Can amateurs play in the PGA Championship?

The PGA Championship is limited to professionals only, meaning amateurs cannot qualify.

What does the winner of PGA Championship receive?

The PGA champion receives the Wanamaker Trophy, the largest trophy of the four majors. Last year, the winner earned $1.98 million of the PGA Championship's $11 million purse. Traditionally he also receives automatic invites into all three of the other majors and the Players Championship for the next five years, PGA Tour membership for the next five years and European Tour membership for the next seven years. They also become eligible to compete in the PGA Championship for life.

Who won the 2018 PGA Championship?

Brooks Koepka won the 2018 PGA Championship by two strokes over a charging Tiger Woods at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis. It was his third career major championship victory and his second of the year, the first coming in the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, where he became the first player since Curtis Strange in 1988 and 1989 to win back-to-back U.S. Opens.

Who has won the most PGA Championships?

Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen hold the record for most PGA Championship victories with five. Nicklaus also holds the record for most runner-up finishes in the PGA Championship with four.

How many PGA Championships has Tiger Woods won?

Tiger Woods has won four PGA Championships, the last coming in 2007 at Southern Hills. Woods looks to tie Hagen and Nicklaus with a fifth victory this year, and if he were to do it he'd have the first two legs of the Grand Slam following his 15th major victory at the Masters in April. It'd also be his second major victory at Bethpage Black, where he claimed the 2002 U.S. Open by three strokes over Phil Mickelson.

*Who are the most famous golfers not to have won the PGA Championship?

There are three men in golf history who have won each of the other three major championships (the Masters, the U.S. Open and the British Open) but have not completed the career Grand Slam by winning the PGA. They are Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Jordan Spieth. Spieth is only 25 so he has plenty of time to try and complete the Slam. This is the third year he will be playing the PGA with the chance to do so.

Who is the youngest winner of the PGA Championship?

Gene Sarazen is the youngest winner, claiming the title at Oakmont Country Club in 1922 at 20 years and 174 days old. He defended his title the following year at Pelham Country Club and went on to win his third and final PGA at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club in 1933.

Who is the oldest winner?

Julius Boros is the oldest winner, claiming the title at Pecan Valley Golf Club in 1968 at 48 years and 142 days old.

What is the PGA Championship scoring record?

The record for lowest 72-hole score in a PGA Championship was held by David Toms for his 15-under 265 total at Atlanta Athletic Club in Duluth, Ga., in 2001, but Brooks Koepka broke that record a year ago with his 16-under 264 total at Bellerive. Koepka also tied the record set by Henrik Stenson at the 2016 Open Championship for the lowest total in major championship history.

What is the PGA Championship scoring record in relation to par?

Jason Day holds the record for scoring in relation to par not only in PGA Championship history, but in major championship history. The Australian was 20-under-par (268) when he won at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis., in 2015.

What is the highest winning score of a PGA Championship? In relation to par?

The highest total score of a PGA champion is one-under 287, shot by Larry Nelson in 1987 at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The highest winning score in relation to par was one-over 281, shot four times: Jay Hebert, 1960; Julius Boros, 1968; Gary Player, 1972; and Dave Stockton, 1976.

What is the largest margin of victory in the PGA Championship?

The largest margin of victory in the PGA Championship belongs to Rory McIlroy, who won by eight strokes in 2012 at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island (S.C.). The Northern Irishman won the event again in 2014 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. That remains his last major championship victory.

If players are tied after 72 holes, how is a winner determined?

In the event of a tie, the PGA of America employs a three-hole aggregate format for the championship's playoff. If players are tied after three holes it becomes a sudden-death playoff.

How many playoffs have there been in PGA Championship history?

Since 1958 and the move to stroke play, there have been 13 playoffs in the PGA Championship, the last coming in 2011 at Atlanta Athletic Club, where Keegan Bradley defeated Jason Dufner in the three-hole aggregate playoff.

Are there any special events that go on during the week of the PGA Championship, like the Par-3 Contest at the Masters?

Revived in 2014 after previously being held in 1984, the PGA of America hosts Long Drive Competition on the Tuesday of PGA week for players in the field. Last year at the Bellerive, the competition took place on the 10th hole, with players during the course of their practice round encouraged to participate. The winner receives a replica of a money clip given to Jack Nicklaus when he was the Long Drive event at the PGA in 1963. The winner also will be granted a charitable donation of $25,000 to a designated charity, with the second- and third-place finishers getting $15,000 and $10,000.

What site has hosted the most PGA Championships?

Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., has hosted the most PGA Championships—four—the most recent in 2007, when Tiger Woods won.

What state has hosted the most PGA Championships?

New York has hosted the most PGA Championships with 12, including three at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., which hosted the 2013 PGA Championship and is scheduled to host again in 2023. The number will reach 13 this year when Bethpage Black on Long Island plays host.

What are the future venues for the PGA Championship?

Future venues for the PGA Championship have been announced through 2024, as well as between 2027 and 2029. There is also a "TBD" year for between 2025-2030, as well as a venue locked in for 2031. They are as follows:

2020 — TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, Calif.

2021 — Kiawah Island Golf Resort (Ocean Course), Kiawah Island, S.C.

2022 — Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster, N.J.

2023 — Oak Hill Country Club, Rochester, N.Y.

2024 — Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, Ky.

2026 — Aronimink Golf Club, Newtown Square, Pa.

2027 — The East Course at PGA Frisco, Frisco, Texas

2028 — Olympic Club, San Francisco, Calif.

2029 — Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, N.J.

2025 or 2030 (TBD) — Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, Okla.

2031 — Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Md.

2034 — The East Course at PGA Frisco, Frisco, Texas

Who is the favorite to win the 2019 PGA Championship?

The current favorite to win the PGA Championship is Tiger Woods, with oddsmakers listing the 15-time major champ at 8/1. What was once an unfathomable thought just two years ago is now a reality: Tiger is the favorite to win majors again. Vegas is as high on Big Cat as the rest of the golf world is following his Masters victory. Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas check in as the second favorites at 12/1 (odds from Westgate in Las Vegas).

What will the weather be like for the 2019 PGA Championship?

One of the major concerns about the PGA's move to May is what the weather will be like in the Northeastern part of the country, where this year's event will be played as well as the 2022, 2023, 2026, 2029 and 2031 PGA Championships. The issue in August was always lightning and thunder, in addition to intense heat depending on where it was played. Now, the concern may be lower temperatures, rain and even possibly snow when the PGA heads to upstate New York in 2023.

As for this year at Bethpage Black, the current weather forecast for PGA Championship looks somewhat dreary. Worst-case scenario would be temperatures in the 50s and rain, while best-case could be sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s and 80s. For a month-ahead look, check out's Monthly Weather page for Farmingdale, N.Y.

What is Bethpage Black known for?

Because it is a public facility, Bethpage Black was dubbed "The People's Course" when it first hosted the U.S. Open in 2002. But the Black Course is not the only one on the property. There are five courses in total, with the Black and Red being the most well-known and challenging. There's also the Blue, Green and Yellow which get their fair share of play as well. The Black is the star though, and the "WARNING - The Black Course Is An Extremely Difficult Course Which We Recommend Only For Highly Skilled Golfers" sign that can be seen before you reach the first tee adds to the legend.


2012 Getty Images

Who designed Bethpage Black?

A.W. Tillinghast, one of the most renowned golf course architects in history, designed the Black Course.

Who broadcasts the PGA Championship?

Starting in 1991, CBS has broadcast the PGA Championship, and its current deal runs through the end of this year's championship. TNT airs early round coverage and morning coverage on the weekend. Starting in 2020, CBS will continued with weekend coverage but ESPN will handle the duties on Thursday and Friday [under a new 11-year deal struck last October](

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