BEHIND THE TELKOM PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
We look at all the history, facts and figures for the Telkom PGA Championship that tees off in South Africa this week.
Let’s take a inside look at the PGA Championship, South Africa’s second oldest event, from it’s humble beginnings as a Match Play event in 1923 to the R2,250,000 (£162,650) Telkom PGA Championship that tees off this week.
– The first PGA Championship was held in 1923 and played to a Match Play format at the Royal Cape Golf Club in Cape Town. BH Elkin beat J Johnstone 4 & 3 in the inaugural event
– Between 1924 and 1952, the Brews brothers accumulated 14 victories and runner-up positions between them.
– Between 1941 and 1945 there were no tournaments played due to the Second World War. There were also no tournaments held between 1960 and 1964. There was no tournament held in 2000 due to lack of sponsorship.
– In 1965, the format was changed to Stroke Play, with Harold Henning the winner of the inaugural tournament.
– From 1972 to 1974, Beck’s Beer and Lexington were co-sponsors. In 1975, Lexington became the official sponsor, a sponsorship that lasted 20 years. During this period, Wanderers Golf Club was the official home of the PGA Championship, hosting the event for a total 23 times.
– There was no PGA Championship held in 1981, since the tournament was moved from November to January 1982 to form part of the summer schedule.
– In 1996, Alfred Dunhill took over the title sponsorship until 1999, The last Alfred Dunhill PGA Championship was won by Ernie Els at Houghton in 1999.
– In 2001, Telkom took over the official sponsorship of the PGA and moved the Championship to Woodhill Country Club. At that time, Woodhill was also the home of the PGA of South Africa.
– After five years at Woodhill Country Club, Telkom moved the championship to the Woodmead Course at the Country Club Johannesburg in 2006. That year, Gregory Bourdy became the first French winner on the Sunshine Tour.
– The PGA Championship has never been played outside of Gauteng and only seven courses have hosted the championship in its history. The courses that have hosted the PGA Championship are:
1965 – Houghton Golf Club
1966 to 1970 – Germiston Country Club
1971 – Huddle Park Golf Club (Blue Course – 2 events)
1972 to 1995 – Wanderers Golf Club
1996 to 1999 – Houghton Golf Club
2001 to 2005 – Woodhill Country Club
2006 to date Country Club Johannesburg (Woodmead Course)
– During the 1970 and 1980s, the PGA Champion was invited to play in the World Series of Golf on the PGA Tour in the USA. The 1987 champion, Fulton Allem, put his invitation to good use by finishing second in the Series, to earn his PGA Tour card.
– The PGA Championship was the first South African tournament to be co-sanctioned with the European Tour at the Wanderers in 1995. It was won by Ernie Els
– Four US Opens and four Open Championship winners have won the South African PGA. The US Open winners were Gary Player (1969, 1979, 1982), Hale Irwin (1978), Corey Pavin (1983) and Ernie Els (1992, 1995, 1999). The Open Championship winners were Player, Els, Tom Weiskopf (1973) and Nick Price (1997).
– Chris Williams waited 17 years between his first PGA victory in 1985 (age 25) and his second in 2002 (42).
– David Frost cleaned up the field at the 1994 PGA at Wanderers with rounds of 64-67-65-63; his seven shot winning margin the highest ever. Frost set the 36-hole total at 128, which is still a Sunshine Tour and PGA Championship record, beating the previous record set by Dale Hayes in 1975.
– Ernie Els closed with a 64 to win the 1995 PGA at Wanderers, coming from two shots off the lead to win. In 1993, Mark McNulty closed with a 63 at the 1993 PGA Championship at the Wanderers, having started the final round three shots behind leader, Wayne Westner.
– The 1979 PGA Championship at the Wanderers is the only event where the final round was washed out by rain, and decided over 54-holes, with Gary Player crowned as the winner. Spectators were denied a final round battle between Player and Nick Price, Bobby Cole, Harold Henning and Denis Watson, who were tied for second, one shot off the pace.
– Gary Player was the oldest PGA Champion at 46 years and 79 days when he won it in 1982, with Ernie Els the youngest at 22 years and 97 days in 1992. Els pipped Dale Hayes, who won the PGA Championship at 22 years and 138 days in 1974.
– AD (Bobby) Locke won the PGA Championship seven times; including four in a row from 1938 to 1940 and 1946 (no tournaments held from 1941 to 1945 due to the Second World War). Harold Henning won it three years in a row, from 1965 to 1967 and Dale Hayes won three in a row from 1974 to 1976. Multiple winners include:
7 Bobby Locke (1938; 1939; 1940; 1946; 1950; 1951; 1955)
6 Syd Brews (1926; 1928; 1933; 1934; 1936; 1952)
4 Harold Henning (1965; 1966; 1967; 1972)
3 Gary Player (1969; 1979; 1982)
3 Dale Hayes (1974; 1975; 1976)
3 Ernie Els (1992; 1995; 1999)
2 Tienie Britz (Both in 1971)
2 Chris Williams (1985; 2002)
2 Fulton Allem (1987; 1990)
2 Tony Johnstone (1989; 1998)
– Alan McLean equalled the world record with nine consecutive birdies in the 2005 Telkom PGA Championship at Woodhill. The birdied from the seventh to the 15th in a third round 62, which, at 10-under-par is the lowest sub-par round in the PGA Championship history.
– In the 2006 tournament at the Woodmead course of Country Club Johannesburg, Henk Alberts played the 16th birdie, eagle, albatross, birdie over the four tournament days.
– The winner of the Telkom PGA Championship earns a spot into the $5-million HSBC Championship and five years exemption on the Sunshine Tour.
Lowest winning totals:
259 David Frost at the Wanderers in 1994
265 Bobby Cole at the Wanderers in 1986
265 Mark McNulty at Wanderers in 1993
267 Gregory Bourdy at Country Club Johannesburg in 2006
Lowest Rounds include:
61 Fulton Allem at Wanderers in 1989
61 Rett Cowder at Wanderers in 1993
62 Dale Hayes at Wanderers in 1975
62 Jeff Hawkes at Wanderers in 1991
62 Wayne Westner at Wanderers in 1995
62 Alan McLean at Woodhill in 2005
Biggest winning margin:
7 shots by David Frost at the Wanderers in 1994
6 shots by Harold Henning at Germiston Golf Club in 1966
6 shots by Dale Hayes at Wanderers in 1975
6 shots by Gregory Bourdy at Country Club Johannesburg in 2006
Lowest winner totals include:
21-under by David Frost at Wanderers in 1994
21-under by Warrick Druian at Woodhill in 2004
21-under by Gregory Bourdy at Country Club Johannesburg in 2006
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