fbpx
How Bob May rattled Tiger at the 2000 US PGA

What was the best ever PGA Championship Playoff?

The PGA Championship has thrown up many great finishes, and we’ve taken a look back at some of the most tense in living memory…

 

The PGA Championship is one of golf’s great tournaments that hasn’t stopped producing incredible playoffs throughout the years.

The Wanamaker Trophy is one of the most sought after pieces of silverware in the game and it has been won by the best players to have ever picked up a club.

Recent winners of the trophy include Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson and Collin Morikawa – the PGA Championship never disappoints.

And sometimes, this event has been decided by a playoff – most recently in 2022 when Thomas beat Will Zalatoris at Southern Hills in Tulsa.

Let’s take a look below at the PGA Championship playoffs that stick in the mind for us the most:

What is the format for the playoff?

The PGA Championship uses a three hole aggregate score system to determine a winner from the playoff. If the scores are still tied after the three holes then sudden death holes would follow until a winner was determined.

However this hasn’t always been the case. Up until the 2000 PGA Championship, where if the scores were still tied after the 72 hole tournament, then the play-off would go straight to sudden-death.

Before sudden death was introduced in 1968, it was an 18-hole play-off that was used to determine a winner.

pga championship playoff

ALSO: Unforgettable PGA Championships

2011 Keegan Bradley vs Jason Dufner

Keegan Bradley won the 2011 PGA Championship at Atlantic Athletic club to defeat fellow American Jason Dufner to win his first major title. At one point on the Sunday afternoon, Bradley was five shots behind Dufner with just three holes to play.

However, three consecutive bogeys by Dufner and back-to-back birdies by Bradley saw them tied after 72 holes and needing a three-hole play-off to determine a winner.

The playoff started on the par-4 16th which Bradley birdied thanks to an approach to four feet. Dufner parred the hole. A bogey at the par-3 17th by Dufner gave Bradley a two-shot lead with one to play after he parred the hole.

On the 18th both players hit the green in regulation and Dufner had to make his 20-footer to have any chance of keeping the playoff alive. He duly did, and Bradley needed to two putt to win his first major title, and he did so.

Keegan Bradley became the first player since Ben Curtis at the 2003 Open Championship to win on their major debut, and also became the first player to win with the, now banned, belly (long) putter.

2010 Martin Kaymer vs Bubba Watson

The 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits was won in a playoff by Germany’s Martin Kaymer who defeated the American Bubba Watson.

The tournament is most remembered for the controversy on the 72nd hole with another American, Dustin Johnson, who bogeyed the hole to get into the playoff but afterwards in the scorers hut was assessed a two-stroke penalty for grounding his club in a bunker, meaning he made a triple-bogey seven and missed the playoff by two shots.

That left Kaymer and Watson to battle it out over three holes. Both players were one-under-par after two holes, but a double-bogey 6 at the 18th in the third play-off hole allowed Kaymer to win his first major.

Sergio Garcia at the 1999 PGA Championship

2000 Tiger Woods vs Bob May

Tiger Woods had a titanic battle with Bob May in the 2000 PGA Championship at Valhalla.

Both players shot 18-under par for the tournament and 31(-5) for the back nine on Sunday. They both birdied the 72nd hole in regulation play to go into the first ever three-hole aggregate play-off in the tournaments history.

Woods birdied the first play-off hole whilst May parred the first. Both players parred the next two and Woods won his fifth major title and his second PGA Championship, the first in 1999.

NOW READ: PGA Championship host venues: Past, present and future
NOW READ: Shaun Micheel: They didn’t want a story like mine – but it’s what they got

Tell us your favourite PGA Championship Playoff memory on X!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

Latest Posts

Steve Stricker quiz senior major winners

PGA Championship

Quiz: Senior Major Winners Since 2000

By

Read full article about Quiz: Senior Major Winners Since 2000
xander schauffele wins

PGA Championship

Xander Schauffele holds off defiant DeChambeau to win PGA Championship

By

Read full article about Xander Schauffele holds off defiant DeChambeau to win PGA Championship
pga championship live blog

PGA Championship

PGA Championship LIVE – All the action from Valhalla

By

Read full article about PGA Championship LIVE – All the action from Valhalla
pga champipnship prize money

PGA Championship

15 players sit within five shots after PGA Championship third round

By

Read full article about 15 players sit within five shots after PGA Championship third round
pga championship live blog

PGA Championship

So close! Shane Lowry equals men’s major scoring record

By

Read full article about So close! Shane Lowry equals men’s major scoring record
scottie scheffler police footage

PGA Championship

No body cam footage of Scottie Scheffler arrest, says Louisville mayor

By

Read full article about No body cam footage of Scottie Scheffler arrest, says Louisville mayor
pga championship live blog

PGA Championship

2024 PGA Championship Sunday tee times: Round 4 groupings

By

Read full article about 2024 PGA Championship Sunday tee times: Round 4 groupings
PGA Championship

PGA Championship

PGA Championship: Everything you need to know

By

Read full article about PGA Championship: Everything you need to know
PGA Championship saturday tee times

PGA Championship

2024 PGA Championship Saturday tee times: Round 3 groupings

By

Read full article about 2024 PGA Championship Saturday tee times: Round 3 groupings