1974: Lee Trevino wins the PGA Championship over Jack Nicklaus


Trevino wins the PGA at Tanglewood

On August 11, 1974 Lee Trevino won hist first PGA Championship at Tanglewood Park in North Carolina.  It was his first PGA Championship and the fifth total major championship of Merry Mex’s career.  It took determination and luck to come out on top at the end after Trevino shot an lackluster opening round of 73.  After that 73 he had to pass the favorite, Jack Nicklaus, then hold him off until the end.

Trevino then came out and shot rounds of 66, 68, and a final round of 69 to eclipse the Golden Bear by a stroke.  He held off various competitors over the course of the championship including Bobby Cole who had a chance to tie Trevino in the final round. Cole was 4 under par at four different times during the final round which only included 5 pars on his card.  Sam Snead at the age of 62 was tied for third with Cole, Hubert Green, & Dave Hill.  Snead said after the final round…

“If I could putt I would of won.  But I guess it’s always going to be this way.”

-Sam Snead

In the end, the Wanamaker trophy was Trevino’s won $45,000 of the $225,000 purse… Nicklaus took home $25,700.


  • Trevino used a putter he found in a friend’s attic only days before and had only one three-putt, on the 71st hole.
  • This championship coincided with the resignation of President Nixon, who left office on Friday.
  • It was the first year since 1969 in which Nicklaus did not win a major championship, but he regained the title the following year.

Josh Morris

Josh Morris is the Editor of Golf History Today. A proud USGA Volunteer and golf enthusiast. In his free time he enjoys being a weekend caddie as well as playing as much as he can.

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