David Graham wins the PGA Championship
On August 5th, 1979 Australian David Graham won his first major championship, winning the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills County Club. He became the second Aussie to win the title following fellow countryman, Jim Ferrier, who won it in 1946. After shooting fine rounds of 69, 68, 70…. The eventual champion found himself sitting back four strokes going into the final day. Rex
Caldwell held the lead after 54 holes, with Ben Crenshaw being only two back from the mark.
In the final round, Graham carded a blistering 65… catapulting himself up the leaderboard. In all on the final day, he had seven birdies and ten pars. Of the 21 holes he played on the final round Sunday, nine were birdies. In all the drama, it looked like the title was wrapped up, until the Australian double bogeyed the last hole. Crenshaw had put himself in the playoff by contending with a 67 on the final day.
The sudden-death playoff began at the first tee and Graham saved par with one putt from 18 feet to tie. At the par-5 second hole, Crenshaw tapped in for birdie while Graham sank a ten-footer to continue. He won with a birdie on the 202-yard par-3 third hole, after Crenshaw found a bunker and his 25-foot putt for par lipped out. Graham put his 4-iron tee shot to within 8 feet and with two putts to win, sank the first.
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.