Walter Hagen retains his PGA Championship title on this day 91 years ago
By: Josh Morris – Walter Hagen of Pasadena, Floridia beat out Bill Mehlhorn of Chicago by playing 31 holes in only 114 strokes. He successfully defended his title of golf champion of the United States when he beat Mehlhorn 6 & 5. The contest, which probably has never been equaled for spectacular scoring in the history of golf, was played over the Olympia Field Country Club and was watched by some 3,000 people who were all drenched in heavy rains during the last five holes of the contest.
Hagen never really let his opponent see the light of day after he sank an 30 foot eagle putt on the 1st hole of play. It was only near the close after struggling against the impossible for 27 holes that Mehlhorn weakened perceptibly under the unmerciful and persistent attacks of the former British Open champion, Hagen. Mehlhorn proved to be the longer driver and usually was straight, but the champion was slightly better with his approaches and out-putted Mehlhorn and it proved to be the difference. Hagen showed great resilience during the round by laying up and using irons occasionally off the tee.
Hagen of course would make history by not letting up in 1925, he would win this event the next two years making it a four year sweep at the PGA Championship. By the end of his career he finished with 11 major championship wins which is spectacular considering The Masters wasn’t founded until the last years of his playing days.
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.