PGA Championship 101
PGA Championship 2023: Frequently Asked Questions
After a quiet stretch on the PGA Tour schedule, the season heats up once again with the 2023 PGA Championship, which will be held at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y. This will be the fourth time this course will host the vaunted major, placing it second in total PGAs only behind last year’s host, Southern Hills.
Just one year ago, Justin Thomas bested Will Zalatoris in a down-to-the-wire playoff in Oklahoma, which only occurred due to a 72nd-hole collapse by 54-hole leader Mito Pereira. A drive by the Chilean directly into a water hazard kept JT and Willy Z alive, with Thomas ultimately coming back from seven strokes down to start the final round.
This was the first major to require extra holes since the 2017 Masters. That was 19 consecutive majors that only needed 72 holes, the longest streak in PGA Tour history.
It should be an excellent second major of the season after a Jon Rahm Masters barnburner back in April. Below, we'll answer any and all frequently asked questions you may have about the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
When and where is the PGA Championship being held in 2023?
This year’s PGA will take place at Oak Hill, which has gone through quite the renovation over the last decade or so. The East Course has been essentially overhauled and will feature a drastically different look due to a large removal of trees, recontoured bunkers and major work to three holes, including the elimination of one altogether.
Architect Andrew Green revised the Donald Ross-designed course and added 200 yards of additional teeing space, bringing the total championship distance to just under 7,400 yards.
"The new dynamics give Oak Hill’s membership more freedom to play, to hit a variety of shots and recover,” wrote Derek Duncan, Golf Digest’s Architecture Editor. “It should also prove an entertaining test for the professionals, who will be tempted to flex their muscles. If the remodel helps the East Course get back to crowning champions like Nicklaus, Trevino and Cary Middlecoff (winner of the 1956 Open) and their 27 combined major titles like it used to, the club won’t have to do anything more to entice the USGA or PGA of America to come back.”
Has Oak Hill hosted any other majors other than the upcoming PGA Championship?
Even with the historic redesign, it’s not as if Oak Hill hasn’t been critical in the golf landscape since its inception back in the early 20th century. The course has hosted many a major tournament from 1949’s U.S. Amateur to the Senior PGA Championship in 2019. After the completion of 2008’s Senior PGA Championship, Oak Hill Country Club became the first club in the United States to have hosted all six of the men's major championships that move around the country.
In terms of majors, the New York course has hosted three U.S. Opens (1956, 1968 and 1989) and three PGA Championships (1980, 2003 and 2013). The last PGA before the upcoming event featured Jason Dufner’s only major. Dufner held off Jim Furyk by two shots with a two-under 68 on Sunday. Tiger Woods finished T-40, never breaking par his entire four-day run in Rochester.
Who conducts the PGA Championship?
The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America conducts the event.
Are the PGA Tour and the PGA of America different?
Yes, the PGA Tour and the PGA of America have been independent of one another since 1968. The PGA Tour is an elite organization of tournament professionals, while the PGA of America is made up of club and teaching professionals who work at on- and off-course golf facilities around the country (and the world).
When and where was the first PGA Championship played? And who won?
The first PGA Championship was played in 1916 at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, N.Y. England’s Jim Barnes won, 1 up, over Jock Hutchinson.
Wait, 1 up … so was the PGA Championship a match-play event at one time?
Yes, from 1916 to 1957, the PGA Championship was contested as match play with a stroke-play qualifier. During the course of the championship, it was not uncommon for players to play more than 200 holes in seven days. Starting in 1958, the PGA Championship switched to the standard 72-hole, stroke-play format. Dow Finsterwald won the first stroke-play version of the event in 1958 at Llanerch Country Club in Havertown, Pa.
How many players are in the field?
There will be 156 players in the field at this year's PGA Championship. 18 of those are LIV golfers from reigning Open champion Cam Smith to two-time PGA champ Brooks Koepka to 2020 Masters winner Dustin Johnson to 2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau to six-time major champ Phil Mickelson.
The PGA Championships uses a points formula that is finalized after the Wells Fargo Championship. It takes the top 70 who are not otherwise exempt, plus extra spots for the winners of past major championships plus the top 20 finishers in the PGA of America’s annual club pro tournament. The PGA of America can randomly invite any player, and Joel Dahmen got such an invite this year.
Sergio Garcia will not contend for the Wanamaker Trophy at Oak Hill, as the 43-year-old Spaniard failed to qualify for the championship. This will be the second major Garcia will miss since his major contention began back at 1999's Open Championship. The only other that he missed was the 2020 Masters, which he had to skip due to testing positive for COVID-19.
How do club professionals earn one of the 20 spots?
The PGA of America fills the 20 spots held for club professionals for the top finishers at the PGA Professional Championship, which finished in early May at Twin Warriors & Santa Ana Golf Clubs in New Mexico.
Has a club professional ever won the PGA Championship?
Not in the modern era of the PGA Tour. According to the PGA, the best performance since 1970 by a club professional playing in the PGA Championship was a third-place finish in 1971 by Tommy Bolt, a former tour pro who had retired from the tour. The last top 10 also came from a former tour pro—a very famous one—turned club professional: Sam Snead in 1973. Only one club professional has finished inside the top 20 in the last 30 years, Jay Overton in 1988 at Oak Tree. Prior to 2021, only three had made the cut in the previous seven years: Ben Kern at Bellerive in 2018, Omar Uresti at Quail Hollow in 2017 and Brian Gaffney at Whistling Straits in 2015. But in 2021 at Kiawah Island, two clubs pros made the weekend: Ben Cook, who tied for 44th, and Brad Marek, who finished 78th.
Can amateurs play in the PGA Championship?
The PGA Championship is limited to professionals only, meaning amateurs cannot qualify.
What does the winner of PGA Championship receive?
The PGA champion receives the Wanamaker Trophy, the largest trophy of the four men’s majors. In 2022, the winner also received a top prize of $2.7 million, 18 percent of the $15 million purse. (The PGA of America hasn't announced what the purse is for 2023.) Traditionally the winner also receives automatic invites into all three of the other majors and the Players Championship for the next five years, PGA Tour membership for the next five years and DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour) membership for the next seven years. They also become eligible to compete in the PGA Championship for life.
Who won the 2022 PGA Championship?
Maddie Meyer/PGA of America
What looked like Mito Pereira’s major quickly became anything but after a tough drive on the 18th hole found a water hazard and ultimately knocked the 54-hole leader out of contention.
Out of his woes emerged Justin Thomas and Will Zalatoris who battled in a three-hole aggregate playoff to break the tie at the top. JT tied the largest comeback in the major’s history, as he started Sunday behind seven strokes of the lead and he went on take home $2.7 million winner’s share of the $15 million purse.
Cameron Young, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Chris Kirk and Rory McIlroy rounded out the top eight spots.
Will Phil Mickelson be in this year's field to “defend” his title?
After a hell of a run at the Masters, finishing tied for second, Phil Mickelson will return at this year’s PGA Championship. It’ll be his first time at this tournament since winning it in 2021. A lot has happened since then, including a thing called LIV Golf. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.
Lefty is one of 18 LIV Golfers in this event due to their placement in the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Justin Thomas and Mickelson will both be defending their PGA wins with Phil looking to win his third.
Who has won the most PGA Championships?
Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen hold the record for most PGA Championship victories with five. Nicklaus also holds the record for most runner-up finishes in the PGA Championship with four.
Tiger Woods makes his putt for par and to win the PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2007.
Montana Pritchard/PGA of America
How many PGA Championships has Tiger Woods won?
Tiger Woods has won four PGA Championships, the last coming in 2007 at Southern Hills.
Who are the most famous golfers not to have won the PGA Championship?
There are three players in golf history who have won the other three men’s major championships (the Masters, the U.S. Open and the Open Championship) but have not completed the career Grand Slam by winning the PGA. They are Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Jordan Spieth. At the time of writing this, Spieth’s play in the upcoming PGA Championship is in doubt due to a left wrist injury that forced him to WD from the AT&T Byron Nelson. It’s supposed to be assessed week to week, according to Spieth and his doctors, and we’ll see soon enough if he’ll make the trip to Rochester to try to win that final major he needs to complete the Career Grand Slam.
Who is the youngest winner of the PGA Championship?
Gene Sarazen is the youngest winner, claiming the title at Oakmont Country Club in 1922 at 20 years and 174 days old. He defended his title the following year at Pelham Country Club and went on to win his third and final PGA at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club in 1933.
What is the PGA Championship scoring record?
The record for the lowest 72-hole score in a PGA Championship was held by David Toms for his 15-under 265 total at Atlanta Athletic Club in Duluth, Ga., in 2001, but Brooks Koepka broke that mark in 2018 with his 16-under 264 at Bellerive. Koepka also tied the record set by Henrik Stenson at the 2016 Open Championship for the lowest total in major championship history.
What is the PGA Championship scoring record in relation to par?
Jason Day holds the record for scoring in relation to par not only in PGA Championship history but in major championship history. The Australian was 20-under-par (268) when he won at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis., in 2015.
What is the highest winning score of a PGA Championship? In relation to par?
The highest total score of a PGA champion is one-under 287, shot by Larry Nelson in 1987 at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The highest winning score in relation to par was one-over 281, shot four times: Jay Hebert, 1960; Julius Boros, 1968; Gary Player, 1972; and Dave Stockton, 1976.
What is the largest margin of victory in the PGA Championship?
The largest margin of victory in the PGA Championship belongs to Rory McIlroy, who won by eight strokes in 2012 at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island (S.C.). The Northern Irishman won the event again in 2014 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. That remains his last major championship victory.
If players are tied after 72 holes, how is a winner determined?
In the event of a tie, the PGA of America employs a three-hole aggregate format for the championship's playoff. This occurred just one year ago between Justin Thomas and Will Zalatoris. If players are tied after three holes it becomes a sudden-death playoff.
How many playoffs have there been in PGA Championship history?
Since 1958 and the move to stroke play, there have been 14 playoffs in the PGA Championship, the most recent coming in 2022. The last one before that was back in 2011 at Atlanta Athletic Club, where Keegan Bradley defeated Jason Dufner in the three-hole aggregate playoff.
What site has hosted the most PGA Championships?
Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., last week's host venue, is the all-time leader in PGA Championships hosted with five. Oak Hill is next with its fourth on the way.
What state has hosted the most PGA Championships?
New York has hosted the most PGA Championships with 13, including three at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., which hosted the 2013 PGA Championship. It’ll be four at Oak Hill Country Club in just a few days time.
What are the future venues for the PGA Championship?
Future venues for the PGA Championship have been announced officially through 2029. There is also a “TBD” year for 2030, as well as a venue locked in for 2031. They are as follows:
2024 — Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, Ky.
2025 — Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C.
2026 — Aronimink Golf Club, Newtown Square, Pa.
2027 — The East Course at PGA Frisco, Frisco, Texas
2028 — The Olympic Club, San Francisco
2029 — Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower), Springfield, N.J.
2030 — Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Md.
2034 — The East Course at PGA Frisco, Frisco, Texas
Who is the favorite to win the 2023 PGA Championship?
At the moment of writing this, Masters champ Jon Rahm is the slight favorite to win the PGA, at least according to DraftKings. At +750 for outright winner, Rahm is barely in front of Scottie Scheffler, who is then followed by Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas. Phil Mickelson is +13000 if you’re looking for a long-shot bet. Or if you’re feeling really frisky, John Daly is +100000.
What will the weather be like for the 2023 PGA Championship?
Unlike the tumultuous Augusta weather at this year’s first major, it looks like we’ll be seeing some calm and uneventful weather—knock on wood, of course—at the upcoming PGA. The early forecast seems to be mostly sunny days with highs in the 60s, and lows in the mid-to-high 40s. There is a chance for some rain showers on Friday, so keep a lookout for that.
What is Oak Hill known for?
Well, that’s a difficult question as this year’s major at Oak Hill will be quite a bit different that its predecessors. The revamped club still features the giant oak trees it's known for but many trees have been cut down to lengthen the course and vary the scenery. The pesky pond on 15 is gone, and the fifth hole now plays as the sixth in the course set-up.
Golf Digest’s Architecture Editor Derek Duncan went into detail on what’s new at the Rochester course, so let’s let him take it away …
“Oak Hill’s par-70 East Course will still be defined by its stellar par 4s, including the restored sixth and the long closing trio of 16, 17 and 18,” Duncan wrote. “The course has some intriguing short par 4s, too, including the stylish uphill second with a blind, narrow green set above deep trench bunkers, the 12th that plays through a gauntlet of bunkers to a putting surface benched into a sharp hillside, and the dramatic 320-yard, uphill 14th that will entice players to attempt to drive the green, though misses short will leave them in bunkers well below the putting surface, and shots that go over the green are likely to roll off the property.
“All the remodeling work makes Oak Hill a more diverse and interesting course than it was, one that allows players to be more aggressive off the tee than in the past but requires careful calculation hitting shots into the greens.”
Who broadcasts the PGA Championship?
This year’s PGA Championship will be broadcast between ESPN and CBS due to a joint contract between the two. ESPN replaced TNT in 2020 and holds rights to all of the early round and weekend morning coverage, including supplemental coverage on ESPN+. CBS will hold all rights to afternoon coverage of weekend rounds and will feature Jim Nantz doing play-by-play. The broadcasting legend is also set to be inducted into Oak Hill Country Club’s Hill of Fame. He'll be immortalized with a bronze plaque to one of Oak Hill’s many trees surrounding the 13th hole of the East Course.