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  Monday, 12 August, 2002, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
History of the USPGA
Walter Hagen  won the USPGA four years consecutively
Walter Hagen won the USPGA four years consecutively

The USPGA began in 1916 when New York salesman Rodney Wanamaker created a national championship for the recently formed Professional Golfers' Association of America.

Since then the tournament has been contested 82 times and 58 players have lifted the Rodney Wanamaker trophy.

The inaugural tournament took place at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York, and it was British-born Jim Barnes who prevailed.

The tournament was hailed a success and, despite the First World War preventing the event taking place again until 1919, the USPGA was born.

It has been played every year since, apart from 1943 when it was cancelled due to the Second World War.

The tournament started as a matchplay event and only assumed the strokeplay format in 1958, when commercial pressure from television stations forced the change.

Lost its appeal

The matchplay format clearly suited Walter Hagen, who dominated the tournament in the twenties.

He became the only player in the twentieth century to win the same Major in four consecutive years, taking the title in 1924, 1925, 1926 and 1927.

Sam Snead won in 1942, 1949 and 1951 and Ben Hogan in 1946 and 1948.

But the championship was viewed by many as having lost its appeal, and Hogan's decision to play in the 1953 British Open, rather than the USPGA, further damaged the event's flagging stature.

Five years later, Dow Finsterwald won the first strokeplay USPGA, and a series of excellent contests since then have established the tournament's modern reputation.

In 1962, six days after a disappointing Open, Gary Player produced some scintillating golf to win his third different Major in four years.

Record margin

He was the first non-American to win the event for 32 years.

Jack Nicklaus won the following year, the first of his five USPGA titles.

The last was won by a record margin of seven strokes at Oak Hill in 1980, as Nicklaus equalled Hagen's record of five tournament victories.

Complete unknown John Daly shocked the golfing world with his three-stroke victory in 1991 after only entering the tournament as ninth replacement.

Tiger Woods won in 1999, narrowly beating Sergio Garcia, and 2000, while fellow American David Toms won last year's event, but the tournament has eluded a European since Scot Tommy Armour won in 1930.

Still, the Europeans are in good company. Neither Arnold Palmer nor Tom Watson ever won the event, preventing them from completing the full set of Major titles.


Beem takes title

Final leaderboard

Hazeltine reaction

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