PGA CHAMPIONSHIP '24: The big moments at Valhalla

A capsule look at the three PGA Championships and one Ryder Cup held at Valhalla Country Club in Louisville, Kentucky, site of the 106th PGA Championship to be played May 16-19:

1996 PGA Championship

Winner: Mark Brooks.

Score: 277.

Runner-up: Kenny Perry.

Margin: Sudden-death playoff.

Earnings: $430,000.

Recap: Kentucky native Kenny Perry hit a big hook on the par-5 18th hole and made bogey for a 4-under 68 and the clubhouse house lead. He then watched from the CBS booth as Mark Brooks blasted out of a bunker to 4 feet for birdie and a 70 to force a playoff. Steve Elkington, trying to become the first back-to-back PGA champion in stroke play, missed a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole to match them. In the playoff, Perry’s tee shot narrowly missed left and went into thick rough. Brooks reached the green and made birdie to win his only major.

Notable: Phil Mickelson had the 36-hole lead for the first time in a major. It would be eight more years until he won one.

Quotable: “I’ve never been in this situation before. I hate that I lost it for myself and for the fans of Kentucky who were rooting so hard for me this week. But this is good for my career. It’ll help me down the road. I learned a good lesson, but it’s a hard one.” — Perry.

2000 PGA Championship

Winner: Tiger Woods.

Score: 270.

Runner-up: Bob May.

Margin: 3-hole playoff.

Earnings: $900,000.

Recap: Tiger Woods had won the previous two majors in 2000 by a combined 23 shots. Trying to become the first player since Ben Hogan to win three majors in a year, he faced his strongest test against unheralded Bob May. Woods had to birdie the final two holes in regulation for a 5-under 67 to force a playoff. Woods still considers his 6-foot putt on the 18th hole to be the most important of his career. In the first three-hole playoff in PGA Championship history, Woods opened by making a 25-foot birdie putt to take the lead. Both saved par on the 17th hole. May narrowly missed a 40-foot birdie putt on the 18th and Woods got up-and-down from a bunker for par to win. He would go on to win the Masters the next year to become the only player to hold all four majors at the same time.

Notable: In his final appearance in the PGA Championship, Jack Nicklaus played in the same group with Tiger Woods for the opening two rounds. He missed the cut by one shot.

Quotable: “I think he’s a better player than I was.” — Nicklaus.

2008 Ryder Cup

Winner: United States.

Score: Team USA 16½, Team Europe 11½.

Captains: Paul Azinger (USA), Nick Faldo (Europe).

Man of the Match: Hunter Mahan went unbeaten in five matches (2-0-3).

Recap: Tiger Woods missed the Ryder Cup for the first time in his career while recovering from knee surgery. The star was Paul Azinger, who agreed to be captain if he could revamp the system. Points were based on PGA Tour earnings, and he took eight qualifiers instead of 10, giving him four captain’s picks. The Americans built a 9-7 lead going into the final day. In the lead match, Anthony Kim took down Sergio Garcia in 14 holes, racing to the 15th tee without realizing the match was over. Kentucky natives Kenny Perry and Boo Weekley won their singles matches, and Jim Furyk got the winning point by beating Miguel Angel Jimenez. The victory ended Europe’s three-match winning streak.

Notable: Lee Westwood halved two matches Friday to tie Arnold Palmer’s record with 12 straight Ryder Cup matches without losing. He was benched in the next session for the first time in his career. He then lost his next match.

Quotable: “If we win, I’ll go down as having the lowest IQ of any genius who ever lived.” — Azinger.

2014 PGA Championship

Winner: Rory McIlroy.

Score: 268.

Runner-up: Phil Mickelson.

Margin: 1 shot.

Earnings: $1,800,000.

Recap: Rory McIlroy captured his second major of the summer, and his fourth major was the toughest of all. McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler all had at least a share of the lead on the back nine. The clincher was McIlroy hitting 9-iron from a bunker to 10 feet for birdie on the 17th hole for a two-shot lead. But that’s when it got weird. Because of a two-hour rain delay Sunday, darkness was closing in. McIlroy in the final group was allowed to drive off the 18th tee while Mickelson and Fowler were still in the fairway. Then, they had to stand to the side so McIlroy could play his second shot. Fowler didn’t come close on a 50-foot eagle putt to tie McIlroy. Mickelson nearly holed his pitch from the fairway for eagle. McIlroy two-putted from 35 feet for a 68 and a one-shot victory. He joined Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Bobby Jones as the only players over the last century to win four majors at 25 or younger.

Notable: Mickelson’s runner-up finish enabled him to qualify for his 10th consecutive Ryder Cup team, which remains a record.

Quotable: “To win it in this fashion and this style, it means a lot. It means that I know that I can do it. I know that I can come from behind. I know that I can mix it up with the best players in the world down the stretch in a major and come out on top.” — McIlroy.


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