Inside the Ropes PGA Championship


Dating back to 1916, when The Professional Golfers Association of America had a meeting to discuss the future of their organization, an idea was conceived for a national championship. A purse of $2,580 and a trophy donated by Rodman Wanamaker a department store owner who hosted the meeting was given for the first PGA Championship played at the Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, NY. This started a tournament that has lasted for 87 years, less the three years it was interrupted by WWI and WWII, and turned into the last Major of the golf season.
In 1939 Byron Nelson began his reign as one of golfs most revered players by reaching the finals of four of the five PGA Championships and winning in 1940 and 1945. The Championship also created two other legends who have retained the titles of most victories, Walter Hagen (1921, 1924, 1925, 19262, 1927) and Jack Nicklaus (1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980).
With a venue that changes annually, the PGA gives courses across the United States the opportunity for championship play. This years tournament will be held at the Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, NJ, famous for its history of hosting the U.S. Open, U.S. Mens Amateur, U.S. Womens Open, and the U.S. Womens Amateur, during the clubs more than 100 year existence. Though war and the Great Depression threatened Baltusrol over the years, their determination to hold onto the land remained strong.
The field of players eligible for the Championship is dictated by the PGA of America to include a maximum of 150 of the worlds best players. Invitations have been extended to all former PGA Champions, the winners of the last five U.S. Opens, Masters, and British Opens, members of the 2004 Ryder Cup Team, the 2005 Senior PGA Champion, the low 15 scorers and ties in the 2004 PGA Championship and the top 70 money leaders from the 2004 International through the 2005 Buick Open. Also vying for the PGA Championship title are the 25 low scorers in The 2005 PGA Club Professional Championship who usually do not participate in tournaments of this caliber. They will have quite an uphill battle against these seasoned professionals.
Will the worlds 2nd ranked player, Vijay Singh be able to pull off a second PGA Championship victory as he did last year at Whistling Straits or will we see Tiger Woods, still riding high from his British Open win take the trophy. Tune to The Golf Channel August 8-14, 2005 for all the updates, player interviews and expert analysis provided throughout the week