Barnes the First Champion in 1916


This was the original, the first time the PGA Championship was held way back in 1916. The field assembled in Bronxville, N.Y., seven months after the birth of the PGA, and a couple of British golfers 'Jim Barnes of England and Jock Hutchinson ' made it to the finals. This was during the era when 32 started play and went 36 holes a day until only two remained and the championship was decided six days later.
Hutchinson defeated the only American of the final four, Walter Hagen, in the semifinal. Barnes defeated another Brit, Willie MacFarlane, in the other. Large galleries followed the matches at Siwanoy Country Club despite the rains which repeatedly interrupted play.
Hutchinson got the jump on Barnes in the morning nine of the finals, leaping out to a 3-up lead. He shot a 37 to Barnes 39. Barnes clawed his way back to reduce the lead to one stroke at the 18-hole break, with both players scoring 77.
Barnes told the crowd, I always do better after lunch, and he did. He squared the match with a win on the third hole, then forged into a 1-up lead on the sixth with an 18-foot putt.
Barnes used his putting prowess the whole afternoon, in fact. He made several medium- to long-range rollers, but now it was Hutchinsons turn to fight back. The Scot squared the match with a birdie on the 13th and took the lead with another win at the 15th. He now was 1-up.
The match was squared again when Hutchinson missed a five-footer on the 17th. They came to the final green and, after a measurement, it was decided Hutchinson should go first. He missed the putt and Barnes made his for the first Wannamaker Trophy. In addition, Big Jim got $500 and a diamond medal. Hutchinson received a gold medal and $250.
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