1990-1999 PGA Championships
In 1991, rookie John Daly, the longest driver on the PGA Tour, completed a storybook finish at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind. Without the benefit of a practice round, Daly, the ninth alternate, didn’t get into the Championship until Nick Price withdrew the night before. Daly went on to finish with a 276 total in a performance that ranks as one of golf’s greatest surprise triumphs.
In 1992, Price was back in the field and overcame memories of two runner-up finishes in the British Open and recorded a three-stroke victory. A year later, Paul Azinger won the 75th edition of the PGA Championship at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. Catching fire on the final nine holes, Azinger caught Norman and forced a sudden-death playoff. Norman missed a birdie putt on the first extra hole and his three-putt bogey on the par-4 10th allowed Azinger to earn his first major championship.
Price was at his career best at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., in 1994. A month after winning the British Open, Price earned the world No. 1 player ranking with a then-record 72-hole performance of 269, to break Bobby Nichols’ 1964 Championship record by two strokes. Price’s record lasted only a year as Australian Steve Elkington posted a final-round 64 at Riviera Country Club for a 17-under-par 267 total to match Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie. Elkington went on to defeat Montgomerie in a one-hole playoff, making a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th green.
The PGA Championship marked its first visit to Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. in 1996, with its 14th overall playoff. Mark Brooks twice birdied the 18th hole nearly 20 minutes apart, including a four-foot birdie putt in sudden death, to defeat Kentucky-born Kenny Perry. In 1997, Davis Love III turned in a memorable performance at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., finishing with an 11-under-par 269 for the lowest winning total in any major championship held at the legendary course. The 80th PGA Championship, conducted for the first time in 54 years in the state of Washington at Sahalee Country Club, went to Fiji’s Vijay Singh, regarded as the hardest-working Tour professional of his era.
In 1999, 23-year-old Tiger Woods became the fifth youngest winner in PGA Championship history when he outlasted Spain’s 19-year-old Sergio Garcia by one stroke at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club.