1928 PGA Championship: Diegel Gets Revenge and the Trophy

Golfer Leo Diegel on a Cleveland course in 1927
Leo Diegel, winner of the 1928 PGA Championship. Louis Van Oeyen/Western Reserve Historical Society/Getty Images

It was the first of two consecutive wins for Leo Diegel at the 1928 PGA Championship. And he even got some payback against a rival along the way.

Quick Bits

  • Championship match: Leo Diegel over Al Espinosa (match scores below)
  • Dates: Oct. 1-6, 1928
  • Golf course: Five Farms Country Club in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tournament number: This was the 11th time the PGA Championship was played.

Notes on the 1928 PGA Championship

At the 1926 PGA Championship, Leo Diegel lost to Walter Hagen in the championship match.

But two years later, at the 1928 PGA Championship, Diegel won the tournament - and beat Hagen on his march to the trophy.

The win here was Diegel's first major, and he added a second by successfully defending his title at the 1929 PGA Championship. Here, Diegel beat Hagen in the quarterfinals and Gene Sarazen in the semifinals - quite the one-two punch (Hagen and Sarazen had seven PGA titles between them). And the following year, in 1929, Diegel beat Sarazen in the quarters and Hagen in the semis. So Diegel definitely earned it.

To reach the finals this year, Diegel defeated Tony Manero, George Christ, Hagen and then Sarazen. In the championship match, Diegel beat Al Espinosa, 6 and 5. Espinosa reached the final by beating Johnny Golden, Bob MacDonald, Jock Hutchison and Horton Smith.

In the quarterfinals, Diegel beat Hagen, 2 and 1, thus ending Hagen's 4-year reign as PGA champion. Hagen won the tournament every year from 1924 to 1927, and also won in 1921.

Before this loss, Hagen had won 22 straight matches in the PGA Championship.

One notable player who was absent from the 1928 PGA Championship was Johnny Farrell, who won the 1928 U.S. Open earlier in the year. But Farrell didn't even manage to advance out of his PGA District qualifier.

There were several terrific early round matches this year.

In the first round, 2-time PGA champ Jim Barnes beat Tommy Armour. Barnes then lost in the second round to Sarazen.

1928 PGA Championship Scores

Results from the 1928 PGA Championship golf tournament played Five Farms Country Club in Baltimore, Maryland. All matches scheduled for 36 holes.

First Round

  • Willie Macfarlane def. Jim Foulis, 9 and 7
  • Horton Smith def. Billy Burke, 2 and 1
  • Glen Spencer def. Fred McDermott, 8 and 6
  • Perry Del Vecchio def. Jack Burke Sr., 1-up (37 holes)
  • All Espinosa def. Johnny Golden, 8 and 7
  • Bob MacDonald def. Willie Kidd, 2-up
  • Jock Hutchison def. Willie Klein, 3 and 2
  • Pat Doyle def. Mortie Dutra, 6 and 4
  • Jim Barnes def. Tommy Armour, 3 and 2
  • Gene Sarazen def. Bill Mehlhorn, 3 and 2
  • Al Watrous def. Olin Dutra, 2 and 1
  • Ed Dudley def. Wiffy Cox, 3 and 2
  • George Christ def. Albert Alcroft, 1-up (38 holes)
  • Leo Diegel def. Tony Manero, 10 and 8
  • Walter Hagen def. Willie Ogg, 4 and 3
  • Julian Blanton def. Ed McElligott, 9 and 8

Second Round

  • Horton Smith def. Willie Macfarlane, 1-up
  • Perry Del Vecchio def. Glen Spencer, 1-up (37 holes)
  • Al Espinosa def. Bob MacDonald, 1-up (37 holes)
  • Jock Hutchison def. Pat Doyle, 1-up
  • Gene Sarazen def. Jim Barnes, 3 and 2
  • Ed Dudley def. Al Watrous, 3 and 2
  • Leo Diegel def. George Christ, 6 and 4
  • Walter Hagen def. Julian Blanton, 2-up

Quarterfinals

  • Horton Smith def. Perry Del Vecchio, 2-up
  • Al Espinosa def. Jock Hutchison, 5 and 4
  • Gene Sarazen def. Ed Dudley, 7 and 6
  • Leo Diegel def. Walter Hagen, 2 and 1

Semifinals

  • Al Espinosa def. Horton Smith, 6 and 5
  • Leo Diegel def. Gene Sarazen, 9 and 8

Championship Match

  • Leo Diegel def. Al Espinosa, 6 and 5

1927 PGA Championship | 1929 PGA Championship

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