PGA Championship Records: Tournament Bests

Jack Nicklaus tees off during the 1980 U.S. Open.
Five-time PGA Championship winner Jack Nicklaus holds many tournament records.

John Kelly/Getty Images

 

Here are various tournament records for the PGA Championship—the tournament bests at one of the four major championships in men's golf. The PGA Championship, run by the PGA of America, is the third-oldest of the men's majors (behind the British Open and U.S. Open), and was first played in 1916.

Most PGA Championship Wins

5 - Walter Hagen (1921, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927)
5 - Jack Nicklaus (1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980)
4 - Tiger Woods (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007)
3 - Gene Sarazen (1922, 1923, 1933)
3 - Sam Snead (1942, 1949, 1951)

All of Hagen's wins came in the match-play era of PGA Championship history; all of Nicklaus' in the stroke-play era. Sarazen's and Snead's wins were all match-play victories, too. The PGA Championship used a match-play format from 1916 through 1957. From 1958 to present, it uses a stroke-play format.

PGA Championship Scoring Records

These are the golfers who have posted the best scoring marks in tournament history, from 72-hole totals to 18 holes to nine holes, plus a couple other records related to scoring.

Best 72-Hole Total Score
264 - Brooks Koepka (69-63-66-66) in 2018
265 - David Toms (66-65-65-69) in 2001
266 - Tiger Woods (70-66-66-64) in 2018
266 - Jimmy Walker (65-66-68-67) in 2016
266 - Phil Mickelson (66-66-66-68) in 2001
267 - Adam Scott (70-65-65-67) in 2018
267 - Steve Elkington (68-67-68-64) in 1995
267 - Colin Montgomerie (68-67-67-65) in 1995
267 - Jason Day (68-65-67-67) in 2016
268 - Steve Lowery (67-67-66-68) in 2001
268 - Rory McIlroy (66-67-67-68) in 2014
268 - Jason Day (68-67-66-67) in 2015

The PGA Championship has a knack for producing lower winning totals than the other majors. Toms' 265 in 2001 was the overall major championship record until bettered in 2017. Then Koepka tied the overall record and broke Toms' PGA Championship record in 2018.

Best 72-Hole Score in Relation to Par
20 under - Jason Day (68-67-66-67), 2015
18 under - Tiger Woods (66-67-70-67) in 2000 and (69-68-65-68) in 2006
18 under - Bob May (72-66-66-66), 2000
17 under - Steve Elkington (68-67-68-64) in 1995
17 under - Colin Montgomerie (68-67-67-65) in 1995
17 under - Jordan Spieth (71-67-65-68), 2015
16 under - Brooks Koepka (69-63-66-66), 2018
16 under - Rory McIlroy (66-67-67-68) in 2014
15 under - Lee Trevino (69-68-67-69) in 1984
15 under - Ernie Els (66-65-66-72) in 1995
15 under - Jeff Maggert (66-69-65-69) in 1995
15 under - David Toms (66-65-65-69) in 2001
15 under - Phil Mickelson (69-67-67-66) in 2014
15 under - Branden Grace (71-69-64-69), 2015

When Day finished at 20-under in the 2015 PGA, he became the first golfer in the history of men's majors to post that score in relation to par.

Best Final Score by a Non-Winner
266 - Tiger Woods (70-66-66-64), 2018
266 - Phil Mickelson (66-66-66-68) in 2001
267 - Colin Montgomerie (68-67-67-65) in 1995
267 - Jason Day (68-65-67-67) in 2016

Lowest 18-Hole Score
63 - Bruce Crampton (31-32) second round, 1975
63 - Raymond Floyd (33-30) first round, 1982
63 - Gary Player (30-33) second round, 1984
63 - Michael Bradley (30-33), first round, 1993
63 - Vijay Singh (32-31) second round, 1993
63 - Brad Faxon (28-35) final round, 1995
63 - Jose Maria Olazabal (32-31) third round, 2000
63 - Mark O'Meara (32-31), second round, 2001
63 - Thomas Bjorn (32-31), third round, 2005
63 - Tiger Woods (32-31), second round, 2007
63 - Steve Stricker (33-30), first round, 2011
63 - Jason Dufner (31-32), second round, 2013
63 - Hiroshi Iwata (34-29), second round, 2015
63 - Robert Streb (30-33), second round, 2016
63 - Brooks Koepka (31-32), second round, 2018
63 - Charl Schwartzel (32-31), second round, 2018

These 63s have been surpassed as the lowest round in a men's major, but if you look at the list of 63s scored in major championships you'll see that the PGA Championship has produced more of them than any other major.

Lowest 9-Hole Score
28 - Brad Faxon, final round, front nine, 1995
29 - Fred Couples, first round, back nine, 1982
29 - Gibby Gilbert, second round, front nine, 1983
29 - John Adams, first round, front nine, 1995
29 - Hiroshi Iwata, second round, back nine, 2015

Lowest Career Scoring Average (Min. 50 Rounds)
70.50 - Tiger Woods with 66 rounds
70.80 - Phil Mickelson with 94 rounds
71.03 - Steve Stricker with 66 rounds
71.20 - Adam Scott with 56 rounds
71.23 - Jim Furyk with 82 rounds
71.23 - Ernie Els with 86 rounds
71.34 - Steve Elkington with 65 rounds
71.37 - Jack Nicklaus with 128 rounds
71.45 - Sergio Garcia with 56 rounds
71.46 - Nick Price with 72 rounds

Most Rounds in the 60s
41 - Jack Nicklaus
35 - Phil Mickelson
28 - Jay Haas
27 - Tom Watson
24 - Ernie Els
24 - Raymond Floyd
24 - Jim Furyk
24 - Steve Stricker
24 - Tiger Woods
23 - Vijay Singh

Placement Records at the PGA Championship

These are records related to where a golfer finished in PGA Championships over the course of his career: how many times he finished second, how many times he finished inside the Top 3, Top 5, Top 10 and Top 25. And Jack Nicklaus dominates this section, leading in every category.

Most Second-Place Finishes
4 - Jack Nicklaus
3 - Byron Nelson
3 - Arnold Palmer
3 - Billy Casper
3 - Lanny Wadkins
3 - Tiger Woods

Most Top 3 Finishes (stroke play only)
12 - Jack Nicklaus
7 - Tiger Woods
5 - Gary Player
5 - Lanny Wadkins
4 - Rory McIlroy
4 - Phil Mickelson
4 - Billy Casper
4 - Steve Elkington

Most Top 5 Finishes (stroke play only)
14 - Jack Nicklaus
8 - Tiger Woods
6 - Billy Casper
6 - Gary Player
5 - Steve Elkington
5 - Nick Price
5 - Greg Norman
5 - Lanny Wadkins

Most Top 10 Finishes (stroke play only)
15 - Jack Nicklaus
10 - Tom Watson
9 - Phil Mickelson
9 - Tiger Woods
8 - Billy Casper
8 - Raymond Floyd
8 - Gary Player
8 - Sam Snead

Most Top 25 Finishes (stroke play only)
23 - Jack Nicklaus
18 - Tom Watson
17 - Raymond Floyd
14 - Phil Mickelson
13 - Arnold Palmer
13 - Billy Casper
12 - Ernie Els
12 - Don January
12 - Tom Kite
12 - Greg Norman
12 - Gary Player
12 - Lee Trevino

PGA Championship Age Records

Oldest Winners
Julius Boros (48 years, 4 months, 18 days), 1968
Jerry Barber (45 years, 3 months, 6 days), 1961
Lee Trevino (44 years, 8 months, 18 days), 1984
Vijay Singh (41 years, 5 months, 21 days), 2004
Jack Nicklaus (40 years, 6 months, 20 days), 1980

Youngest Winners
Gene Sarazen (20 Years, 5 months, 22 days), 1922
Tom Creavy (20 years, 7 months, 17 days), 1931
Gene Sarazen (21 years, 7 months, 2 days), 1923
Rory McIlroy (23 years, 3 months, 8 days), 2012
Jack Nicklaus (23 years, 6 months), 1963
Tiger Woods (23 years, 7 months), 1999

More Miscellaneous Tournament Records

Most Cuts Made (stroke play only)
27 - Jack Nicklaus
27 - Raymond Floyd
25 - Tom Watson
24 - Hale Irwin
24 - Arnold Palmer
23 - Jay Haas
23 - Tom Kite
23 - Phil Mickelson

Most Starts in the Tournament
38 - Sam Snead
37 - Jack Nicklaus
37 - Arnold Palmer
34 - Tom Watson
31 - Raymond Floyd
31 - Gene Sarazen
29 - Denny Shute
29 - Davis Love III
28 - Vic Ghezzi
28 - Jay Haas
28 - Tom Kite
28 - Lanny Wadkins

Largest Margin of Victory (stroke play)
8 shots - Rory McIlroy, 2012
7 shots - Jack Nicklaus, 1980

Largest 54-Hole Lead
5 shots - Raymond Floyd, 1969
5 shots - Tom Watson, 1978
5 shots - Raymond Floyd, 1982

Largest Final-Round Comeback by Winner
7 shots - John Mahaffey, 1978
6 shots - Bob Rosburg, 1959
6 shots - Lanny Wadkins, 1977
6 shots - Payne Stewart, 1989
6 shots - Steve Elkington, 1995