Senior PGA Championship

Facts, history and trivia about the senior golf major

Colin Montgomerie of Scotland poses with the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy after winning the 2014 Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid with a winning score of -13 at the Golf Club at Harbor Shores on May 25, 2014
2014 Senior PGA Championship winner Colin Montgomerie with the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Senior PGA Championship, run by the PGA of America, was the first truly "major" tournament specifically for "senior" golfers (golfers over age 50) in the U.S. The tournament was founded in 1937 at the urging of Bobby Jones, and has been played ever since (with a few exceptions). It now is considered one of the Champions Tour's majors, and rotates among golf courses ala the PGA Championship and USGA championships.

2018 Senior PGA Championship

  • When: May 24-27
  • Where: The Golf Club at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich.

2017 Tournament
With his victory here, Bernhard Langer became the Champions Tour's all-time leader in senior major victories. It was career win No. 9 in a senior major for Langer, breaking the previous record he shared with Jack Nicklaus. Langer played a bogey-free back nine in the final round, with birdies on Nos. 13 and 16, to beat runner-up Vijay Singh by one stroke. Langer finished at 18-under 270. The win also  made Langer the only golfer with victories in all five of the current senior majors.

2016 Senior PGA Championship
Rocco Mediate earned the first major championship victory of his career on either the PGA Tour or Champions Tour. He did it by besting two-time defending champion Colin Montgomerie by three strokes. Mediate sealed with a hole-out birdie from a bunker on the 17th hole.

He shot 66 in the final round and finished at 19-under 265. That lowered the tournament scoring by three shots, beating the 268 posted by Sam Snead in 1973.

Official Web site

Senior PGA Championship Records

  • 72-hole scoring record: 265 - Rocco Mediate, 2016
  • 18-hole scoring record: 62 - Kenny Perry, 2012

    Senior PGA Championship Golf Courses

    The Senior PGA Championship currently rotates among courses, just as the "regular" PGA Championship does. And so the tournament visits some of the great courses in the U.S. annually.

    For many years, this event was permanently hosted at PGA National Golf Club in Florida, first played there in 1945. PGA National was the host course from 1945-1962, 1964, 1966-1973, 1982-2000.

    Senior PGA Championship Trivia and Notes

    • Bobby Jones was the driving force behind the inauguration of a Senior PGA Championship, organizing the first one in 1937 and hosting the first two at Augusta National Golf Club.
    • The first tournament was only three rounds in duration. From 1938 through 1953, the seniors played just two rounds. It was back to three rounds in 1954-57. The tournament extended to 72 holes in 1958 and has remained so since.
    • The Senior PGA Championship debuted in 1937. The first winner, Jock Hutchinson, won again 10 years later in 1947. Hutchinson was runner-up six other times.
    • Sam Snead holds the record with six victories in the Senior PGA Championship, winning in 1964-65, 1967, 1970, 1972-73. His win in 1973 was by 15 strokes.
    • Hale Irwin is the other golfer with more than three wins. Irwin's victories came in 1996-98 and 2004.
    • Irwin is the only golfer to win this tournament three straight years - although Eddie Williams won three straight tournaments. Williams won in 1942, the tournament was not played in 1943-44, then Williams won again in 1945-46.
    • Other three-time winners of the tournament are Al Watrous (1950-51, 1957) and Gary Player (1986, 1988, 1990).
    • In 1979 and 1984, the Senior PGA Championship was played twice. In 1979, it was played in February and then December; in 1984, it was played in January and then December (and was not played in 1985).
    • When Colin Montgomerie won the 2014 tournament, it wasn't just his first win on the Champions Tour. It was also the first professional win in the United States for Monty.
    • Bernhard Langer earned his first victory in this championship in 2017, and in so doing became the first golfer ever with wins in all five of the senior major championships. It was also Langer's ninth career victory in a senior major, setting a new record for most wins by any golfer in senior majors.

      Winners of the Senior PGA Championship

      2017 - Bernhard Langer
      2016 - Rocco Mediate
      2015 - Colin Montgomerie
      2014 - Colin Montgomerie
      2013 - Kohki Idoki
      2012 - Roger Chapman
      2011 - Tom Watson
      2010 - Tom Lehman
      2009 - Michael Allen
      2008 - Jay Haas
      2007 - Denis Watson
      2006 - Jay Haas
      2005 - Mike Reid
      2004 - Hale Irwin
      2003 - John Jacobs
      2002 - Fuzzy Zoeller
      2001 - Tom Watson

      PGA Seniors Championship
      2000 - Doug Tewell
      1999 - Allen Doyle
      1998 - Hale Irwin
      1997 - Hale Irwin
      1996 - Hale Irwin
      1995 - Raymond Floyd
      1994 - Lee Trevino
      1993 - Tom Wargo-p
      1992 - Lee Trevino
      1991 - Jack Nicklaus
      1990 - Gary Player

      General Foods PGA Seniors Championship
      1989 - Larry Mowry
      1988 - Gary Player
      1987 - Chi Chi Rodriguez
      1986 - Gary Player

      PGA Seniors Championship
      1984* - Peter Thomson
      1984 - Arnold Palmer
      1982 - Don January
      1981 - Miller Barber
      1980 - Arnold Palmer-p
      1979* - Don January
      1979 - Jack Fleck-p
      1978 - Joe Jimenez-p
      1977 - Julius Boros
      1976 - Pete Cooper
      1975 - Charles Sifford-p
      1974 - Roberto De Vicenzo
      1973 - Sam Snead
      1972 - Sam Snead
      1971 - Julius Boros
      1970 - Sam Snead
      1969 - Tommy Bolt
      1968 - Chandler Harper
      1967 - Sam Snead
      1966 - Fred Haas Jr.
      1965 - Sam Snead
      1964 - Sam Snead
      1963 - Herman Barron
      1962 - Paul Runyan
      1961 - Paul Runyan
      1960 - Dick Metz
      1959 - Willie Goggin
      1958 - Gene Sarazen
      1957 - Al Watrous-p
      1956 - Pete Burke
      1955 - Mortie Dutra
      1954 - Gene Sarazen
      1953 - Harry Schwab
      1952 - Ernie Newnham
      1951 - Al Watrous-p
      1950 - Al Watrous
      1949 - Marshall Crichton
      1948 - Charles McKenna
      1947 - Jock Hutchison
      1946 - Eddie Williams-p
      1945 - Eddie Williams
      1944 - Not played
      1943 - Not played
      1942 - Eddie Williams
      1941 - Jack Burke Sr.


      1940 - Otto Hackbarth-p
      1939 - Not played
      1938 - Freddie McLeod-p
      1937 - Jock Hutchison

      * - the Senior PGA Championship was played twice in 1979 and in 1984