Match Play and the PGA Championship - Where it All Began
The PGA Championship hasn’t always been one of the most exciting and dramatic stroke-play Major Championships in golf.
The PGA Championship was originally Match Play. It was first staged in 1916 at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York, and won by Jim Barnes of England. Barnes repeated as PGA Champion again in 2017 at Engineers Country Club in Roslyn Harbor, New York.
There was no PGA Championship held in 1917 or 1918 due to World War I and in 1943 due to World War II. The Championship was contested for the first time outside New York State at Flossmoor (Illinois) Country Club in 1920.
Lionel Hebert won the final match play PGA Championship in July of 1957, 2&1, over Dow Finsterwald at Miami Valley Golf Club in Dayton, Ohio.
At the PGA Annual Meeting in 1957 the format was changed to stroke play and has been played as a 72-hole Championship since 1958.