Compleat Golfer brings you up to speed on the all the numbers you need to know about the SA PGA Championship at Eye of Africa.
3 – The PGA Championship forms part of South Africa’s Triple Crown – the other events are the SA Open and the SA Masters – and three golfers have won all three in the same season: Bobby Locke, Gary Player and Ernie Els.
1965 – The year the PGA Championship was first played as a strokeplay event. Harold Henning, with a score of 281, became the first winner. ‘Horse’ Henning also won the next two PGA Championships, with scores of 272 and 275, respectively.
7 – Different sponsorships since the tournament was simply known as the ‘South African PGA Championship’ from 1965 to 1971. For 1972 it was the Luyt Lager PGA Championship, for 1973 and 1974 it was the Beck’s PGA Championship, from 1975 to 1995 the Lexington PGA Championship, from 1996 to 1999 the Alfred Dunhill PGA Championship, from then until 2013 the Telkom PGA Championship; in 2014 it was the Telkom Business PGA Championship and for the past three years it’s been the Eye of Africa PGA Championship.
10 – The tournament has been a gold mine for South Africans. Only one foreigner – France’s Gregory Bourdy – has triumphed in the last 11 instalments of the event. He won back in 2006.
20 – We have come to expect low scores during PGA Championship week. Since 2000, the average winning score has been 18.9 under par, so we can expect 19 under to be close to the winning score this time. In 2017 Erik van Rooyen won with a score of 16 under.
9 – The number of foreign players who have won the championship in the strokeplay era: Tom Weiskopf (US), Hale Irwin (US), Corey Pavin (US), David Feherty (NIR), Tony Johnstone (Zimbabwe), Mark McNulty (Zim), Sven Struwer (Germany), Nick Price (Zim) and Gregory Bourdy (France).
28 – The score, under par, of Louis Oosthuizen when he won the 2008 PGA Championship, it being a record 72-hole total under par. He blazed around the Country Club Johannesburg course that week, with rounds of 66, 63, 66 and 65 to win by 14 shots from Hennie Otto. He was 42 shots ahead of bottom-placed Lindani Ndwandwe.
180 – Length, in metres, of the shortest hole at Eye of Africa, the par-three 12th (197 yards).
259 – The lowest 72-hole aggregate when David Frost won the 1994 PGA Championship, although his 21-under-par total was recorded on a course that
was rated as a par 70.
490 – Length, in metres, of the longest par four at Eye of Africa, the 18th (536 yards).
617 – Length, in metres, of the longest hole at Eye of Africa, the par-five 11th (664 yards).
1923 – The PGA Championship was established in this year. It was a matchplay format, in which Bertie Elkin beat Jimmy Johnstone 4 & 3 in the final. It remained matchplay, with the last event in that format being in 1959, when Gary Player beat Harold Henning 3 & 1 in the final.
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