Neha Patil (Editor)

1951 PGA Championship

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Dates  June 27 – July 3, 1951
Organized by  PGA of America
Format  Match play - 6 rounds
Course(s)  Oakmont Country Club
Tour(s)  PGA Tour
1951 PGA Championship

Location  Oakmont, Pennsylvania, U.S.

The 1951 PGA Championship was the 33rd PGA Championship, held June 27 to July 3 at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, a suburb northeast of Pittsburgh. Sam Snead won the match play championship, 7 & 6 over Walter Burkemo in the Tuesday final; the winner's share was $3,500 and the runner-up's was $1,500.


It marked the first time the PGA Championship returned to a venue; Oakmont had hosted in 1922 (at the time, it had also hosted two U.S. Opens and three U.S. Amateurs). It was the third and final win for Snead in the PGA Championship, and the sixth of his seven major titles. At age 39, he was the oldest at the time to win the PGA Championship, passing his old record of two years earlier. Burkemo won the title in 1953 and was runner-up again in 1954.

Defending champion Chandler Harper lost in the first round to Jim Turnesa in a match that went to 23 holes. Turnesa, the runner-up to Snead back in 1942, won the title following year in 1952, and displaced Snead as the oldest champion by a few months.

Snead's win was the last by a former champion for twenty years, until Jack Nicklaus won his second PGA Championship in 1971.

Claude Harmon, Lloyd Mangrum, and Pete Cooper tied for the lowest score in the stroke play qualifier at 142 (−2). Harmon won the $250 medalist prize on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff.

The British Open in 1951 was held in the first week of July in Northern Ireland. Its mandatory two-day qualifier was held the same days as the PGA's semifinals and finals, which prevented participation in both events.


The match play format at the PGA Championship in 1951 called for 12 rounds (216 holes) in seven days:

  • Wednesday and Thursday – 36-hole stroke play qualifier, 18 holes per day;
  • defending champion Chandler Harper and top 63 professionals advanced to match play
  • Friday – first two rounds, 18 holes each
  • Saturday – third round – 36 holes
  • Sunday – quarterfinals – 36 holes
  • Monday – semifinals – 36 holes
  • Tuesday – final – 36 holes
  • Failed to qualify

    Runyan did not advance in the six-way playoff for the one final spot in the match play field.

    Final eight bracket



    1951 PGA Championship Wikipedia