|Dates August 8–11, 1996|
Organized by PGA of America
|Course(s) Valhalla Golf Club|
Tour(s) PGA Tour European Tour
|Location Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.|
The 1996 PGA Championship was the 78th PGA Championship, held August 8–11 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Mark Brooks won his only major championship with a birdie at the first hole of a sudden-death playoff with Kentucky native Kenny Perry. Defending champion Steve Elkington was a stroke out of the playoff, in a tie for third. It was the second consecutive and final sudden-death playoff at the PGA Championship, which changed to a three-hole aggregate format, first used in 2000 at Valhalla.
It was the second major played in Kentucky and the first in 44 years; the PGA Championship, a match play event through 1957, was played in Louisville in 1952 at Big Spring Country Club. The championship returned to Valhalla just four years later in 2000, and again in 2014 after hosting the Ryder Cup in 2008.
Course designer and five-time champion Jack Nicklaus missed the cut by a single stroke at age 56. He also missed the cut by one stroke in 2000 at age 60, his final appearance in the PGA Championship.
Missed the cut
Thursday, August 8, 1996
Friday, August 9, 1996
Kenny Perry shot a first round 66 (−6) to take the lead, finishing in the dark. Weather delayed play for nearly four hours and sixty players completed their first rounds on Friday morning.
Friday, August 9, 1996
Phil Mickelson, age 26, played 24 holes on Friday and carded consecutive rounds of 67 to take a three stroke lead at 134 (−10).
Saturday, August 10, 1996
Kentucky native Russ Cochran shot a course record 65 (−7) to take the 54-hole lead, two strokes ahead of Mark Brooks and Vijay Singh. Brooks eagled the par-4 15th, holing out from the fairway. Seeking his first major title, Mickelson fell three strokes back after a 74 (+2).
Sunday, August 11, 1996
Native sons of Kentucky had different results on Sunday as Cochran shot 77 (+5) in the final pairing and faded while Perry had a 68 (−4) and waited as the clubhouse leader at 277 (−11). Playing with Cochran, Brooks birdied the par-5 final hole to force a playoff. Perry bogeyed the same hole after a hooked tee shot and was in the television booth with CBS-TV, not hitting balls. The second shot of defending champion Steve Elkington found a greenside bunker; he had a 10-foot (3 m) birdie putt to join the playoff, but could not convert.
The sudden-death playoff began on the 540-yard (494 m) 18th hole; the par-5 was the course's second-easiest hole on Sunday. Brooks reached the green in two and birdied while Perry's tee shot again found the rough on the left and his fourth was a chip that did not reach the green, ending the playoff. It was Brooks' second birdie at the hole in twenty minutes, in regulation he hit his third shot from the greenside sand to within four feet (1.3 m).