PGA Championship, Wednesday report

Oak Hill a golfing venue of deep, rich history

From that point forward, Oak Hill never went long without hosting something important. The first U.S. Open showed up in 1956, where Dr. Cary Middlecoff won his second Open. He finished at 281, and watched as Hogan, Julius Boros and Ted Kroll each blew chances to match his score.

For Hogan, it was particularly cruel, since he was chasing a record fifth Open, a year after Jack Fleck stunned him in a playoff at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Perhaps the greatest ballstriker the game has ever seen, Ben's putter let him down, as a short miss for par on 17 cost him defeat by a shot.

When the Open returned in 1968, something quite different - and someone quite different - stole the show. Lee Trevino, the one-time hustler from Texas, trailed Bert Yancey going to the final round, but kept hitting fairways and greens as Yancey collapsed and Jack Nicklaus could not hole any putts to catch up.

In shooting 275, Trevino put all four of his rounds in the 60s, the first player ever to do so in the Open, and launched a Hall of Fame career that would include five more majors. Just as important, his talkative personality and humor endeared him to golf fans well beyond the course.

Nicklaus, denied in '68, got payback in the first PGA Championship contested at Oak Hill in 1980. Fresh off his U.S. Open win at Baltusrol, Nicklaus this time made just about everything and, on the weekend, blew away a field that mostly had disliked the design changes made to the venue.

By the time Nicklaus waltzed home, he had set a new Oak Hill scoring mark of 274, six under par, that no one has matched, beating Andy Bean by seven shots, the largest PGA margin until Rory McIlroy's eight-shot romp in 2012. It also tied Nicklaus with the pride of Rochester, Walter Hagen, as they both had won the Wanamaker Trophy five times.

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