PGA Championship: Walter Hagen
Both Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus have five victories at the PGA Championship, but Hagen gets the nod as the most dominant in the event's history. Not only did Hagen achieve his victories in the maddeningly difficult world of match-play golf, but he won four consecutive times from 1924-1927, a feat that hasn’t been matched at any golf major.
One of the traits Hagen is most remembered for is his supreme confidence. While this brash attitude and cockiness could tick others off from time to time, particularly in the early days of this patrician sport, it was also necessary to win all those match-play PGA Championships.
His four consecutive Championships required 22 straight victories, a match-play record that would be unheard of in today’s golf world. Making it all the more impressive, Hagen trailed after nine holes in nearly half of his matches, but his confidence kept him from ever getting down and battled back to earn a permanent place in the history books. He won his five PGA titles in seven years and nearly had a sixth when he lost to Gene Sarazin in 38 holes in 1923.