PGA Championship Field Will Drive For Distance and Charity on Par-5 No. 2 Tee at Whistling Straits; Louis Oosthuizen is Reigning Long Drive Champion
KOHLER, Wis. Aug 04, 2015 – The 97th PGA Championship at Whistling Straits will host the PGA Championship Long Drive Competition, which began in 1952, and was re-launched during last year’s Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.
During the practice round on Tuesday, Aug. 11, all players will be offered the opportunity to hit one tee shot from the No. 2 Tee. The tee shot will have to come to rest in the fairway to be eligible to win the Long Drive Competition. Whistling Straits’ second hole is a 593-yard par-5 that is appropriately dubbed “Big Country.”
Louis Oosthuizen is the Long Drive Competition’s defending champion by virtue of last year’s winning 340-yard drive. Jason Day (338 yards) and PGA Club Professional Johan Kok (337 yards) finished second and third, respectively. All three are entered in this year’s Championship Field.
Awards will be given to the top three finishers with winners receiving a money clip inspired by the one that Jack Nicklaus received when winning the first of his two consecutive PGA Championship Driving Contest titles in 1963. That year, Nicklaus, using a persimmon driver and wound golf ball, hit a winning drive of 341 yards, 17 inches.
Additionally, through PGA REACH, the charitable foundation of the PGA of America, the top three finishers will be provided charitable donations of $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000, respectively, with the funds split equally between the players’ designated charity and the American Lake Veterans Golf Course. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the American Lake Veterans Golf Course, in Tacoma, Wash., is the nation’s only golf course designed specifically for the rehabilitation of wounded and disabled veterans.
Harold Williams won the original PGA Championship Driving Contest in 1952 with a 329-yard drive. The competition was discontinued from 1965-73, before returning in 1974 as an open event. Before its return at Valhalla, the last National Open Long Drive Championship conducted at a PGA Championship site was in 1984 at Shoal Creek Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.
About the PGA Championship
The PGA Championship features one of the deepest international fields in golf, the fairest setup, the only all-professional field among golf’s majors, and where golf enthusiasts also are embraced as part of the event. Since 1916, golf’s best professionals have won the PGA Championship; from Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Byron Nelson; to Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy. For more information, visit PGAChampionship.com.