When you look back at the 2004 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, what is it that you remember the most? Is it Vijay sitting at 12-under through 54 holes? The memorable three-way playoff capped off by a Vijay birdie to win it all? Or perhaps a drearier highlight; one of Vijay holing a putt for 76 on Sunday to force his way into a playoff nobody had thought imaginable when the day began? Let’s take a look back at the weekend six years ago that will be remembered as one of the most dramatic major championships of the decade.
Vijay Singh entered the week with four victories on the year, ready to win his second PGA Championship and third major of his career. He got off to a hot start with a 67 on the first day, followed by a 68 the second day. Vijay was tied with Justin Leonard heading into the weekend, where Singh drew ahead by one shot after a 69 on Saturday. Sunday was a bump in the road, more accurately a bump in the green. Vijay struggled with the flat stick, recording 34 putts in the final round en route to a 76. While not lights-out play, this was still good enough to force a three-way playoff between Vijay, Justin Leonard and Chris DiMarco.
With new life, Vijay came alive, birdying the first of three playoff holes; his only birdie of the day. That birdie proved to be enough to win the 86th PGA Championship and take home the Wannamaker Trophy. Just three weeks later Vijay won the Deutsche Bank Championship and overtook Tiger Woods as the number one golfer in the Official World Golf Rankings. The PGA Championship was one of nine wins for Vijay that year when he earned a record $10 million+ in winnings and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year.