the 1953 PGA Championship It was the 35th PGA Championship, held July 1-7 at Birmingham Country Club in Birmingham, Michigan, a northwestern suburb of Detroit. Local resident Walter Burkemo won the championship match game, 2 and 1 plus Felice Torza in Tuesday’s final. The winner’s share was $ 5,000 and the second place was $ 3,000. Burkemo won his only major title in the second of his three finals; lost to Sam Snead in 1951 and Chick Harbert in 1954.
Johnny Palmer was the hit qualifier medalist, awarded $ 250 for his 134 (-8), with a second round at 66. Lost in the first round to Jack Grout; Also defeated on “Black Friday” were pre-tournament favorites Cary Middlecoff, three-time champion Sam Sneady defending champion Jim Turnesa. No former champion made it past the second round.
Burkemo’s victory marked the second time the Americans won all four major championships in a calendar year.
The game format matches at the PGA Championship in 1953 called for 12 rounds (216 holes) in seven days:
- Wednesday and Thursday: 36 holes qualifying stroke play, 18 holes per day;
- defending champion Jim Turnesa and top 63 advanced professionals for match play
- Friday: first two rounds of 18 holes each
- Saturday – third round – 36 holes
- Sunday – quarter finals – 36 holes
- Monday – semifinals – 36 holes
- Tuesday – final – 36 holes
Past champions on the field
Tuesday, July 7, 1953
Final group of eight
Final match scorecards
Conflict with the British Open
The Open Championships in Carnoustie, Scotland, took place July 8-10. His mandatory 36-hole qualifier was played the two days before the first round, the same days as the semifinals and final of the PGA Championship in Michigan.
Ben Hogan, the reigning Masters and United States Open champion, traveled to Great Britain for the only time to qualify for the Open. He won the Jug Claret by four strokes and set the course record at Carnoustie during the final round. The first prize was a modest £ 500 ($ 1,400), less than a third of the PGA. Hogan won the PGA Championship in 1946 and 1948, then did not enter for more than a decade. After his near-fatal car accident in early 1949, his battered legs could not withstand the arduous double-round program for five consecutive days. He played in three of the events in the 1960s, following the format change to stroke play.
The concept of modern grand slam and major professional championships were not firmly established in 1953, as evidenced by the scheduling conflict in early July. The PGA Championship was moved two weeks later in 1954 to avoid this conflict, but during the 1960s, the two biggest were played in consecutive weeks in July on five occasions. The PGA Championship was first played in August 1965 and moved permanently to 1969, except for 1971 when it was played in Florida in February.