Jim Ferrier, 1947. David Graham, 1979. Wayne Grady, 1990. Steve Elkington, 1995. Jason Day, 2015.
Five men. Sixty-eight years.
Surely, by now, you have grasped that these five men share the traits of being professional golfers and being from Australia. Those with a sense of timing and history will realise that the other shared trait is that these five men are the five Aussie pros who have won the USPGA Championship.
Ferrier enjoys the singular distinction of being the only Aussie player to win the season’s fourth Major when it was played in a match play format, prior to 1958.
The tournament was first played in 1916. It was cancelled in 1917 and 1918 when the U.S. became involved in World War I. It went on as scheduled during World War II, save for 1943.
2017 will mark the 99th time the tournament has been staged. A U.S. golfer has won 56 times and counting winners with multiple championships, the U.S. has accounted for 78 wins.
The big surprise is that Australia’s five wins rank second on the list, three better than England, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Fiji and Northern Ireland.
Jason Day is the top Aussie contender for 2017. The current world number six is fifth in the wagering, but he has struggled this season, mostly from the mental stress of having a mother battling cancer. Ladbrokes has his quote at $17, half that of Adam Scott at $34. Scott supplies a perfect example of how difficult it is to remain at the pinnacle in a sport such as golf.
Marc Leishman is well back at $67, but based on the latest form, if you could find a market offering odds on top Aussie in the PGA, Leishman would be our pick. He has consistently been in contention on the weekends and is more than capable of putting together two low rounds that would earn him his first Major. He made it into the tournament in the final category as a player who has won on the PGA Tour since the 2016 PGA was played.