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The PGA Championship

Tournament Info for: 1998 PGA Championship
Date: August 13 - 16, 1998
Site: Sahalee Country Club
Champion: Vijay Singh
Purse: $3,000,000.00
Field: 150
Cut at: 70
Par: 35 - 35 - 70 (6,906 yards)
Players Advanced: 145

In 1984, somewhere in the jungles of Borneo, Vijay Singh could be found striking ball after ball on a range in the 100-degree heat. Fourteen years later and established as one of the worlds finest Tour professionals, Singh's regime on the range hasn't changed. But he has transferred that intensity to competition and amid the towering pines of Sahalee Country Club, Singh's game came of age. The national sports hero of Fiji, whose first name means "victory" in Hindi, Singh displayed nerves of steel and benefited by a lucky bounce out of the trees to win the 80th PGA Championship. The 35-year-old Singh posted a final-round 2-under-par 68, including a two-putt par on the treacherous 18th, to finish at 9-under-par 271. His two-stroke victory over Steve Stricker was worth of PGA Championship-record $540,000 first-place prize. Singh became the 10th player in 11years to earn his first major championship at PGA Championship and the 10th international player to win the Championship. "I've practiced so hard for this," said Singh. "It's a dream come true. What I did out there was unbelievable. I can't believe I'm sitting here having won my first major championship. "Singh earned his 24th worldwide victory amid a 150-player field that featured a major championship-record 85 of the top 100 world-ranked players who owned 53 major championship titles. Just has he carved his career out of the jungle, Singh went on an adventurous final-round tour of Sahalee with Stricker, his playing partner, who shared the 54-hole lead and scrambled to a 70 and 273 total. The twosome opened the final 18 holes tied for the lead and four strokes ahead of the field. Stricker lost a share of the lead on the ninth hole and trailed by one stroke before a bogey at the par-3 17th. Singh was boosted by birdies on the par-5 11th after his second shot ricocheted off a tree and came to rest 50 feet from the hole. Singh also birdied the par-4 15th before Stricker made his birdie, then pared out from there for victory. Stricker's chances went awry when he missed a birdie at the 16th and bogeyed the 17th."I put up a good fight," said an emotional striker. " I just didn't have it today. I hung in there and was proud of that. Vijay got some good breaks, but he also made some great recovery shots to put him in position for parse. When its your time to win, those things are going to happen." Steve Elkington, the 1995 PGA Champion, finished third at 274 after 67, and two-time PGA Champion Nick Price, with a course-record-tying 65, shared fourth with PGA player of the Year Mark O'Meara and Frank Lickliter. Defending PGA Champion Davis Love III was six shots back and tied for seventh at 277.Singh said he used watch other major champions walk up the 18th fairway. "It was a relief to walk up 18 with my ball on the green and knowing I was the champion," he said. " Now, I can go back to the TV and watch myself walk up 18."It was a much easier walk than the one he made from a jungle. "We have come a long way from there," said Singh. "What that experience did was teach me to respect the game a lot more."

Course AverageUnder
Low RoundsRound LeaderVijay Singh
Round 1: 72.84 20 25 105 66 Tiger Woods 66 Tiger Woods 70
Round 2: 73.55 20 9 120 66 Vijay Singh 136 Vijay Singh 136
Round 3: 71.52 20 9 46 65 Greg Kraft 203 Steve Stricker, Vijay Singh 203
Round 4: 71.73 19 8 48 65 Nick Price 271 Vijay Singh 271
Totals: 72.67 79 51 319