Brooks Koepka did something few have ever done in golf history at Bethpage Black and in winning the 2019 PGA Championship. He became a back-to-back PGA Championship winner, successfully defending his title from 2018 at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Mo.
Koepka’s consecutive PGA Championship titles makes him the first person to go back-to-back in the championship since Tiger Woods won two in a row in 2006 at Medinah No. 3 and in 2007 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. Before those consecutive titles, Woods also went back-to-back in 1999, again at Medinah No. 3, and in 2000, at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky.
Since the PGA Championship went from match play to stroke play in 1958, there have been no other back-to-back winners. However, in the match play era of the event, Denny Shute won the 1936 and 1937 editions of the championship, with both events held in Pennsylvania.
In the 1920s, there were only four winners of the PGA Championship: Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Leo Diegel and Jock Hutchison. Hutchison and Armour bookended the decade. Hagen won in 1921, which was followed by two Sarazen wins in a row in 1922 and 1923. Hagen won four in a row from there, from 1924-1927. Diegel then won the next two to end the Roaring ’20s.
Jim Barnes won the first two PGA Championships, albeit with a two-year gap. Barnes won the inaugural PGA Championship in 1916, and he didn’t defend until 1919 because of World War I. He won anyhow.
Back-to-back PGA Championship winners
- 2018 and 2019 — Brooks Koepka
- 2006 and 2007 — Tiger Woods
- 1999 and 2000 — Tiger Woods
- 1936 and 1937 — Denny Shute
- 1928 and 1929 — Leo Diegel
- 1924, 1925, 1926 and 1927 — Walter Hagen
- 1922 and 1923 — Gene Sarazen
- 1916 and 1919 — Jim Barnes