The History of Congressional's Major Championships
Just under 2 years shy of Congressional Country Club’s 100th birthday, the hallowed course plays host to its sixth major championship with the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on the Blue Course. The first Women’s major hosted by the facility will look to add to the legacy of some of the biggest names in golf that have shined under the bright lights near the nation’s capital.
Ken Venturi won the first major championship hosted by Congressional at the Blue Course, the 1964 U.S. Open. He overcame a two-stroke deficit to four-time PGA Tour Tommy Jacobs to win by four strokes and soldiered on in 100-degree heat despite doctors advising him not to play due to showing symptoms of dehydration. The victory was the World Golf Hall of Famer's only major title. Arnold Palmer finished T5, eight shots back of Venturi. Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player ended up T23.
Twelve years later, Congressional’s Blue Course served as the home of the 1976 PGA Championship. Dave Stockton won his second Wanamaker trophy, joining his 1970 victory at Southern Hills in Tulsa. Stockton overcame a four-shot deficit with an even-par 70 to 1971 Master’s Champion Charles Coody for his second major championship.
Once again, Nicklaus found himself in the mix at the next major Congressional hosted: the 1995 U.S. Senior Open. Tom Weiskopf won the championship by four strokes over the Golden Bear.
The U.S. Open returned to Congressional two years after Weiskopf's triumph, with Ernie Els earning his second major championship in 1998 by a stroke over Colin Montgomerie at the Blue Course. Els came from two behind Tom Lehman going into the final round to win.
In its first major of the new millennium, the Blue Course hosted the 2011 U.S. Open, where Rory McIlroy left his mark for his first major title in runaway fashion. The Irishman took down Jason Day by eight strokes, the largest major championship margin of victory at Congressional, the first 54-hole leader to close on the blue course, and the only wire-to-wire major champion the course has surrendered.
Now, Congressional hosts its first Women's Major Championship as the opening chapter of eight future PGA of America Championships the facility will host as part of its partnership agreement with the PGA. Along with 2022, the KPMG Women's PGA Championship will return in 2027. Then, the Junior PGA Championship (2024), KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship (2025, 2032), PGA Professional Championship (2029), and PGA Championship (2031) take the stage. The Ryder Cup will follow suit in 2036, setting up a gauntlet of exciting major golf to come at Congressional.