Where, and when, did golfer Shaun Micheel win his only major championship?

Born in Orlando, Florida on January 5, Shaun Micheel turned professional in 1992 and joined the PGA Tour in 1994. At the time of writing, he has made 401 appearances on the PGA Tour – albeit that his last full season was in 2011 – but won just once. Indeed, his improbable victory at the 2003 PGA Championship, played on the East Course at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York, came after 163 previous, unsuccessful starts on the PGA Tour, at a time when he was officially ranked number 169 in the world.

Reflecting on his triumph two decades later, Micheel said, ‘Leading into the tournament I hadn’t played very well. I figured just making the cut would have been adequate.’ Despite his modest expectations, Micheel shot 68-69 in his first two rounds to lead by two strokes at halfway. On the Saturday, he bogeyed his last three holes but, even so, his one-under-par total of 69 was sufficient to remain tied for the lead with Chad Campbell.

On the seventy-second, and final, hole, Micheel lead Campbell by a single stroke. His approach shot, a 174-yard seven iron from the semi-rough on the left of the hole, was judged perfectly, landing softly and rolling to within inches of the hole. The resulting ‘gimme’ putt gave Micheel a final round total of 70 and a two-stroke victory over Campbell.

Micheel later fondly remembered his memorable approach, saying, ‘For it to come off, to have a walk off putt where I didn’t have to think about it for my first win was pretty spectacular’. However, he did express a tinge of regret when he added, ”I think winning a major changed my expectations to a degree that it almost derailed my career. Winning a major as my first win proved to be so difficult, I just couldn’t get over the hump again.’

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