When Rory McIlroy ran away with an eight-shot victory at the PGA Championship on Sunday, he broke the record for the event's winning margin.
The previous record was a seven-shot win that occurred just up the New York State Thruway from here 32 years ago.
In 1980, Jack Nicklaus won the PGA Championship by seven shots at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester. It was Nicklaus' fifth PGA Championship that tied the mark of Walter Hagen, who was a Rochester native.
Jack Nicklaus reacts after sinking a 12-foot birdie putt on the 13th hole at Oak Hill Country Club in the final round of the 1980 PGA Championship.
P-J photo by Jim Riggs
With the win, Nicklaus became only the third man at that time to win the PGA and U.S. Open in the same year.
But those were unexpected wins.
It was quite a year for Nicklaus, who at the age of 40 was being referred to as ''washed up'' when 1980 began. They were calling the Golden Bear the Olden Bear because he had been winless in 1979 and early in 1980. But after winning the Open in June and the PGA in August, Nicklaus was golden again.
''What's happened this year is fantastic,'' he told the media after his PGA win.
He also mentioned, ''One of my goals was to win five PGAs.''
And another had been to capture a fourth U.S. Open.
Both were accomplished in 1980.
Maybe Nicklaus knew it would be his week at Oak Hill when he recorded a hole-in-one during a practice round on Wednesday. He said it was the 11th or 12th of his career. He wasn't sure. And he thought it might be his second of the year.
Nicklaus might have won the tournament on Monday, thanks to his son. Nicklaus had been suffering through a terrible year with the putter. But on Monday, Jack Jr. noticed his dad wasn't following through on his putts.
Nicklaus did follow through for the rest of the week en route to capturing the Wanamaker Trophy.
Nicklaus was of course a popular winner at Oak Hill, but when the event began the big fan favorite was Lee Trevino. That's because when the course held its last major in 1968, the U.S. Open, Trevino was an unknown in the field, but not at the end when he surprisingly won the title.
In 1980, Trevino mentioned that after his rounds at the 1968 U.S. Open he used to sit in a golf cart near the clubhouse and drink beer. He said no one bothered him for autographs because, ''They thought I was the bagman.''
It was a different era for golf in 1980. For instance, they held a long drive contest before the PGA Championship and the winning drive was 295 yards, 18 inches. Now pro golfers hit a 5-iron that far.
When it comes to money, Nicklaus pocketed $60,000 for winning the 1980 PGA Championship. This year, McIlroy won a bit more - $1,445,000.
And technology was taking off at that time.
In a notes column from the 1980 PGA Championship, I pointed out that the Burroughs Corporation was making the media's job extremely easy. With the use of computers, any member of the press could find an up-to-date, hole-by-hole report on any player in the field. The information appeared on a screen and printouts were available!
Now any fan can do that on his smartphone.
But it was 32 years ago when a telephone with an answering machine would have been considered a smartphone.