How did Irish golfers win their three US PGA Championships?

Five Irish golfers are competing at Baltusrol this week

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Picture by: Mel Evans / AP/Press Association Images

Five Irish players are taking to the Lower Course at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey this week looking to become the 98th US PGA Champion.

Shane Lowry, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell are all hoping to be victorious on the American west coast, but Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy have already lifted the Wanamaker Trophy.

Since Harrington won in 2008, Irish golfers have won three of the eight tournaments. Rory McIlroy was victorious in both 2012 and 2014.

Here is how those three tournaments were won:

2008: Padraig Harrington 

The summer of 2008 was undoubtedly when the Dubliner was at his very best. Weeks after retaining The Open, he was victorious at Oakland Hills to win the sole American major of his career.

Harrington started the final round three shots behind leader Ben Curtis, but shot the best round of the day on the Sunday, to win by two. The final round of 66, saw the Dubliner beat Curtis and Sergio Garcia.

A -3 back-nine on the Sunday was crucial to Harrington's win, with a birdie on 17, being the key to the win.

2012: Rory McIlroy 

Possibly the least-remembered of McIlroy's four major wins, due to the final round taking place during the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, the Hollywood native won his second major title in dominant fashion at Kiawah Island.

McIlroy's eight-shot win remains the largest winning-margin in the history of the tournament. Starting the third round, two shots behind the lead, rounds of 67 and 66 saw his finish on -13, with David Lynn finishing in second place. 

2014: Rory McIlroy

The 2014 US PGA Championship ended in near-farce as McIlroy raced through the final hole as darkness fell upon Valhalla. Like Harrington did six years previously, the-then 25-year-old won the last major of the year, weeks after winning The Open. 

Compared to two years previously, McIlroy had to fight for the win, as Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler both contended, with Mickelson leading at one point.

A -4 back-nine was the key to the win, as the -16 total was enough to beat Mickelson by a shot.

If the recent pattern holds true to form, it could  be McIlroy once more who lifts the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday evening.  Only five players have won the event three times. The World number four would be joining a very elite club.