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We recall six of the best US Open programs

The last three editions of the world-renowned US Open have come to a close, with the eventual winner one shot ahead of his nearest rival. There is clearly something about this old grandmaster that brings out the drama.

With two majors in 2024 gone, golf fans are eagerly anticipating the 124th US Open — but we’ve learned to expect the unexpected.

Not many experts predicted Wyndham Clark to win the tournament last year with their US Open golf betting tips. The American had never finished better than 75 before and missed the cut entirely two years ago.

The 2024 golf season has been shaping up well and we fully expect another dose of excitement at Pinehurst once again. The North Carolina course is a lot of fun and will undoubtedly provide some great golf memories. As we prepare for the start of the tournament, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the best tournaments of all time.

2008 – Tiger Woods, Torrey Pines

You must always be on the lookout for a wounded Tiger. A fit and healthy Tiger Woods would have been a runaway favorite to win the 2008 US Open. But the fact that he was injured and battered, with a hideously injured knee, makes this victory almost impossible to believe.

His ailments saw Tiger battle Rocco Mediate all the way through four rounds, while Woods was shot dead in the last 18. But a 20-foot birdie was forced to play for the title. The great Tiger Woods passed away in sudden death in what would have been his last victory before the 2019 Masters.

1999 – Payne Stewart, Pinehurst

Tragedy struck just four months after the 1999 US Open when the champion, Payne Stewart, died in a plane crash. But he managed to leave fans with many wonderful memories including his victory at Pinehurst. Stewart went into the final round as the leader – but only one shot ahead of rising Phil Mickelson.

By the time the pair reached 16, Mickelson had taken the lead but then missed an eight-foot putt to bring it back to level. Stewart then bogeyed the 17th and did the same at the last to claim the title. His celebratory mood was later immortalized as a statue in the course after his death.

1973 – Johnny Miller, Oakmont

Oakmont is a notoriously difficult course to play and Johnny Miller did not enjoy a good opening three rounds at the 1973 US Open. Four players were tied for first before the final round began and Miller was nowhere to be seen on the leaderboard. But a change of strategy saw him round to a 63 where only three other players managed to break through the day.

That incredible round of golf saw Miller win five under and one shot ahead of John Schlee. His tee shots were spectacular, all 18 made the green and he only needed 29 putts on some of the toughest greens in tournament history. To put Miller’s performance into perspective, only three golfers have shot 63 at the US Open since then.

1960 – Arnold Palmer, Cherry Pines

In one of the greatest revues in golf history, let alone the US Open, the game’s legend and reigning Masters champion, Arnold Palmer, shot seven shots to win his one and only US Open title. The tournament that year will go down as a golf convention past, present, and future.

Arnold Palmer was the current star, but he ended up beating the legendary Ben Hogan and a 20-year-old amateur named Jack Nicklaus. Palmer returned to contention after hitting six birdies in the first seven holes of the final afternoon. Now that’s what we call a great golf day!

1950 – Ben Hogan, Merion

In what will forever be known as the “Miracle at Merion”, Ben Hogan captured his second US Open title less than a year and a half after the car accident that nearly took his life. It was a miracle that he could even walk well, let alone play high-level sports.

A rough final round for all the leaders ended with the legendary Hogan using a one-iron to hit the green on the 18th. A short par putt put him in a three-way playoff with George Fazio and Lloyd Mangrum. Hogan’s opponents bogeyed the last few holes the next day to leave him with the tournament.

1913 – Francis Ouimet, Country Club

Before the 1913 US Open, golf was dismissed as an elite sport with only about 250,000 players in the US. Ouimet’s victory – the first by a novice – showed that the game was open to everyone and by the end of the decade, there were more than two million golfers in the US.

Ouimet’s story was quite remarkable. He had grown up in a house across the street from the 17th hole of the Country Club course in Brookline, Mass. and was studying to make money. But in 1913, under worse conditions, he braved the odds against the experts of the day, birdieing the 17th to take the title.

The post Remembering the six greatest US Open programs ever appeared first on Golf365.

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