Lifting the US Open Championship trophy is one of the crowning achievements in golf and no player has won the title more than four times. Its tight fairways; unforgiving rough and glass-like greens make it a stern test of the abilities of any golfer in the world. Read below about the five incredible US Open Championship winners who have triumphed and defeated a field of the world’s finest golfers in a variety of testing conditions at this historic event.
1. Arnold Palmer’s Magical Comeback in 1960
Cherry Hills Country Club witnessed one of the greatest final rounds in golfing history when Arnold Palmer, teed off in the final round in 15th place, seven shots behind leader Mike Souchak. Arnie produced arguably the most perfect final round of golf in US Open history. His final round 64 saw him finish four under par, overtaking golfers like Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan, and snatching the title by two shots for his only US Open victory.
Here’s a silent video of the great event:
2. Tiger Woods slays the field at Pebble Beach in 2000
138 years before 2000, Old Tom Morris won the British Open by a record number of 13 strokes, a feat in a major championship that was regarded by many as being unlikely ever to be beaten. In 2000, a young Tiger Woods, 24 years old, was in the form of his life and systematically destroyed not only an outstanding field of golfers, but the famous course as well. His victory margin of 15 shots over Ernie Els, was the measure of how monumentally good Woods had been over the four days and was clear evidence that Woods was playing the greatest golf ever seen.
3. Payne Stewart’s poignant win at Pinehurst in 1999
Payne Stewart’s eccentric dress sense drew him as much attention as his impressive golfing talent and friendly demeanour. A triple major winner, Stewart won his second US Open at Pinehurst in 1999, eight years after winning his first. Faced with a tricky 20-foot par putt on the last green, Stewart holed out for victory and celebrated with a delighted fist pump over the hole. Tragically, Stewart was unable to defend his title as four months later, he was tragically killed in a plane crash at just 42 years old.
4. Geoff Ogilvy profits from a double collapse at Winged Foot in 2006
The 2006 US Open was one of attrition for many golfers who fell victim to the brutal New York When Australian golfer Geoff Ogilvy chipped in at the 17th and then holed a miraculous putt on 18th for par, he set a target of five over par for the chasing pack. Unfortunately for Ogilvy, two of world golf’s finest players, Colin Montgomerie and Phil Mickelson were currently out on the course and looking likely to better that score with just the 18th to play. Montgomerie only needed a par at the last to finish four under, but double bogeyed the 18th to miss out. Then Ogilvy watched incredulously as minutes later, Mickelson did the same to hand the Australian surprising, but welcome, victory.
5. Tiger Woods battles to victory through the pain barrier in 2008
When Tiger Woods won his third US Open title at Torrey Pines in 2008, it was almost as dramatic as his 15 shot victory in 2000. This time around, Woods victory was all the more remarkable not due to his total dominance of the event, but due to his unyielding will. Woods played the majority of the 2008 tournament with a fractured left leg and the pain was clear to those witnessing Woods battle the course. He forced a playoff with Rocco Mediate after finishing one under. Woods subsequently went on to beat his fellow American with a birdie at the first playoff hole.