Famous Winners At The US Open
The US Open is probably the toughest of golf’s Majors to win. The victor rarely does so with a score under par. So anyone who has won the US Open has by definition turned in a great performance. The 2019 edition is the 119th time the second oldest of the Majors has been played, so there really is a huge back catalogue of best bits to choose from.
This year the third Major of the season returns to a Pebble Beach Links layout which has had its fairways narrowed, its tee boxes pushed back and its rough lengthened since February’s annual hackathon that is the AT&T Pro-Am. So it’s going to take something pretty darn special to emulate the greats who have gone before.
Can Brooks Koepka write his name into the history books to become only the second player in US Open history to record a third consecutive victory? Or will Tiger turn it on once more to emulate the most dominant Major win in history when he took the 2000 US Open title?
In fact, what better place to start in a browse of just a few of the best performances in US Open history? Remember for this year’s US Open betting, check out Bet UK’s online betting for a range of golf betting markets. Also take a look at our US Open betting tips for the thoughts of golf tipster Robert Cobley.
Tiger’s Pebble Beach blast in 2000
Old Tom Morris died 20 years before the first ever US Open took place. But the Scotsman’s 13-shot winning margin at St Andrews in the 1875 Open Championship stood as a record in any Major championship for 125 years.
It seemed it would take a once-in-a-millennium golfer to surpass Old Tom’s achievement. And so it came to pass. Tiger Woods decimated the field 19 years ago at Pebble Beach to set himself up for the “Tiger Slam” as he went on to win four Majors in a row.
Woods not only finished the 2000 tournament as the only player under par, he did so at 12-under, some 15 strokes ahead of runner-up Ernie Els and Miguel Ángel Jiménez.
And of course, while considering Woods and the US Open's most stunning performances, a nod must also go to Tiger’s 2008 US Open victory at Torrey Pines. In sheer agony after incurring a stress fracture in his leg, Woods literally limped and grimaced to a play-off win over Rocco Mediate.
Arnie’s 1960 “I’ll be back” - The Greatest Final Round In US Open History
Arnold Palmer only won the US Open once. But his 1960 comeback from seven shots back after three rounds was one of the greatest 18-hole performances in the competition’s illustrious history.
Palmer was actually tied for 15th as the final round got underway but he was renowned for his charges through the field so those ahead of him were still looking over their shoulders with 18 holes to play.
And so it would be. Arnie powered his way through the front nine eliminating those above him on the leaderboard one by one. A final round score of 65 gave him a two-shot victory over a then-20 year old Jack Nicklaus. It was the biggest final round comeback in US Open history.
As a footnote to Arnie's time at the US Open, six years later Palmer would be responsible for one of the biggest collapses in the competition's history as Billy Casper overhauled a final round seven-shot deficit to take victory in a Monday play-off.
1913 - The Street Urchin And His 11-year-old Caddy Change Golf Forever
Born to an immigrant family, Francis Ouimet grew up in poverty across the street from The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, an exclusive retreat reserved for the elite to pursue pastimes such as horse riding, tennis and golf.
Ouimet taught himself to play golf with clubs borrowed from his brothers and balls he found while caddying at The Country Club. By his late teens, Ouimet had gotten himself noticed by winning the 1913 Massachusetts State Amateur Championship and was invited to take part in the US Open of the same year.
He wasn’t supposed to win the darn thing, of course. Especially with the timing of the tournament delayed to allow for the participation of celebrated British golfers Harry Vardon and Ted Ray. Ouimet didn’t even have a caddy, just an 11-year-old acquaintance to carry his bag.
But win it he did, beating Vardon and Ray in an 18-hole playoff. Golf, which had until then been a game for the wealthy, would change forever from that day on.
The Legendary Us Open Stories Which Need Little Telling
Anyone with a little knowledge of golfing folklore will know of so many more legendary US Open performances.
From Ben Hogan’s return from a near-fatal car crash to win the 1950 US Open, to Jonny Miller’s flawless final round on the way to the title in 1973.
From Tom Watson’s 1982 chip shot victory at the Pebble Beach 17th to Payne Stewart’s statue-inspiring 1999 win at Pinehurst.
From Jordan Speith’s fresh-faced win at Chambers Bay in 2015 to Rory McIlroy’s maiden Major in 2011, there have been some stunning stories at the US Open through the years.
Who Will Follow In Their Footsteps At The 2019 Us Open?
So, with the 2019 US Open upon us, it’s worth pausing for a moment to consider who could follow in the footsteps of the immortals who have gone before.
The headlines in the run-up to the 2019 US Open have been on Koepka and Woods and it’s fair to say the US Open rarely throws up a rank outsider as winner. It's usually won by a great player who is in form which certainly counts that pair firmly into any picks you’re pondering.
It also brings the other top favourites with previous Major wins into the thinking, including Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and perhaps Jordan Spieth who showed glimpses at the PGA Championship last month that he may finally have come out of his recent lengthy slump.
Before deciding who to back at this year’s US Open, make sure you check out all the latest golf betting odds here at Bet UK.
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*All odds from Bet UK’s online betting correct at the time of writing.
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