Friday 6 December 2019

Five times the US Open lived up to its fearsome reputation

Angel Cabrera of Argentina holds the trophy Oakmont Country Club on June 17, 2007
Angel Cabrera of Argentina holds the trophy Oakmont Country Club on June 17, 2007

Phil Casey

Oakmont is set to provide a daunting test for the world's best golfers in this week's US Open.

Here are five other occasions when the year's second major championship has lived up to its fearsome reputation.

Winged Foot (1974)

A year after Johnny Miller won the US Open with the first 63 in major championship history, the USGA exacted swift revenge in such a fashion that the tournament became known as the Massacre at Winged Foot. Gary Player was the only player to match par in the opening round and not one player was under par after any round. Fifty-four-hole leader Tom Watson collapsed to a closing 79 as Hale Irwin won the first of three US Opens on seven over.

Shinnecock Hills (2004)

Retief Goosen's winning score may have been four under par, but runner-up Phil Mickelson was the only other player in red figures and the final round saw 28 of the 66 players fail to break 80 on a par-70 layout. A combination of extremely dry conditions, fast greens and a questionable pin position even led to a stoppage of play while the seventh green had to be watered mid-round.

Winged Foot (2006)

Thirty two years after Hale Irwin's victory on seven over par, Australian Geoff Ogilvy backed into a first major title when Jim Furyk, Colin Montgomerie and Phil Mickelson all made a mess of the 72nd hole. Furyk only bogeyed, but Montgomerie made a double bogey after a perfect drive and Mickelson also took six to leave Ogilvy alone on five over. "I think I was the beneficiary of a little bit of charity," Ogilvy admitted.

Oakmont (2007)

For the second successive year five over par was good enough for victory as Angel Cabrera held off the challenge of Furyk and Tiger Woods. Cabrera and England's Nick Dougherty were the only players to break par on day one, while 54-hole leader Aaron Baddeley collapsed to a closing 80.

Oakland Hills (1951)

Ben Hogan won the US Open for the second year running on seven over par after a three-under 67 in the final round, prompting his famous quote: "I'm glad I brought this course, this monster, to its knees." Runner-up Clayton Heafner's closing 69 was the only other sub-par score all week.

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