The US Open is quickly approaching, and golf fans around the world are eagerly anticipating the next chapter of the historic tournament. The tournament, which began in 1895 and had an impressive (at the time) cash prize of $150 for the winner, has become the backdrop to some of the most impressive achievements in golf. With new faces emerging onto the golfing scene and established professionals showing that they can still handle the fiercest competition, the US Open should be an exciting event this year.
To get ready for the US Open, we’ve put together a few of our favorite moments from previous tournaments.
5) 2011 US Open: Rory McIlroy defines the conversation
One of the most dominant displays of golf in recent memory, Rory McIlroy at the 2011 US Open shot a record breaking 16-under par. While that feat alone is incredible, it is almost equally incredible that McIlroy accomplished this record just two months after one of golf’s greatest collapses at Augusta National. For his resiliency and ability to overcome disappointment, McIlroy’s 2011 performance gets our fifth spot.
4) 1999 US Open: Payne Stewart beats golf greats
Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods seemed to dominate the era, and in 1999 most commentators believed that one or the other would claim the US Open as another major tournament win. Payne Stewart made a statement by beating both notable giants of golf, as well as Vijay Singh, Steve Stricker, and David Duval. The defining moment came when Stewart sunk a 15-foot putt for par, securing the title. Unfortunately, Stewart tragically passed away a few months later and this would be his last major tournament win.
3) 1982 US Open: Tom Watson does more than gets it close
A professional golfer and their caddie have a unique relationship. Part advisor, part friend, the pair usually work together to overcome difficulties. After bogeying the previous hole and then facing a difficult shot from the rough, Tom Watson was told by his caddie, Bruce Edwards, to “Get it close.” Watson replied with the now-memorable line, “I’m not gonna get it close. Hell, I’m gonna make it!” And just like that, Tom Watson sunk the miraculous birdie and pulling him back into the lead.
2) 1960 US Open: Arnold Palmer becomes a legend at Cherry Hill
A top five list cannot leave out The King and one of his defining moments. Arnold Palmer’s legendary comeback is the stuff of legend. After sitting in 15th place, Palmer makes six birdies in the first seven holes to jump to first place. This comeback is widely considered to be one of the greatest comebacks in US Open history and one of the defining moments in Palmer’s legendary career.
1) 2008 US Open: Tiger Woods fights through pain for glory
Tiger Woods had one of the most amazing moments in golf when he forced a playoff at Torrey Pines. The putt wasn’t his most impressive, nor was it one of Tiger’s most dominant displays; however, what made the 2008 US Open so memorable was the fact that Tiger Woods played all of it on essentially one leg. Just a few days after winning the tournament, the renowned golfer had reconstructive knee surgery.
Of course, we want to hear what you think are the best moments in US Open history. Leave a comment below and tell us what you think are the top five moments. Regardless if how our lists match up, one thing is for certain: we’re all very excited to see what the 2016 US Open will have in store for us this year!