U.S. Open champions
1895 Horace Rawlins (173), Newport Country Club, Newport, Rhode Island
1896 James Foulis (152, +12), Shinnecock Hills, Shinnecock Hills, New York
1897 Joe Lloyd (162, +10), Chicago Golf Club, Wheaton, Illinois
1898 Fred Herd (328), Myopia Hunt Club, South Hamilton, Massachusetts
1899 Willie Smith (315), Baltimore Country Club, Lutherville, Maryland
1900 Harry Vardon (313, +9), Chicago Golf Club, Wheaton, Illinois
1901 Willie Anderson (331), Myopia Hunt Club, South Hamilton, Massachusetts
1902 Laurie Auchterlonie (307), Garden City Golf Club Garden City, New York
1903 Willie Anderson (307), Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, New Jersey
1904 Willie Anderson (303), Glen View Club, Golf, Illinois
1905 Willie Anderson (314), Myopia Hunt Club, South Hamilton, Massachusetts
1906 Alex Smith (295), Onwentsia Club, Lake Forest, Illinois
1907 Alec Ross (302, +10), Philadelphia Cricket Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1908 Fred McLeod (322), Myopia Hunt Club, South Hamilton, Massachusetts
1909 George Sargent (290, +2), Englewood Golf Club, Englewood, New Jersey
1910 Alex Smith (298, +6), Philadelphia Cricket Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1911 John McDermott (307, +3), Chicago Golf Club, Wheaton, Illinois
1912 John McDermott (294, -2), Country Club of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
1913 Francis Ouimet (304, +8), The Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts
1914 Walter Hagen (290, +2), Midlothian Country Club, Midlothian, Illinois
1915 Jerome Travers (297, +1), Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, New Jersey
1916 Chick Evans (286, +2), The Minikahda Club, Minneapolis, Minnesota
1917 No tournament
1918 No tournament
1919 Walter Hagen (301, +17), Brae Burn Country Club, West Newton, Massachusetts
1920 Ted Ray (295, +7), Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio
1921 Jim Barnes (289, +9), Columbia Country Club, Chevy Chase, Maryland
1922 Gene Sarazen (288, +8), Skokie Country Club, Glencoe, Illinois
1923 Bobby Jones (296, +8), Inwood Country Club, Inwood, New York
1924 Cyril Walker (297, +9), Oakland Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
1925 Willie Macfarlane (291, +7), Worcester Country Club, Worcester, Massachusetts
1926 Bobby Jones (293, +5), Scioto Country Club, Columbus, Ohio
1927 Tommy Armour (301, +13), Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pennsylvania
1928 Johnny Farrell (294, +10), Olympia Fields, Olympia Fields, Illinois
1929 Bobby Jones (294, +6), Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York
1930 Bobby Jones (287, +6), Interlachen Country Club, Edina, Minnesota
1931 Billy Burke (292, +8), Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio
1932 Gene Sarazen (286, +6), Fresh Meadow Country Club, Great Neck, New York
1933 Johnny Goodman (287, -1), North Shore Country Club, Glenview, Illinois
1934 Olin Dutra (293, +13), Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pennsylvania
1935 Sam Parks, Jr. (299, +11), Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pennsylvania
1936 Tony Manero (282, -6), Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, New Jersey
1937 Ralph Guldahl (281, -7), Oakland Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
1938 Ralph Guldahl (284, E), Cherry Hills, Cherry Hills Village, Colorado
1939 Byron Nelson (284, +8), Philadelphia Country Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1940 Lawson Little (287, -1), Canterbury Golf Club, Beachwood, Ohio
1941 Craig Wood (284, +4), Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas
1942 No tournament
1943 No tournament
1944 No tournament
1945 No tournament
1946 Lloyd Mangrum (284, -4), Canterbury Golf Club, Beachwood, Ohio
1947 Lew Worsham (282, -2), St Louis Country Club, Saint Louis, Missouri
1948 Ben Hogan (276, -8), Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California
1949 Cary Middlecoff (286, +2), Medinah Country Club, Medinah, Illinois
1950 Ben Hogan (287, +7), Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pennsylvania
1951 Ben Hogan (287, +7), Oakland Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
1952 Julius Boros (281, +1), Northwood Club, Dallas, Texas
1953 Ben Hogan (283, -5), Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pennsylvania
1954 Ed Furgol (284, +4), Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, New Jersey
1955 Jack Fleck (287, +7), Olympic Club, San Francisco, California
1956 Cary Middlecoff (281, +1), Oak Hill Country, Club Rochester, New York
1957 Dick Mayer (282, +5), Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio
1958 Tommy Bolt (283, +3), Southern Hills, Tulsa, Oklahoma
1959 Billy Casper (282, +2), Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York
1960 Arnold Palmer (280, -4), Cherry Hills, Cherry Hills Village, Colorado
1961 Gene Littler (281, +1), Oakland Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
1962 Jack Nicklaus (283, -1), Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pennsylvania
1963 Julius Boros (293, +9), The Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts
1964 Ken Venturi (278, -2), Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Maryland
1965 Gary Player (282, +2), Bellerive Country Club, Saint Louis, Missouri
1966 Billy Casper (278, -2), Olympic Club, San Francisco, California
1967 Jack Nicklaus (275, -5), Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, New Jersey
1968 Lee Trevino (275, -5), Oak Hill Country Club, Rochester, New York
1969 Orville Moody (281, +1), Champions Golf Club, Houston, Texas
1970 Tony Jacklin (281, -7), Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, Minnesota
1971 Lee Trevino (280, E), Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pennsylvania
1972 Jack Nicklaus (290, +2), Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, California
1973 Johnny Miller (279, -5), Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pennsylvania
1974 Hale Irwin (287, +7), Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York
1975 Lou Graham (287, +3), Medinah Country Club, Medinah, Illinois
1976 Jerry Pate (277, -3), Atlanta Athletic Club, Duluth, Georgia
1977 Hubert Green (278, -2), Southern Hills, Tulsa, Oklahoma
1978 Andy North (285, +1), Cherry Hills, Cherry Hills Village, Colorado
1979 Hale Irwin (284, E), Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio
1980 Jack Nicklaus (272, -8), Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, New Jersey
1981 David Graham (273, -7), Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pennsylvania
1982 Tom Watson (282, -6), Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, California
1983 Larry Nelson (280, -4), Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pennsylvania
1984 Fuzzy Zoeller (276, -4), Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York
1985 Andy North (279, -1), Oakland Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
1986 Raymond Floyd (279, -1), Shinnecock Hills, Shinnecock Hills, New York
1987 Scott Simpson (277, -3), Olympic Club, San Francisco, California
1988 Curtis Strange (278, -6), The Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts
1989 Curtis Strange (278, -2), Oak Hill Country Club, Rochester, New York
1990 Hale Irwin (280, -8), Medinah Country Club, Medinah, Illinois
1991 Payne Stewart (282, -6), Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, Minnesota
1992 Tom Kite (285, -3), Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, California
1993 Lee Janzen (272, -8), Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, New Jersey
1994 Ernie Els (279, -5), Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pennsylvania
1995 Corey Pavin (280, E), Shinnecock Hills, Shinnecock Hills, New York
1996 Steve Jones (278, -2), Oakland Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
1997 Ernie Els (276, -4), Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Maryland
1998 Lee Janzen (280, E), Olympic Club, San Francisco, California
1999 Payne Stewart (279, -1), Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst, North Carolina
2000 Tiger Woods (272, -12), Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, California
2001 Retief Goosen (276, -4), Southern Hills, Tulsa, Oklahoma
2002 Tiger Woods (277, -3), Bethpage State Park. Farmingdale, New York
2003 Jim Furyk (272, -8), Olympia Fields, Olympia Fields, Illinois
2004 Retief Goosen (276, -4), Shinnecock Hills, Shinnecock Hills, New York
2005 Michael Campbell (280, E), Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst, North Carolina
2006 Geoff Ogilvy (285, +5), Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York
2007 Ángel Cabrera (285, +5), Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pennsylvania
2008 Tiger Woods (283, -1), Torrey Pines, San Diego, California
2009 Lucas Glover (276, -4), Bethpage State Park, Farmingdale, New York
2010 Graeme McDowell (284, E), Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, California
2011 Rory McIlroy (268, -16), Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Maryland
For any other player, it would have been a career-defining moment. For Tiger Woods, it was just another Sunday — even if those Sunday moments have become a little more rare lately.
Woods was in contention for his 73rd win to tie Jack Nicklaus for second on the all-time list, nine behind Sam Snead, and in just another example of Woods' incredible flair for the dramatic, he was at Jack's tournament, the Memorial, with the Golden Bear calling the action from the booth. He found himself a single shot out of the lead when he airmailed the green at Muirfield's par-3 16th hole, leaving himself an impossibly delicate chip shot from a fluffy, scraggly lie. Then, like so many times before, the magic happened. Woods' full-swing flop shot out Mickelson'd anything Lefty could summon, landing softly and perfectly and trickling into the hole for a birdie.
Tiger's host was suitably impressed.
"I just said out here a couple times, that under the circumstances, the circumstances being Tiger has been struggling, he found himself in a position in a tournament, and it was either fish or cut bait, he had one place to land the ball, he's playing a shot that if he leaves it short, he's going to leave himself again a very difficult shot, if he hits it long, he's going to probably lose the tournament," Nicklaus said afterwards. "He lands the ball exactly where it has to land. It doesn't make a difference whether it went in the hole or not. Going in the hole was a bonus. But what a shot. I don't think under the circumstances I've ever seen a better shot."
Playing partner Rickie Fowler, who was in the process of imploding with a final-round 84 — 17 shots worse than Woods' 67 — took time off from calculating his score to enjoy the moment. "He had obviously a shot that — I guess not lucky, but you hit a good shot to get it inside 10 feet, and it came out perfect, landed kind of right on the crown of that ridge there, and the rest is history," Fowler said. "I mean, he obviously loves being in the moment, and that's where he kind of gets down, focuses and hits those shots. It was fun to see."
In case you missed it, here's the shot:
But there was more to his final-round 67 than one hero shot. Woods put a stamp on one of the best ball-striking weeks of his career, a week when he led the field in greens in regulation (73.6%).
He even impressed himself. "Boy, I hit it good today," Woods said. "That was some good stuff out there. I never really missed a shot today. It was just, as Sean (instructor Sean Foley) likes to say, go out there and put on a stripe show, and I did today. I hit it great, and I had the pace of the greens really nice today, where I struggled yesterday, and made a few putts."
Obviously, there's a little tournament in a couple of weeks at San Francisco's Olympic Club that Woods would dearly love to win, as he chases his personal Holy Grail — Nicklaus' 18 major championships. Woods thinks the current state of his game bodes well for his U.S. Open chances. "I'm excited because of the way I hit the golf ball this week," he said. "I hit the ball really well. At Olympic we're all going to have to hit the ball great there. That golf course, you can look at the history of guys who were in contention or who ended up winning, all were wonderful drivers of the golf ball and good, solid iron players. That's what it's going to take there at Olympic, more so than most U.S. Open sites."
Obviously, Tiger still has what it takes. He's still four away from Jack, but 19 majors are in play again.
From Tiger to Furyk, Athlon Announces the 20 Golfers to Watch for Majors Season
Now that it's Masters week, it's time to decide who this year's major players will be, and we've done that for you. They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2012 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Throughout the month of March, we unveiled Athlon Sports’ 20 players to follow for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.
Athlon Counts Down the 20 Golfers to Watch for Majors Season
They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2012 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Throughout the month of March, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 20 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.
Born: Dec. 30, 1975, Cypress, Calif. | Career PGA Tour Wins: 72|2011 Wins (Worldwide): 1| 2011 Earnings (PGA Tour): $660,238 | World Ranking: 6
Brandel Chamblee's Take:
Watching Tiger Woods play golf when he is even remotely close to his best is like watching LeBron James play a pick-up game with high school kids. Even amid scandal, injuries, massive swing changes and having to sit out two majors in 2011, Tiger has more top-10 finishes in golf’s biggest events over the last three years than anyone in the world.
His good play late in 2011 and his dominant win at Bay Hill show that his swing changes have taken root and that the magic is back. That magic comes from a poise that is the hallmark of mental strength, and it’s the reason he is the only one on the planet currently playing professional golf who’s won 14 majors, and why he is the best bet to win a major in 2012.
Major Championship Résumé
Masters - T4
U.S. Open - DNP
British Open - DNP
PGA Championship - Cut
Best Career Finishes:
Masters - 1st (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005)
U.S. Open - 1st (2000, 2002, 2008)
British Open - 1st (2000, 2005, 2006)
PGA Championship - 1st (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007)
Top-10 Finishes: 35
Top-25 Finishes: 49
Missed Cuts: 4
Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods paired together in final round of AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
By winning the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Phil Mickelson earned his 40th career PGA Tour victory and proved he still has the mojo to win another major championship — having already won three times at The Masters (2004, ’06, ’10) and once at the PGA Championship (2005).
With Tiger Woods' old caddy Stevie Williams on the bag and a suddenly trusty putter under his chin, Scott has leapt into the conversation for best player in the world right now. His dominant win at the Bridgestone showed that he could win on a tough track against a major-caliber field — exactly what he's facing this week. Still only 31, Scott could finally be poised to deliver on all that promise.
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Rory is an all-American golfer who just happens to be Irish. By his own admission, he dislikes the unpredictability of links golf and prefers good old American target golf, where his superior shotmaking can shine brightest. In other words, he's a perfect candidate to win multiple PGA Championships. He almost won this event at Whistling Straits last year. Get ready to see plenty more of Rory stateside in coming years.
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Ladies and gentleman, the last American to win a major. That's right - Mickelson's 2010 Masters win was glory's last shot for the Yanks. The drought almost ended at Royal St. Georges, though. For 11 holes on Sunday at the British Open, Lefty was electric, firing at pins and draining putts in vintage Mickelson fashion. Can he harness that magic for four days in the Georgia heat? The last time the PGA visited Atlanta Athletic Club, Mickelson had a win snatched away by David Toms' epic up-and-down on the 72nd hole. Lefty's major window is slowly closing, and he wants this tournament desperately. Maybe too desperately.
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It's hard to ignore the No. 1 player in the World Golf Ranking, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'll say it again: Donald has to prove it on a major Sunday. He's getting closer; his record this season in the elite-field WGC events — a win, a T6 and a T2 — is stellar, and he was in contention at the Masters. The PGA seems like a likely spot for a breakthrough, a la Payne Stewart circa 1989.
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The defending PGA Champion has been a disappointment this season. Other than a January win in Abu Dhabi and a brief reign atop the World Golf Ranking, Kaymer has been largely invisible, missing the cut at The Masters and failing to contend at either the U.S. or British Opens. His talent is undeniable, though, and we can only hope that he contends so we can catch a glimpse of world-class WAG Allison Micheletti.
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Day has done everything but win this season, finishing T2 at The Masters, second at the U.S. Open and T4 at the Bridgestone and surging to seventh in the World Golf Ranking. He's played his best golf this season south of the Mason-Dixon line, and he'll hold up in the sweltering conditions. Basically, the kid's a major waiting to happen, and it could happen this week.
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Speaking of Southern-fried talent, Kuchar is a former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket who'll feel like he's on home turf this week. But after posting eight top-10 finishes through the Memorial, Kuchar has backslid in recent weeks, missing the cut at the British and Canadian Opens, and his major resume doesn't exactly scream contender. But familiar surroundings and a friendly, supportive crowd could carry Kooch to that elusive breakthrough.
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Over the last 14 months, DJ has melted down in the final round of the 2010 U.S. Open when it was his tournament to lose; lost a spot in a playoff to a untimely grounded club at the 2010 PGA; and lost the 2011 British on a wayward 2-iron shot lost out of bounds. It's fair to wonder if this insanely talented 27-year-old can handle the big stage. But if Mickelson comparisons are fair — and I think they are — that means that there are majors in this guy's future. Don't be surprised if he's on the leaderboard on Sunday.
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Stricker just keeps chugging along, his post-40 renaissance in full bloom. He's won twice this year, including his third straight win at the John Deere Classic. But ever since his runner-up finish to Vijay Singh at the 1998 PGA, he really hasn't come close to winning a major. For now, he's firmly ensconced in Kenny Perry territory — great career, but in history's second tier. A major could change that.
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A year ago, this tournament was Watney's to lose, and lose it he did, squandering a three-shot lead with a final-round 81 at Whistling Straits. Watney enters the PGA as the leader in FedExCup points, a nice accomplishment but sorry substitute for major glory. Still, Watney has won twice this year against major-caliber fields, at the WGC-Cadillac and the AT&T. He's as likely a candidate as any to end America's major drought, which is now six tournaments long.
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This was supposed to be Westwood's breakthrough season. Hasn't happened. Aside from wins in Korea and Indonesia, Westwood has been MIA for most of this season, aside from an essentially meaningless T3 at the Rory-dominated U.S. Open, and he's still stinging from a stunning missed cut at the British. Still, it's impossible to dismiss Westwood's six top-three finishes in his last eight majors. He'll be lurking this week.
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Is Woods really a contender this week? Probably not, but if I didn't include him, he'd go out and win the thing for sure. Woods, whose last Tour win came at the 2009 BMW, continues to shed sponsors and supporters and had to endure the spectacle of his former caddie outshining him at his comeback tournament. He's cornered right now, which means he's dangerous. At least I hope so — a toothless Tiger is no good for anyone.
During his absence from golf, Tiger Woods has lost none of his ability to inspire intensely held opinions. On the occasion of Tiger's comeback round in the WCG-Bridgestone Invitational, we thought it would be a good time to hear from various quarters about the state of Tiger Nation.
“You think you're friends with a guy. You talk to him once a week for 15 years. You're like, this dude is my friend, we do things, we have fun together. I haven't talked to him in two years and I'm wondering what the hell is going on. I'm sitting back like everyone else and saying, what the hell is going on? I just feel sad, to be honest with you. You're like, dude, who is around this guy, who has his back, who has his best interest, who doesn't want anything from him? I don't know why we haven't talked to him in a couple of years. It's been very frustrating to watch everything that has transpired, and getting rid of (caddie) Steve Williams was probably the last straw for me.” — Charles Barkley, on the Mike Lupica Show
“Obviously I'm a player, but I'm a fan of golf and of sports, and it's a very compelling story. Everyone wants to know what he's going to do if he comes back, how is he going to play, how is his knee, people want to know. It'll be interesting. I think the draw has worked out really well for him playing with Clarkie (Darren Clarke) the first two days. He'll feel very comfortable in that environment. Darren is a very good friend of his. Yeah, it'll be interesting to see how he does come back.” — U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy
“His expectation is to win. I mean, obviously it really doesn't matter what I think. I know coming off injuries and being away from competition, it is tough. When I had my wrist injury, you feel like practicing and preparing away from tournament action. You feel very ready. When it comes down to crunch time and playing under competitive circumstances, it's a lot more difficult. You know, Tiger has done it a few times. He's obviously been away through injury a few times, so he's getting used to it a little bit. But I don't know what his expectation is. Obviously he always sets his standards very high, and that's the way he should be.” — World No. 1 Luke Donald
“Well, it's great that he's back. I mean, he's great for golf; he is. It's kind of like when (Michael) Jordan left and he retired for the first time. There was a hole in the game, there just was. Him not being here, it's a great opportunity for other players to come up and show their skills and everything, but there's no one like Tiger. I've never seen anyone like him. He's one of those once-an-era type of guys who's kind of changing the game forever. It's great that he's back. It's difficult because he's so secretive. We don't know how much of him is back. Is his leg good? Is it not good? You just don't know. Hopefully he's healthy.” — PGA Tour player Hunter Mahan
“He is playing out of desperation. He believes the only way out of the hell that he’s in is to play his way out. He wants to prove everybody wrong, he probably feels pressure from his sponsors, and he knows that time is slipping away. But I don’t think he’s physically, mentally or technically ready to play. How could he be?” — Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee
“The old Tiger is dead. He doesn’t have the same body and he doesn’t have the same mind.” — Chamblee
“I’ve heard of guys who have come back from long layoffs, guys who have changed caddies and guys who have changed swings. But it’s unprecedented to do all three at once.” — Golf instructor David Leadbetter
“A wounded dog has a tough time trying to keep winning battles. And because the battle was a lot tougher than I think even Tiger realized, he needs to heal before he gets back into these battles again.” — Michael Jordan