2011 U.S. Open: Celebrating anniversaries
Sunday, June 12, 2011
BETHESDA, Md. — A look at some of the anniversaries of this year's 111th U.S. Open, to be played June 16-19 at Congressional:
The U.S. Open in the 1950s
Take a look back at some of the photos from the U.S. Open tournaments held between 1950-59.
100 years ago (1911): John McDermott became the first American-born player to win a major, and at 19, he remains the youngest player to ever win the U.S. Open. One year after losing to Alex Smith in a playoff, McDermott nearly blew the U.S. Open at Chicago Golf Club by closing with a 79. McDermott made a birdie on the 18th hole to force a playoff, and he shot 80 the next day to defeat Mike Brady (82) and George Simpson (86).
75 years ago (1936): Tony Manero won his only major championship, closing with a 67 at Baltusrol to deny Harry "Lighthorse" Cooper in the second straight major of 1936. Cooper, who blew a three-shot lead over Horton Smith at the Masters, was four shots clear of Manero going into the final 18 holes of the U.S. Open. But on the Upper Course at Baltusrol, Manero charged past him and to win by two shots.
50 years ago (1961): Gene Littler won his only major in the U.S. Open at Oakland Hills, closing with a 68 for a one-shot victory over Bob Goalby and Doug Sanders, the 54-hole leader. Jack Nicklaus, in his final major as an amateur, tied for fourth. Littler became the eighth player to win a U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open title. This U.S. Open also was noteworthy for being the first time since 1940 that Ben Hogan failed to finish in the top 10. He closed with rounds of 73-73 to tie for 14th.
The U.S. Open in the 1960s
Photos from the U.S. Open in the 1960s
25 years ago (1986): Raymond Floyd was 43 when he won at Shinnecock Hills to become the oldest U.S. Open champion, a record that would only last four years. It came two months after Jack Nicklaus won the Masters at age 46. The U.S. Open returned to Shinnecock Hills for the first time in 90 years, and the course put up a strong fight with its vicious wind in the early rounds. Floyd closed with a 66 to rally against Greg Norman, who had the 54-hole lead in every major that year and captured only one of them.
10 years ago (2001): Retief Goosen of South Africa won his first U.S. Open in a major that proved Tiger Woods to be mortal. Woods had just won an unprecedented fourth successive major, but he was no match for Southern Hills in the U.S. Open and he tied for 12th. Goosen won a playoff that should never have been. With a one-shot lead, he missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole, then missed the short par putt and fell into a tie with Mark Brooks. Earlier, Stewart Cink was trying to clear the stage and missed an 18-inch putt that he felt was meaningless. Turns out it cost him a spot in the playoff. Goosen shot 70 to beat Brooks by two shots in the playoff.
5 years ago (2006): Geoff Ogilvy hit a beautiful chip to 6 feet and holed the par putt on the 18th hole for what he figured would be good enough for second place in at Winged Foot. Phil Mickelson had a one-shot lead when he drove into the left rough, struck a tree with his next shot while going for the green, found a plugged lie in the bunker and wound up making double bogey to lose by one shot. Ogilvy closed with a 72 to finish on 5-over 285. He became the first U.S. Open champion since Hale Irwin in 1974 — at Winged Foot — to win without breaking par in any round.
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• Celebrating anniversaries: Revisiting memorable U.S. Open moments that celebrate an anniversary this year.