With the U.S. Open returning to Pebble Beach Golf Links this week, we look back at 10 memorable moments in the history of tournament play at the famed seaside links:
1. Watson’s chip-in at the 17th
Jack Nicklaus mounts one of his famed charges in the final round of the 1982 U.S. Open, with five consecutive birdies on the front nine.
With a bogey at the 16th, Tom Watson falls into a tie for the lead with Nicklaus, the leader in the clubhouse.
After hooking a 2-iron left of the 17th green, Watson is vulnerable with Nicklaus poised to win his fifth U.S. Open title. But that’s when Watson pulls off one of the great escapes in U.S. Open history. From the deep rough left of the green, Watson holes his chip and goes on to win his only U.S. Open title.
2. Nicklaus’ 1-iron off the flagstick
With the wind howling in his face at the 17th tee in the final round of the first U.S. Open played at Pebble Beach, Nicklaus puts the finishing touch on his title in 1972, bouncing a 1-iron off the flagstick, leaving him just a foot from the hole to set up birdie and his victory.
3. Kite’s chip-in at No. 7
With the winds whipping 40 mph in the final round of the U.S. Open in 1992, Colin Montgomerie looks like he’ll win getting to the clubhouse at even-par 288. Even Nicklaus thinks as much in the television booth with ABC, proclaiming Montgomerie the victor. Kite, though, holes a chip from deep rough left of the seventh green for birdie and steadily marches to an even-par 72 for a two-shot victory.
4. Woods’ muscled 7-iron at No. 6
In what may have been his best shot all week at the 2000 U.S. Open, Tiger Woods muscles a 7-iron more than 200 yards from the deep rough at the sixth hole, reaching the par 5 in two to set up birdie. It was just the second round, but the extraordinary nature of the escape showed fellow Tour pros that nothing was going to stop Woods on his march to a record 15-shot victory.
5. Woods’ hole-out for eagle in miracle comeback
Amid a remarkable charge, Woods holes out with a wedge from 97 yards for eagle in the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in 2000. The shot helps him come from seven shots behind Matt Gogel with seven holes to play and win. This is four months before Woods wins the U.S. Open by 15 shots at Pebble Beach.
6. Jones’ birdie putt stops short
Bobby Jones, vying to become the first player to win three consecutive U.S. Amateurs, ties the course record the first time he tees it up at Pebble Beach in a practice round before the 1929 U.S. Amateur. He breaks the course record in another practice round. But at the final hole in his opening match, Jones leaves a birdie putt short and Johnny Goodman beats him 1-up in an upset that shocks the golf world.
7. Jack soaks in the grandeur
In a delay in play at the 18th tee before his final tee shot in his final U.S. Open, Jack Nicklaus sits on the wooden fence and gazes into Carmel Bay. It’s a poignant moment full of magic for the four-time U.S. Open winner at his favorite golf course. He would go on to reach the final green in two with a 3-wood from 261 yards. Wiping away tears in his eyes at the 18th green, he can barely see to putt and makes par in his final hole.
8. Miller’s fabulous two-putt
At 46, with a wretched putting stroke marred by the yips, Johnny Miller two-putts from 20 feet at the final hole to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in 1994, the last of his 25 PGA Tour titles. He also becomes the first player to win the event in three different decades.
9. Dr. Gil’s double-digit failure
With a birdie at the third hole in the third round in 1992, Gil Morgan becomes the first player to reach double digits under par in a U.S. Open. He is 12 under by the time he reaches the eighth tee and the winds grow malevolent off Carmel Bay. He would play the rest of the championship in 17 over par with Kite passing him on the way to victory.
10. Hale Irwin’s remarkable ricochet
Trailing by a shot at the 72nd hole of the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am in 1984, Hale Irwin hooks his final tee shot left and toward the ocean. His ball strikes the rocks on the shoreline and ricochets back into the fairway. Irwin goes on to make birdie, then beats Jim Nelford in a playoff.