1 / 20
Seven shots behind leader Mike Souchak after 54 holes, Arnold Palmer hitched up his pants, took a final drag on his cigarette - and proceeded to blow away the field. He drove the green on the par-4 first hole at Cherry Hills to set up a birdie, then chipped in from 90 feet on the second. A few hours later he had a 65 and his first and only U.S. Open title.
2 / 20
Arnold Palmer couldn't have had more of a home-field advantage if the Open had been played in his living room. Pittsburgh-area Oakmont was the next-best thing: a familiar course filled with fans who couldn't wait to see this upstart Nicklaus kid get his comeuppance against Arnie, their home-grown, five-time major champion. Arnie took the kid to a playoff (or maybe it was the other way around), but in the end, the visiting team won. A great rivalry - and friendship - was born.
3 / 20
The victory of local former caddie Francis Ouimet over Harry Vardon and Ted Ray - two of the biggest stars of the day - in a playoff at Brookline is golf's ultimate underdog story, inspiring a book and a movie. Enjoy the movie, but for the real story, read the book.
4 / 20
If the 1960 U.S. Open was Arnold Palmer's Yorktown, the '66 Open was his Waterloo. Seven shots ahead of playing partner Billy Casper at the turn, Palmer fell apart. After a front-nine 32, he staggered home in 39. Casper, who had gone out in 36, came home in 32 to force a playoff. That result: Casper 69, Palmer 73.
5 / 20
Ben Hogan wasn't supposed to survive his 1949 car accident, in which he and his wife, Valerie, were hit by a bus. Yet here Hogan was, just 16 months later, prevailing in a playoff with Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio. To get to that playoff, Hogan hit one of the most famous shots in golf history - his 1-iron to the 72nd green that set up his closing par.
6 / 20
From his 12-shot win in the 1997 Masters, we already knew Woods was capable of running away from a field. But his 15-shot margin at Pebble Beach defied the imagination. He led by one after 18, six after 36 and 10 after 54. Instead of coasting, he shot 67 in the final round to win by 15.
7 / 20
Jones was already halfway to winning the Amateur and Open championships of the United States and Great Britain when he teed it up in the U.S. Open at Interlachen. A third-round 68 gave him a seven-shot lead on Macdonald Smith, allowing Jones to coast home in 75 for a two-shot win. A U.S. Amateur win later, Jones had what his confidante, writer O.B. Keeler (pictured) called the "Impregnable Quadrilateral."
8 / 20
Tiger Woods had undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left knee after the Masters, and this was his first event since then. But playing on one of his favorite courses, Torrey Pines, he tied Rocco Mediate at the end of regulation. With Woods often grimacing in pain, they tied again in their 18-hole playoff as Woods birdied the final hole. Finally, on the first hole of sudden death, Mediate made bogey to Woods' winning par.
9 / 20
Going to Pebble Beach's 17th hole tied with clubhouse leader Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson pulled his 2-iron into deep rough left of the green. He had a decent lie, though, and when caddie Bruce Edwards urged him to "get it close," Watson replied "Get it close? Hell, I'm going to sink it." Which is what he did, giving himself a one-shot lead, which he doubled with a birdie at 18.
10 / 20
No one had ever shot 63 in a major championship, but that's what Johnny Miller did at Oakmont. A third-round 76 left Miller six back going into the final round, but he hit all 18 greens in regulation and took only 29 putts to win by one shot.
11 / 20
Because of a heat wave in Washington, D.C., doctors advised Ken Venturi against playing the final round at Congressional. But Venturi, who was only two shots off the lead, decided to continue. He was glad he did after shooting 70 for a four-shot win over Tommy Jacobs.
12 / 20
You're Hale Irwin. You've just made a 45-foot putt on the 18th hole to become the leader in the clubhouse at the U.S. Open. So what do you do? Easy - you run a lap around the green- high-fiving spectators every step of the way. That's the enduring image from this championship, which Irwin won in sudden death after an 18-hole playoff with Mike Donald.
13 / 20
Who could forget Phil Mickelson's immortal quote after he blew the U.S. Open by needlessly using a driver on the final hole, watching the ball sail left and bounce off a merchandise tent, on his way to a double bogey? Geoff Ogilvy was the recipient of Phil's generosity, but he's not nearly as memorable.
14 / 20
One of the most misrepresented anecdotes in golf is the snake incident between Lee Trevino and Jack Nicklaus. It happened during their 18-hole playoff, which Trevino would win, 68 to 71. In his golf bag, Trevino had a rubber snake that he had used during a photo shoot before the tournament. He came across it while fumbling for a golf glove, and took it out. Nicklaus asked him to toss it to him. So it wasn't a gag to startle Jack.
15 / 20
Biggest upsets in U.S. Open history? This one is right up there, as journeyman pro Jack Fleck stunned four-time U.S. Open champion Ben Hogan at Olympic, making a birdie on the 72nd hole to get into a playoff, which he won, 69 to 72.
16 / 20
The only hole in Sam Snead's resume? A U.S. Open title. That might have been taken care of early in his career. Snead, who had led after each of the first two rounds, came to the 72nd hole at Philadelphia Country Club needing only a par 5 to win. He thought he needed a birdie, though, and played the hole aggressively. Unfortunately that led to him making an 8 and his Open dream dissolving.
17 / 20
After Johnny Miller's final-round 63 at Oakmont in 1973, the USGA was bound and determined that no one was going to dominate a U.S. Open course again. Or so the story goes, anyway. Whatever the motivation, the result was a Winged Foot course that yielded Hale Irwin's winning score of 7 over par, the second-highest since World War II
18 / 20
The 1984 U.S. Open at Winged Foot came down to an 18-hole playoff between Fuzzy Zoeller and Greg Norman, which Zoeller won, 67 to 75. But the most memorable part of the tournament was the finishing stretch of holes in regulation. With the two tied going to 18, Norman flew his approach into the grandstand. He then managed to save par by holing a 45-foot putt, prompting Zoeller to wave a white towel in mock surrender. Zoeller also parred, setting up the playoff.
19 / 20
"Memorable" doesn't always equate to "good." Oh, Dustin Johnson was plenty good enough, but let's just say the 2016 U.S. Open will not be remembered as the USGA's finest hour. In the final round, leader Johnson was about to putt on the fifth green when he saw his ball move. He called for a rules official, who agreed that DJ had not caused the ball to move. Several holes later, however, Johnson was informed that the matter was still in question, and he might end up being penalized. So not only did DJ not know whether he led by one stroke or was tied, but neither did his pursuers. Fortunately he pulled away and won by three strokes (and yes, he was penalized after the round).
20 / 20
At Pinehurst, Payne Stewart made a 15-foot par putt for a one-shot win over playing partner Phil Mickelson, then immediately sought to console his rival. Taking Mickelson's face in his hands, Stewart reminded Phil that his wife Amy was about to deliver the couple's first child. "There's nothing like being a father," Stewart said. Tragically, Stewart died in a plane crash just a few months later.