A Quick Nine: Best U.S. Open moments

Tiger Woods, U.S. Open
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Not many U.S. Open moments are better than when Tiger Woods holed a birdie putt on the 72nd hole at Torrey Pines in 2008 to force a Monday playoff with Rocco Mediate.
By T.J. Auclair, Senior Interactive Producer
PGA.com
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Series: A Quick Nine

The U.S. Open is often regarded as the most difficult tournament in the world to win.

Because of that, there seems to be dramatic twists in the tournament every time it’s played. Don't expect anything different this week at Merion.

But before the players descend on the Ardmore, Pa., gem, we asked our friends in PGA.com Facebook Nation to share their best U.S. Open moments.

Here's a look at some of the top answers we received:

9. 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional. Rory McIlroy won the tournament by an amazing eight shots to claim his first major championship. Even more impressive was the fact that this was McIlroy's first major start since blowing a final-round lead at the Masters.

Facebook fan quote:

"Rory's record-setting week at Congressional was pretty nice after his collapse at Augusta." -- Andrew Workman

8. 1950 U.S. Open at Merion. Forever known as, "The Miracle at Merion," the legendary Ben Hogan won the second of his four U.S. Open titles in an 18-hole playoff over Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio, just 16 months after being severely injured in an automobile accident.

Facebook fan quote:

"Hogan at Merion in 1950. Game over." -- Brent Davis

7. 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Tom Watson's miraculous chip-in from behind the par-3 17th green for birdie all but locked up the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain's lone U.S. Open victory.

Facebook fan quote:

"Tom's chip greatest shot ever." -- Matthew Mullings

6. 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont. Johnny Miller fired an 8-under 63 in the final round -- still the greatest score in U.S. Open history -- to capture his first U.S. Open.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Miller's 63." -- Michael L Brewer

"Miller's 63 at Oakmont -- awesome." -- John Nagla

5. 1990 U.S. Open at Medinah. Hale Irwin, playing well ahead of the leaders in the final round, holed a 45-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole for a 67. After the putt dropped, Irwin took a lap around the green high-fiving anyone in sight. The putt eventually proved enough to earn Irwin a spot in an 18-hole Monday playoff with Mike Donald, which Irwin won.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Hale Irwin draining a bomb to force a Monday 18-hole playoff!" -- Jon Bridges

"What able Hale Irwin at the 72nd at Medinah in 1990. High fives all around!" -- Steve Medema

4. 1964 U.S. Open at Congressional. Ken Venturi, suffering from dehydration due to intense heat, was advised by doctors to withdraw from the tournament. Venturi ignored the doctor's and played on, defeating Tommy Jacobs by four shots for his lone major win.

Facebook fan quote:

"Ken Venturi, 1964, 36 holes in 100 degree heat and humidity 64-70. Growing up in Bethesda, I was 13 and remember watching Mr. Venturi, moving very slowly and in an apparent daze, yet he was hitting the ball so well, the rumors were in the second round he was hitting out of the same divots he had taken in the morning round." -- Ed White

3. 1960 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills. Arnold Palmer completed the greatest comeback in U.S. Open history, overcoming a seven-shot deficit in the final round to earn his lone U.S. Open victory.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Arnie's comeback at Cherry Hills." -- Michael Broadwater

"Arnie's charge at Cherry Hills! What a comeback round under pressure!" -- Beverly Marks Capps

2. 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. This was one for the ages. Tiger Woods, virtually playing on one leg, defeated Rocco Mediate in an incredible back-and-forth battle that took 91 holes to decide.

Facebook fan quotes:

"No question. Tiger Woods with a broken leg beats the entire field, winning in 91 holes!" -- Will Harrel

"The Tiger-Rocco playoff. Unbelievable golf." -- Mason Kimont

"Oh... by far the most exciting, tense, amazing and inconceivable victory pulled off by Tiger at Torrey Pines. That two-day span, Sunday afternoon into Monday, was absolutely awesome to have witnessed. That final putt on 18 to seal his playoff berth has to be one of the greatest pressure putts in the history of the game. The place erupted. Wow." -- Jm Sahr

"2008 Torrey...Think of everyone you've ever played with who've complained about conditions, back pain, problems at work, problems at home, problems in life, the wind, bad greens... Then re-watch that no excuse tournament of David and Goliath take it to 19 more holes on a Monday." -- James Jordan

1. 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst. Payne Stewart, in the pouring rain, defeated Phil Mickelson in what will always be Stewart's signature victory. Unfortunately, Stewart tragically passed away months after his win, but no one will ever forget his grace and the way he treated Mickelson after the victory. It was a special moment in golf history.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Payne Stewart at Pinehurst. The way he looked and what he said to Phil was total class! Missing Payne." -- Ed Rinehart

"Payne Stewart, hands down. He understood the U.S. Open better than any other and it showed as he led more open rounds than all players ever. The epic battle at Pinehurst is still the best, as he beat Phil, Tiger, and Vijay down the stretch and knew that on 18 after driving it in the deep Open rough, the prudent move was to wedge it back into play and not try the miracle shot (Take note Phil!). The putt was one for the ages and then the interaction with Phil after was the icing on a most beautiful cake. Payne exemplifies all that is great about golf and is sorely missed today!" -- Michael Morgan

"Payne Stewart with his cut off sleeves in the mist at Pinehurst in 1999." -- Arthur Kelsch

 

 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.