- Associated Press - Saturday, June 9, 2012

A capsule look at the four previous U.S. Opens held at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, where the 112th U.S. Open will be played June 14-17:

Year: 1998

Winner: Lee Janzen

Score: 280

Runner-up: Payne Stewart

Margin: 1 shot

Earnings: $535,000

Recap: Janzen joined the group of surprise U.S. Open champions at Olympic when he closed with a 68. Janzen was five shots behind going into the final round, and was seven shots out of the lead with two early bogeys. He was headed for another one at the par-4 fifth when his ball lodged in a tree. Janzen was headed back to the tee when it fell out, and he wound up chipping it to save par. Stewart gave up the lead with back-to-back bogeys early on the back nine, and he fell one shot behind with a bogey on the 16th. His 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th to force a playoff broke low of the cup. Stewart became the fourth 54-hole leader at Olympic who failed to win, closing with a 74. Tom Lehman played in the final group at the U.S. Open for the fourth straight year, shot 75 and tied for fifth. The low amateur was Matt Kuchar, who tied for 14th.

Quote: “Lee Janzen shot a 68. No one who was in contention in the golf tournament shot in the 60s today but Lee Janzen. Give him credit.” _ Payne Stewart.

Year: 1987

Winner: Scott Simpson

Score: 277

Runner-up: Tom Watson

Margin: 1 shot

Earnings: $150,000

Recap: Watson felt like he couldn’t break 80 when he arrived at Olympic Club, without a win in three years. He found his game and took a one-shot lead into the final round, then closed with a 70 for a round that would seem good enough to win a U.S. Open. Simpson, however, put together what he called the best round of putting in his life. He made three straight birdie putts starting on the 14th hole that gave him the lead, saved par with a 6-foot putt on the 18th and closed with a 2-under 68. Watson needed a birdie on the final hole to force a playoff, and his 45-footer from just off the green looked good all the way until stopping an inch short. Watson, just like Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan before him, never won another major. Seve Ballesteros was one off the lead until bogeys on the 12th and 13th. He was third, his highest finish in a U.S. Open.

Quote: “To beat Tom is something special. He’s beaten a lot of guys down the stretch over the years and he’s always aggressive. He gave it his best shot. I gave it my best shot. And I was fortunate to win.” _ Scott Simpson.

Year: 1966

Winner: Billy Casper

Score: 278

Runner-up: Arnold Palmer

Margin: Playoff (Casper 69, Palmer 73)

Earnings: $26,500

Recap: With a three-shot lead starting the final round, Palmer went out in 32 and led by seven shots with nine to play. The winner was no longer in doubt. The question was whether Palmer could break Ben Hogan’s record 276 set at Riviera in 1948. That quickly changed, however. Palmer dropped shots on the 10th and 13th, and even when Casper birdied the 15th, he still trailed by three shots with three to play. Casper birdied the 16th as Palmer made bogey, and he caught the King when Palmer made another bogey on the 17th. Palmer shot 39 on the back for a 71 (Casper shot 68) to set up a playoff. Palmer again got off to a fast start and led by two shots at the turn, but a two-shot swing at the 11th sent Palmer into another spiral and he never recovered. Casper shot 69 in the playoff to win by four. Palmer never won another major. The low amateur was a 19-year-old from San Francisco named Johnny Miller.

Quote: “Coming back to top Arnold in 1966 … I would say is something to remember.” _ Billy Casper.

Year: 1955

Winner: Jack Fleck

Score: 287

Runner-up: Ben Hogan

Margin: Playoff (Fleck 69, Hogan 72)

Earnings: $6,000

Recap: Hogan was in the locker room, his knee aching from the 36-hole day that put him at 287, and it looked certain he would win a record fifth U.S. Open. The only player still on the course with a chance was Iowa club pro Jack Fleck, who was two shots behind. Fleck made birdie on the 15th, got through the next two holes with par, and then hit a 7-iron to about 8 feet and holed it for birdie to shoot 67 and force an 18-hole playoff. That was the last thing Hogan and his battered legs needed. In the playoff, Fleck simply was relentless with his putter and accuracy. Hogan holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the eighth, and Fleck matched him from 8 feet. The Iowan rolled in a 25-footer on the ninth and was in control of the playoff all day. Hogan was one shot behind on the 18th when he pulled his tee shot into the rough and took two shots to get back to the fairway. Fleck shot 69 in the playoff to a 72 for Hogan. There were only seven rounds in the 60s all week. Fleck had three of them. Hogan never won another major.

Quote: “Boys, if I win it, I’ll never work at it again. It’s just too tough getting ready for a tournament. This one doggone near killed me.” _ Ben Hogan, sitting in the locker room at Olympic Club as Jack Fleck was on the back nine of the final round.

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