- Associated Press - Saturday, June 9, 2012

A look at some of the anniversaries this year at the 112th U.S. Open, to be played June 14-17 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco:

100 YEARS AGO (1912)

Winner: John McDermott

Course: Oakland Hills

Score: 294

Runner-up: Tom McNamara

Winner’s share: $300

Recap: John McDermott won for the second straight year by beating a familiar foe in Mike Brady, who was atop the leaderboard after each of the first three rounds. McDermott, three behind going into the final 18 holes, closed with a 71 as Brady stumbled to a 79. McDermott finished at 2-under 294 for a two-shot win over Tom McNamara, who closed with a 69. It was only the second sub-70 score in a U.S. Open, both by McNamara, who shot 69 in the second round in 1909. Brady, who had lost in a three-way playoff to McDermott a year later, eventually returned to Oakland Hills as the head professional. Most notable about this major is that it was the first time the USGA established a par score.


75 YEARS AGO (1937)

Winner: Ralph Guldahl

Course: Oakland Hills

Score: 281

Runner-up: Sam Snead

Winner’s share: $1,000

Recap: Two months after Ralph Guldahl blew a four-shot lead at the Masters, he captured his first major by setting the U.S. Open scoring record for 72 holes. Guldahl was one shot behind Ed Dudley going into the afternoon 18 holes when he closed with a 69 to match the low score of the final round. Guldahl went on to win a major in each of the next two years. The runner-up was another 25-year-old who would go on to greater things, yet the U.S. Open would come back to haunt him. Sam Snead finished two shots behind. Snead, who holds the PGA Tour record with 82 career wins, was runner-up three times in his national open without ever winning.


50 YEARS AGO (1962)

Winner: Jack Nicklaus

Course: Oakmont

Score: 283

Runner-up: Arnold Palmer

Winner’s share: $17,500

Recap: Jack Nicklaus won the first of his record 18 majors and established himself as the man to beat for the next two decades. Making this even more compelling is that he beat Arnold Palmer at Oakmont in front of Palmer’s home crowd. Nicklaus closed with a 69 and got into a playoff at 283 when Palmer missed a 25-foot birdie putt on the last hole. Nicklaus built a quick lead in the playoff, withheld a Palmer charge in the middle and went on to a 71 to win by three shots. Nicklaus had tied for second and tied for fourth the previous two years in the U.S. Open. This one made him the first player since Bobby Jones to hold the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open titles at the same time.


25 YEARS AGO (1987)

Winner: Scott Simpson

Course: The Olympic Club

Score: 278

Runner-up: Tom Watson

Winner’s share: $150,000

Recap: Tom Watson got into the lead with a 65 in the second round, and he had one-shot lead over Scott Simpson going into Sunday. Watson was headed for a second U.S. Open title until Simpson birdied three straight holes starting at the 14th and closed with a 68 to match the low score of the final round. Watson had a 45-foot birdie putt to force a playoff, but it stopped inches short. Watson would go on to win the inaugural Tour Championship later that year. However, keeping with Olympic’s reputation as the “Graveyard of Champions,” he never won another major.


20 YEARS AGO (1992)

Winner: Tom Kite

Course: Pebble Beach

Score: 285

Runner-up: Jeff Sluman

Winner’s share: $275,000

Recap: Tom Kite was the first player to be tagged as the best to have never won a major, and it did not appear that would go away at Pebble Beach when he trailed Gil Morgan by eight shots going into the weekend. Morgan, the first player to reach double figures under par at the U.S. Open, had a spectacular crash along the ocean holes Saturday afternoon. Kite was one behind and, steady as ever in the face of a fierce wind, closed with a 72. He was the only player who did not have a round over par and, at age 42, he finally had his major. Jeff Sluman was the runner-up. In third place was Colin Montgomerie, who finished with a 70. Jack Nicklaus, in the TV booth, all but gave Montgomerie the trophy for being in the clubhouse as the wind became stronger. Montgomerie never did win a major.


10 YEARS AGO (2002)

Winner: Tiger Woods

Course: Bethpage Black

Score: 277

Runner-up: Phil Mickelson

Winner’s share: $1 million

Recap: Tiger Woods captured his second U.S. Open in wire-to-wire fashion, opening with a 67-68 on a public course in Long Island so difficult that a warning sign on the first tee say the Black Course is recommended only for highly skilled players. Woods was in a league of his own back then. He won the Masters with relative ease, and he took a four-shot lead into the final round over Sergio Garcia. It was Phil Mickelson who made a charge, which Woods turned back with a 2-iron onto the green at the par-5 13th to restore his margin. Woods closed with a 72, the first time he had won a major without breaking par in the final round. He became the first player since Jack Nicklaus in 1972 to win the first two majors of the year, though talk of a Grand Slam ended a month later when Woods shot 81 at Muirfield in the third round of the British Open.

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