- Associated Press - Friday, June 10, 2016

A capsule look at key anniversaries in U.S. Open history:

100 years ago (1916): In the final U.S. Open before a two-year hiatus because of World War I, Chick Evans made it a historic one at Minkahda Club in Minneapolis. He broke the 36-hole scoring record at 139 (70-69) to build a three-shot lead, and he closed with rounds of 74-73 to set a U.S. Open scoring record at 286 that stood until Gene Sarazen matched it 1932 and Tony Manero broke it in 1936. Evans became the third amateur in four years to win the U.S. Open. Three months later, he won the U.S. Amateur to become the first to win both titles in the same year. It was the last time the U.S. Open was scheduled over two days.


75 years ago (1941): Two months after hard-luck Craig Woods won the Masters, he made it two straight majors with a three-shot victory over Denny Shute at Colonial. Wood exacted a small measure of revenge over Shute, who had beaten him in a playoff at St. Andrews eight years earlier. Woods was in a four-way tie for the lead through 36 holes and closed with 70-70. Only Ben Hogan (68-70) was better over the final two rounds. This was the last U.S. Open before it was postponed four years because of World War II. The field included 15-year-old Tyrrell Garth, who opened with and 80 and then withdrew. He was the youngest to play the U.S. Open until Tadd Fujikawa in 2006.


50 years ago (1966): In one of the greatest collapses in a major, Arnold Palmer had a seven-shot lead with nine holes to play at Olympic Club. The winner no longer seemed to be in doubt. The question was whether Palmer could break Ben Hogan’s record 276 set at Riviera in 1948. But then Palmer dropped shots on the 10th and 13th holes. Billy Casper made birdie on the 15th, but still trailed by three with three to play. Casper’s birdie and Palmer’s bogey on the 16th reduced the margin to one, and Casper caught him when Palmer made bogey on the 17th. They finished at 278, and Casper beat him, 69 to 73, in the playoff. Palmer never won another major. The low amateur was a 19-year-old from San Francisco named Johnny Miller.


25 years ago (1991): Payne Stewart won his first U.S. Open with plenty of help from Scott Simpson at Hazeltine. Simpson had a two-shot lead with three holes to play until bogeys on the 16th and 18th holes. Both closed with a 72 and finished at 282. Stewart made only one birdie in the playoff, but it came at the right time, leading to a two-shot swing on the 16th that had them tied with two holes to play. Simpson hit into the water and made bogey on the 17th, and Stewart’s par on the closing hole gave him a 75 for a two-shot victory. It was the highest score to win an 18-hole playoff in the U.S. Open since Tommy Armour (76) at Oakmont in 1927. The week was marred when a spectator was killed by lightning in the opening round. Phil Mickelson was low amateur for the second straight year.


20 years ago (1996): Steve Jones, nearly five years after he was badly injured in a dirt bike accident, became the first U.S. Open champion in 20 years to go through sectional qualifying. He closed with a 69 at Oakland Hills for his only major. This was remembered as much for who didn’t win. Davis Love III made bogey on the final two holes, missing a 3-footer to three-putt the final hole. Tom Lehman, who started the final round with a one-shot lead, was tied with Jones when his tee shot took a curiously hard bounce to the left and went into a bunker, leaving him no chance to reach the green. Jones hit 7-iron to 12 feet and two-putted for par and a one-shot victory.


10 years ago (2006): Phil Mickelson never had a better chance to win the U.S. Open. Geoff Ogilvy walked away with the title at Winged Foot, thanks to a chip-in for par on the 17th and a 6-foot par on the 18th that he figured would be worth second place. Mickelson had a one-shot lead on the 18th tee when his drive clattered off a corporate tent. Instead of playing out to the fairway, he went for the green with a 3-iron and struck another tree. The next shot plugged in a bunker, and Mickelson made double bogey to finish one shot behind. Mickelson wasn’t alone in his misery. Colin Montgomerie chunked a 7-iron from the 18th fairway and made bogey. Jim Furyk missed a 5-foot par putt on the last hole. They also finished one shot behind.

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