Here’s a look at three memorable shots from the par-3 17th hole at Pebble Beach during the U.S. Open.
PLAYER: Gary Woodland
THE SHOT: Woodland chips a shot from 90 feet away on the edge of the green that checked about 12 feet from the hole and trickled out to tap-in range for par.
THE SIGNIFICANCE: Brooks Koepka was only two shots back when Woodland lined up his shot and in range for a birdie on No. 18. But Koepka missed his putt and Woodland’s chip helped him avoid bogey and maintain the two-stroke lead heading into 18. “I was just trying to get it down there, trying to get it past the hole so I could be putting back uphill, and it came off perfectly,” Woodland said.
THE OUTCOME: Woodland then drained a 30-foot putt on 18 to win by three strokes at break Tiger Woods’ record set in 2000 for lowest U.S. Open score in six tournaments at Pebble Beach.
PLAYER: Tom Watson
THE SHOT: Watson chipped in from behind the green in the final round.
THE SIGNIFICANCE: Watson had bogeyed the 16th hole to fall into a tie with Jack Nicklaus, who had already signed for a 69. Watson hit his 2-iron just beyond the green to the rough and faced a tough chip to a back pin. His caddie told him to get it close. “Get it close, hell. I’m going to hole it,” Watson said he told him. It popped out softly and was racing toward the cup when it hit the stick and dropped. Nicklaus could only watch from a TV monitor next to the 18th green.
THE OUTCOME: Watson birdied the 18th for a 70 to win by two shots. It was his only U.S. Open victory, and it kept Nicklaus from a record fifth U.S. Open.
PLAYER: Jack Nicklaus
THE SHOT: Nicklaus hit 1-iron in the final round.
THE SIGNIFICANCE: Nicklaus had a two-shot lead facing the 219-yard 17th with the wind in his face. He wasn’t sure he could get 1-iron to the green, but the front bunker would have been OK. Most amazing is that Nicklaus felt his club slightly off line and made an adjustment in the middle of his swing. He flushed it. It took one hop, hit the flagstick and dropped down inches from the cup for a birdie.
THE OUTCOME: Nicklaus closed with a 74 for a three-shot victory and the second leg of the Grand Slam.
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