We go back in time to re-live Tiger's taming of Pebble Beach at the 2000 US Open.
Tiger Woods Wins 2000 US Open By 15 Strokes
It has long been a tournament that protects par as a symbol of its heritage. Considered the toughest Major to win, its chaotic defences are symbolised by penal rough and single-lane fairways. Where the US Open is concerned, the USGA’s order is clear: to find the best golfer on the planet.
Come the third week of June 2000, there could be no clearer definition of that during the 100th instalment of America’s national championship. Indeed, while Tiger Woods tamed the rugged Californian coastline of Pebble Beach, the rest of the field simply played second fiddle for second place. Twelve-under-par played the three-over posted by Miguel Angel Jimenez and Ernie Els – a 15-stroke victory highlighting the gulf between one man and his rivals.
Such was Woods’ form that from the moment he took the lead during the opening round, records were to be his only obstacle. They came thick and fast, including the first player in the event’s history to finish in double figures under par, and a margin of victory that beat the previous Major record of 13 strokes held by Old Tom Morris at the 1862 Open Championship.
Tiger opened the tournament with a 65 that put him into the lead by one-stroke. He was one of the lucky players to complete his entire first round on the Thursday as dense fog resulted in disruption of play.
The next day the conditions worsened and scoring was immensely difficult. The iconic Tiger moment of the day though was his second shot into the long par-5 sixth hole where he hit a seven-iron out of the rough, over the ocean and large tree to 15-feet. He would two putt for birdie. (The shot can be seen on the one-minute mark of the video below).
A couple more birdies followed before his round was disrupted too. He returned to finish on the Saturday and at the culmination of the second-round he had a six shot lead.
Scoring was incredibly difficult for the third-round and Tiger gave the rest of the field hope triple-bogeying the third hole. The wind was severe and rough penal as always but Tiger battled back with several birdies to get back to level-par for the round, and that was how he finished and his lead had stretched to 10 shots.
The final-round seemed a foregone conclusion and as Tiger started with nine pars, it was clear the rest of the field was battling for second. Tiger then birdied 10, 12, 13 and 14 before parring in to post 12-under and win by a colossal 15 shots.
Obviously the difficulty of the course and Tiger’s domination of the tournament is significant but even more so was that it started off Tiger’s complete domination of the Majors. He went on to win The Open, PGA Championship and then the 2001 Masters to have sole ownership of all four.
The 2000 US Open is a momentous moment in Tiger Woods’ and to a greater extent, golf history but we think the last word on Tiger’s performance that week should go to his friend Mark O’Meara who said, “If you were building the perfect golfer you would build Tiger Woods.”
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