US Open Best Shots

We take a look back through the history of the tournament at some of the greatest shots to be hit during the Major.

US Open Best Shots
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We take a look back through the history of the tournament at some of the greatest shots to be hit during the Major.

US Open Best Shots

As one of the four Major championships on the male golfing calendar, the cream of the crop tends to rise to the top at the US Open. As a result some of the greatest shots to ever be hit have taken place during the tournament so bearing this in mind we have taken a look into the history books to give you the US Open's best shots.

1. Tom Watson, 1982, Pebble Beach

Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson had battled before in the famous Duel In The Sun at the 1977 Open Championship. Watson emerged victorious that time around and he did the same at the 1982 US Open mainly because of one moment of pure genius.

Heading to the tough par-3 17th hole, the pair were tied. Watson then proceeded to hit his tee shot into an impossible spot. Thick rough with barely any green to work with and it also sloped away from him - thats about as tough as it gets. Of course, he decided to hole it and then birdie the last to win by two.

2. Jack Nicklaus, 1972, Pebble Beach

Nicklaus seems to have a good relationship with Pebble Beach. Ten years earlier than Watson's moment of genius, The Golden Bear created one of his own. During the final round Nicklaus had a narrow lead heading to the 17th hole. He pulled a one-iron and hit the flag leaving a tap-in birdie and breathing space heading down the last.

3. Ben Hogan, 1950, Merion

In one of the most iconic golf moments of all time, Hogan needed a par up the last to force a playoff during the 1950 tournament. Like Nicklaus above he hit a sublime 1-iron to 40-feet and then two-putted for par to force a playoff with Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio. Hogan shot 69 the next day to win his 4th Major title.

4. Jerry Pate, 1976, Atlanta

Pate had a one-stroke lead heading down the 18th hole in 1976. After finding the rough and facing a treacherous approach over water, Pate hit a pure five-iron to within a few feet to win his sole Major championship.

5. Payne Stewart, 1999, Pinehurst

Another moment that lives on in the memory, Payne Stewart needed a long par-putt on the 18th to win his first and only Major title. He nailed it and produced a brilliant celebration grabbing his caddie and fist-pumping with his leg outstretched.

6. Larry Nelson, 1983, Oakmont

One of the most forgotten three-time Major winners in golf history, Nelson's 60-foot snaking putt over three-tiers has got to be one of the greatest Major putts ever. He shot 65-67 over the weekend to win by one-stroke.

7. Hale Irwin, 1990, Medinah

Needing to hole a long-putt on the 18th hole to force a playoff with Mike Donald, Irwin's putt snaked and rolled all the way into the cup in an iconic moment in US Open history. Nothing could separate the pair either after the 18 hole playoff but Irwin just managed to get over the line with a birdie on the first sudden death hole.

8. Corey Pavin, 1995, Shinnecock Hills

As most players on Tour will admit, Shinnecock Hills is one of the toughest golf courses on the planet and whenever it hosts a Major championship it gets tougher still. But Corey Pavin, despite not being the longest player on Tour, managed to tame it in 1995.

He had three birdies in the final 10 holes and no bogeys to win by two strokes from Greg Norman, but it was his approach to 18 that lives on in US Open history. With the pressure at its most crippling he pulled a 4-wood and stiffed it to five-feet and the tournament was his.

9. Bobby Jones, 1929, Winged Foot

The iconic golfer needed to make a 12-foot par putt on the 18th hole to force a playoff with Al Espinosa. Downhill with a vicious break from left to right Jones made it and it was a shot legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice described as “the greatest single putt I have ever witnessed.”

10. Tiger Woods, 2008, Torrey Pines

Playing on one leg and needing a birdie down the last, Tiger played a quality wedge to just over 12-feet. Rocco Mediate was already in the clubhouse sitting on his lead but he knew to expect the unexpected with Tiger Woods.

The man in red proceeded to roll the putt in by catching the right edge of the cup and pandemonium broke out on the 18th hole at Torrey Pines. Of course he went on to force a sudden death playoff the next day with another birdie on 18, and he then won that after Mediate found trouble. It was his 14th Major title.

11. Gary Woodland, 2019, Pebble Beach

Heading down the stretch at Pebble Beach Gary Woodland played a stunning wedge shot from the fringe of the 17th green to stone dead to give himself a crucial two-shot lead heading down the last hole.

12. Geoff Ogilvy, 2006, Winged Foot

This is actually two shots. Ogilvy managed to produce two incredible pars on the final two holes to win the tournament by one stroke from Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie. The first came thanks to a chip in on the 17th hole and the second wedge shot was beautifully played to set up a five-foot putt. He holed it and those behind him famously imploded.

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Sam Tremlett
Senior Staff Writer

A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly. 

Working with golf gear and equipment over the last six years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes. 

He combines this knowledge with a passion for helping golfers get the best gear for them, and as such Sam manages a team of writers that look to deliver the most accurate and informative reviews and buying advice. This is so the reader can find exactly what they are looking for.

Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website, whilst he is also responsible for all content related to golf apparel. 

He also oversees all Tour player content as well so if you need to know what clubs Tiger or Rory has in play, Sam is the person to ask. 

Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five. 

Sam's What's In The Bag: 

Driver: Titleist TS3 (9 degrees) 

Fairway Wood: Callaway Paradym (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees) 

Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚ 

Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 

Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond

Shoes: G/FORE Gallivanter/Nike Air Zoom Infinity NEXT%/Cuater The Ringer/adidas Tour 360 22