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Continued: US OPEN FIVE: Going the distance and then some to win a US Open

  • Article by: DOUG FERGUSON , AP Golf Writer
  • Last update: June 11, 2013 - 3:15 AM

The three-man playoff was set up by Ouimet's 74 in the third round to make up a five-shot deficit, and a 79 in the final round to match Vardon and Ray at 304.

They all went out in 38, and Ouimet took the lead for good on the 10th hole when the British stars both three-putted for bogey. Ouimet gained another stroke on them with a par on the 12th hole, and Vardon birdied the next hole to trail by one.

It came down to Ouimet and Vardon with two holes to play, and the 17th hole proved pivotal. Vardon tried to cut the corner of the dogleg, found a bunker and had to pitch out sideways on his way to a bogey. Ouimet made a birdie putt, and suddenly the lead was three shots going to the final hole.

Ouimet closed with a par for a 72, while Vardon made double bogey for a 77, making the margin look more than it really was. Ray shot 78.

___

2. HOGAN COMPLETES COMEBACK AT MERION

There is a famous photo of Ben Hogan hitting 1-iron into the 18th green at Merion in the 1950 U.S. Open for a par. But his comeback didn't end there. All that did was get Hogan into a three-way playoff with Lloyd Mangrum and Tom Fazio.

Hogan putted so poorly in the final round that he had his brother, Royal, ship a brass putter to Merion. The club arrived before the playoff, but not in time for Hogan to practice with it, so he stuck with his old putter.

Hogan had a one-shot lead through 13 holes of the playoff. Fazio made four bogeys down the stretch and was out of the picture, though Mangrum hung tough. He responded to a bogey on the 14th with a birdie on the next hole to stay one shot behind. On the next hole, everything changed. Mangrum marked his ball so Fazio could finish, and then marked it again to blow a bug off his ball. That was against the rules at the time — for the U.S. Open, players only were allowed to mark the ball if it were in a competitor's line — and Fazio was assessed a two-shot penalty. Hogan closed with a 69 and won by four shots over Mangrum, while Fazio shot 75.

Hogan, in a near-fatal car accident just 16 months earlier, said this U.S. Open meant the most to him because it proved he could still win.

___

1. ON WOUNDED KNEE AT TORREY PINES

Only after Tiger Woods captured the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines did anyone realized how unlikely it was that he even played.

He had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee two days after the Masters to clean out cartilage damage, but did not want to repair ligaments so he could finish out the majors. Two weeks before the U.S. Open, he suffered a double stress fracture in his left leg.

Woods defiantly ignored doctors' advice to rest for six weeks, telling them he was going to play the U.S. Open and "I'm going to win."

It wasn't easy. His knee began to buckle without warning, but Woods played on. He turned a five-shot deficit into a one-shot lead over the last six holes of the third round, including a 70-foot eagle putt on the 13th and a 30-foot eagle putt on the 18th. But he struggled in the final round, and came to the par-5 18th one shot behind Rocco Mediate. Woods missed the fairway, laid up in the rough, and then hit a sand wedge to 12 feet. He made it to force a playoff, one more round on tender legs.

Woods built an early lead on Monday, only for Mediate to rally and take a one-shot lead into the final hole. Woods needed another birdie, and this time reached the green in two for a two-putt birdie to force extra holes. They went to the par-4 seventh, where Mediate found trouble off the tee and on his second shot.

Woods made par to win the U.S. Open. One week later, he had surgery that ended his season. He has not won another major since.

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