3. JACK NICKLAUS AT PEBBLE BEACH
If not for the famous photo of Ben Hogan at Merion, what Jack Nicklaus did in 1972 at Pebble Beach might be the most memorable 1-iron struck in U.S. Open history.
Because it struck the flag.
Nicklaus was never out of the lead after every round that week at Pebble, and in the tough wind off the Monterey Peninsula, his 72 in the third round gave him the outright lead. He was comfortably ahead going to the par-3 17th, though it was no picnic. The wind was ripping hard into his face. Nicklaus pulled out his 1-iron and would have been content to be in the front bunker.
Here's where the shot is even more amazing — Nicklaus had to make an adjustment in the middle of his swing because he felt the club slight off line.
It struck the flag, and Nicklaus went on to a 74 for a three-shot win and his third U.S. Open title.
"The shot I performed, I don't think I could ever do again," he said later.
2. BEN HOGAN AT MERION
Sixteen months after the car accident that nearly killed him, Ben Hogan was on the cusp of an amazing comeback. He was in control of the final round in the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion. He was two shots ahead when he three-putted the 15th for a bogey, and then found a bunker off the tee on the par-3 17th and failed to save par.
Suddenly, he was tied for the lead with Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio, who already had finished the final round. He would need a par on the tough 18th just to join them. The final day was 36 holes, and Hogan hit such a good drive in the morning third round that he needed only a 6-iron. But with his legs battered and swollen on his 36th hole of the day, his tee shot couldn't catch the slope of the hill, leaving him about 213 yards.
He was between a 4-wood and a 1-iron, and he went with the 1-iron.
Hogan reached the green, about 40 feet away, and two-putted for par to get into the playoff. He won the next day.
What makes the shot so famous was Hy Peskin, a photographer for Life magazine, who positioned himself behind Hogan and captured the iconic pose.
"I knew as I shot it, I had something really terrific," Peskin later told Golf Digest.
1. IRON BYRON WINS HIS ONLY U.S. OPEN
|Miami - LP: T. Koehler||5||FINAL|
|Washington - WP: M. Scherzer||7|
|Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter||13||FINAL|
|Colorado - LP: T. Matzek||7|
|San Diego||9||Bottom 9th Inning|
|Cincinnati - M. Leake||6:05 PM|
|Pittsburgh - G. Cole|
|NY Yankees - C. Sabathia||6:07 PM|
|Toronto - M. Buehrle|
|Philadelphia - J. Williams||6:10 PM|
|Atlanta - M. Foltynewicz|
|Baltimore - U. Jimenez||6:10 PM|
|NY Mets - J. deGrom|
|Arizona - R. Ray||6:10 PM|
|Colorado - J. Lyles|
|Tampa Bay - A. Colome||6:10 PM|
|Boston - J. Masterson|
|Los Angeles - J. Wieland||7:10 PM|
|Milwaukee - W. Peralta|
|Cleveland - C. Carrasco||7:10 PM|
|Kansas City - D. Duffy|
|Detroit - A. Simon||7:10 PM|
|Chicago WSox - C. Sale|
|Oakland - S. Kazmir||7:10 PM|
|Minnesota - K. Gibson|
|Texas - C. Lewis||7:10 PM|
|Houston - S. Deduno|
|Chicago Cubs - J. Lester||7:15 PM|
|St. Louis - L. Lynn|
|Seattle - R. Elias||9:05 PM|
|LA Angels - C. Wilson|
|LA Clippers||8:30 PM|
|NY Rangers||6:30 PM|
|Los Angeles||8:30 PM|
|Real Salt Lake|