Winged Foot’s US Open historical past means loads of 2020 intrigue


PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Tickets are already on sale for the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Membership in Mamaroneck, and so they most likely received’t final lengthy.

By the point subsequent June rolls round subsequent yr, it figures to be a wide-open match with gamers producing their very own rooting pursuits with an abundance of storylines.

Gary Woodland, a well-liked winner Sunday at Pebble Seashore, will likely be defending his championship, whereas Brooks Koepka will likely be going for who is aware of what number of main championships by then.

Phil Mickelson will likely be returning to the scene of his 2006 nightmare 18th gap and attempt to exchange these recollections along with his first U.S. Open Championship the week he turns 50.

We are able to cross our fingers and hope Tiger Woods’ well being holds up so as to add to the intrigue, and maybe the USGA will likely be seeking to get a little bit of revenge after all of the low scoring at Pebble Seashore, the place Woodland received at 13-under par.

Solely one of many earlier 5 U.S. Opens at Winged Foot have completed with the winner underneath par. And whereas it is probably not a rerun of “The Bloodbath at Winged Foot” in 1974, Winged Foot might be brutal.

Right here’s a take a look at the earlier 5 U.S. Opens performed on the historic West Course.

1929: The nice Bobby Jones received the primary U.S. Open performed at Winged Foot. He defeated Al Espinosa within the outdated 36-hole playoff format by 23 strokes. Jones shot 69-75-71 within the first three rounds, however wanted to gap a 12-foot putt on the 18th gap within the fourth spherical to power the playoff. Jones shot 72 within the morning portion of the playoff to take a 12-shot lead. He would comply with with a 69 within the afternoon whereas Espinosa ballooned to 80. It was the third U.S. Open title for Jones. He would repeat a yr later and win the grand slam.

1959: Billy Casper received the primary of his two U.S. Opens, ending one stroke higher than Bob Rosburg. Casper started the ultimate spherical three strokes forward of Ben Hogan. The flat stick labored for Casper, who rode a sizzling putter to victory with 114 putts over 72 holes and only one three-putt. This was the primary U.S. Open to be performed over 4 days as thunderstorms delayed the third spherical on Saturday morning and the ultimate spherical usually within the afternoon was postponed to a Sunday end, one thing that didn’t change into routine till 1965. Charlie Sifford, the legendary African-American pioneer, performed his first main on this match, whereas an newbie Jack Nicklaus missed the lower.

1974: Dick Schapp coined the 74th U.S. Open the “Bloodbath at Winged Foot,” due to the treacherous circumstances underneath which the match was performed. Hale Irwin captured the primary of his three U.S. Open titles with a rating of 7-over 287. Tom Watson was the 54-hole chief however struggled to a 9-over 79 on the ultimate day. Not a single participant broke par within the first spherical and there have been simply seven sub-par rounds recorded over the 4 days. The USGA got here underneath hearth for making the course too troublesome after Johnny Miller had shot a record-breaking 63 to win at Oakmont the earlier yr.

1984: Fuzzy Zoeller defeated Greg Norman in an 18-hole playoff to seize his second main championship. After each completed regulation at 4-under, Norman double-bogeyed the second gap of the playoff whereas Zoeller made birdie to take a fast three-stroke benefit he by no means surrendered. Zoeller finally completed eight photographs higher than Norman and his 67 was the bottom spherical ever recorded in a U.S. Open playoff. Arnold Palmer didn’t qualify for the match, ending a streak of 31 consecutive U.S. Open appearances.

2006: Phil Mickelson held a one-stroke lead on the 18th gap, however after his drive hit a hospitality tent and his second shot hit a tree, Mickelson wound up with a double bogey and Geoff Ogilvy claimed his solely main championship. Colin Montgomerie additionally had an opportunity to win his first main, however took double-bogey on the ultimate gap. Each participant completed over par for the primary time in a U.S. Open since 1978.