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How long has it been? Looking back at 7 memorable U.S. Open milestones

payne stewart at the 1999 us open.

How long has it been? Jump in the U.S. Open time machine to revisit a few of the championship’s most memorable milestones.

Almost a year ago…

Lest we forget, it was only nine months ago that Bryson DeChambeau steam-rolled his way to a six-stroke victory at Winged Foot. His bombing and gouging still have ripple effects, with many golfers attempting to follow in his power-hungry footsteps.

10 years ago…

It’s been a decade since Rory McIlroy dominated the U.S. Open field at Congressional (–16). It was also the year he collapsed at the Masters with a final-round 80. Rory missed the cut at Augusta this year. Maybe a good omen for Torrey?

15 years ago…

Hard to believe, but it’s been that long since Phil Mickelson uttered, “I’m such an idiot,” in reference to blowing what coulda shoulda been his first U.S. Open victory. Lefty hit driver on the 72nd hole at Winged Foot into a merch tent en route to a double bogey. Had he simply parred the hole, he would’ve beaten Geoff Ogilvy by a stroke.

22 years ago…

Payne Stewart drained a 15-foot par putt to win the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in epic fashion. His emphatic punch pose is now memorialized in statue form near the 18th hole. It was a mere four months before a plane crash took his life at age 42.

48 years ago…

Since perfection in Pennsylvania. Johnny Miller won the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont from six strokes back by shooting a final-round 63 — he hit all 18 greens and took only 29 putts. Had he not lipped out on the last hole, it could have been a 62.

59 years ago…

Jack Nicklaus’ first professional victory was a huge one — the 1962 Open at Oakmont. Nicklaus held off local favorite and ever-popular Arnold Palmer by three shots in an 18-hole playoff. To many (maybe not Arnie’s Army), it signaled a new era and a passing of the torch from The King to The Golden Bear.

71 year ago…

Since the most iconic fairway shot ever hit. A year and a half after suffering multiple injuries sustained in a car crash, Ben Hogan hit a 1-iron approach on the final hole at Merion that wasn’t just a tremendous shot — it marked a triumphant comeback for arguably one of the most fascinating golfers of all time.

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