His putt bumped along and caught the right edge of the cup, dropping for birdie to force a Monday playoff against Mediate.
Woods again fell behind in the playoff, and he had to two-putt for birdie on the 18th to extend the playoff. On the first extra hole, Mediate ran into trouble off the tee at No. 7 and Woods won with a par. It was his 14th major championship, and his seventh win at Torrey Pines.
Two days later, Woods had reconstructive surgery on his left knee and was out the rest of the year.
2. A CHIP THAT WAS ANYTHING BUT ELEMENTARY
Jack Nicklaus was going for a fifth U.S. Open title at Pebble Beach, where he won the Open in 1972 that was remembered for his 1-iron that struck the pin on the 17th. The same hole proved pivotal 10 years later, only for Tom Watson.
The final round turned into a duel between Nicklaus and Watson, and Nicklaus was in the clubhouse at 4-under 284. Watson had a one-shot lead until he three-putted the 16th hole from about 70 week to fall back into a tie. Then, Watson slightly pulled a 2-iron on the par-3 17th and went just over the back of the green. It looked to be impossible. The ball was nestled in thick grass, but the pin was toward the back of a green that ran away from him.
Watson needed a par so that he could go to the par-5 18th with a chance to force a playoff, or perhaps win with a birdie. His caddie, Bruce Edwards, urged him to get the chip close. Watson had other ideas. "To hell with getting it close," he replied. "I'm going to make it."
The shot came off perfectly, ran into the pin and dropped for a birdie. Watson needed only to par the 18th to win his first U.S. Open, and he made birdie to win by two.
1. PERFECTION AT PEBBLE BEACH
Mark O'Meara and Paul Goydos played practice rounds with Tiger Woods at Pebble Beach in 2000, and both knew what was coming.
O'Meara told his wife that it didn't matter how well he played because Woods was going to win, "and not only is he going to win, he's going to blow away the field." Goydos saw two reporters behind the 18th green on Tuesday and said the tournament ended that day. "He's going to win by 10."
He was wrong. Woods won by 15.
Not only was it a record margin in 140 years of major championships, it was as close to perfection as golf allows in a U.S. Open. Woods opened with a 65, the lowest score ever at Pebble in a U.S. Open. After two rounds, he stretched his lead to six shots, and to 10 shots after 54 holes. Both were U.S. Open records. As Goydos had predicted earlier in the week, Woods only needed to stay upright to win.
So dominant was his performance that he didn't make a bogey over the final 26 holes. He finished on 12-under par — the first player to finish at double figures under par in U.S. Open history. No one else finished under par that week, leading Thomas Bjorn to say years later, "It was literally perfection. I don't think we've ever seen anything like it before, and I find it difficult to believe we'll ever find anybody doing it again."
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