Tiger Woods' Top 10 U.S. Open Moments: A Fan's Take

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Tiger Woods is one of the greatest professional golfers of all time. In his career, he has claimed 73 wins on the PGA Tour, 14 major championships, and three U.S. Open titles. He is inching his way closer to the records of Jack Nicklaus, who also has 73 PGA Tour wins, 18mMajor championships, and four U.S. Open titles.

Woods played in 16 consecutive U.S. Open Championships, from 1995 to 2010. The following is one fan's list of the top 10 U.S. Open moments in Tiger Woods' career:

10. 1995. First U.S. Open appearance, as the reigning U.S. Amateur champion at age 19. Paired with Ernie Els and Nick Price. Struggled to score, but dazzled with his power and potential. Described by Johnny Miller as "the longest hitter, pound for pound, in the world."

9. 1996. Final appearance as an amateur and first time to make the cut in a U.S. Open. Woods finished 14-over par, tied for 82nd place. Highlighted by a score of 69 in the second round.

8. 1997. First U.S. Open as a professional, following victory at the 1997 Masters (his first major championship). Again able to score below par in the second round, but finished tied for 19th at 6 over-par overall. Ernie Els claimed his second U.S. Open title.

7. 1999. First top-10 finish, third place behind Payne Stewart and Phil Mickelson. This was the second U.S. Open and third major championship for Stewart -- but also his last, as he died in a plane crash later in the year.

6. 2007. Five years since his U.S. Open victory at Bethpage, Woods had an opportunity to force a playoff with a birdie at the 72nd hole. A final par, however, left him tied for second place, one shot behind Angel Cabrera. Tiger came back the following year to win at Torrey Pines.

5. 2011. Tiger did not play in the U.S. Open, due to injury, ending his streak of 16 consecutive appearances and raising questions about his future.

4. 2002. A wire-to-wire win at Bethpage Black. Woods was the only player to finish under-par, finishing three shots ahead of golf Hall of Fame member Phil Mickelson. This was his eighth career major championship.

3. 2000. Perhaps the most dominant performance in the history of the U.S. Open. Woods finished 12-under par at Pebble Beach, an incredible 15 shots ahead of Ernie Els and Miguel Angel Jimenez, who were tied for second place. This victory began the "Tiger Slam," with Woods winning all four majors within 12 months.

2. 2008. Won his third U.S. Open Championship on the 19th playoff hole over Rocco Mediate. Afterward, it was revealed he was playing with broken bones in his leg. This was the 14th and last major championship of Tiger Woods' career.

1. The top moment for Tiger Woods in the U.S. Open Championship, or in any other event until he retires, will always be the anticipation of what is next to come.

Harold Andrews has played golf (competitively and recreationally) for nearly 50 years and considers Jack Nicklaus the greatest golfer of all time.

Sources:

nytimes.com

pgatour.com

usopen.com

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