A local golf pro reminisces about a memorable U.S. Open victory.
On June 12, Erin Hills in Erin, Wisconsin will welcome the world’s top golfers as they compete in the 117th U.S. Open Championship through June 18. This notable competition has been held each year since 1895, but this will be the first time a Wisconsin course has been chosen as a hosting site. Of the 51 courses to date that hold the distinction of being a U.S. Open site, Erin Hills will be the sixth public access course.
Local golf expert Brad Brewer describes a memorable U.S. Open victory that many golfers and golf fans in Orlando hold close. In his own words, Brewer says:
Heading into the final round of the 1960 U.S. Open, Arnold Palmer was seven shots back from the lead, tied for 15th place. Anybody counting him out was proven wrong, as Palmer finished with a six-under 65 on the day, beating 20-year-old amateur Jack Nicklaus by two strokes.
It was the only U.S. Open victory in Palmer’s career and has been widely considered the greatest comeback in the tournament’s history. Having won the Masters earlier that year, Palmer was halfway to the single-season Grand Slam.
Palmer’s triumph at the 1960 U.S. Open, which was held at Cherry Hills Country Club in Colorado, was the signature victory of his career because of the way it epitomized him stylistically. He had no realistic chance of coming out on top at the tournament, given that he was a seemingly insurmountable seven strokes off the lead going into the final round.
But rather than wilting before this challenge, he rose to it, firing a stunning 65 that helped him climb past 14 other competitors to win his only U.S. Open title.
Not only did the area’s most-loved professional golfer earn the title that year but the impressive win was a lesson in never giving up.