Tiger Woods: Complete Guide to Tiger's US Open History
The U.S. Open has produced some of the greatest moments of Tiger Woods' career.
He's held the trophy on three different occasions, winning in three very different ways. Even in non-victory years, Woods has put together moments that are tough to get (see second round 2003 U.S. Open).
Still, there have been lulls and plenty of disappointments to speak of by Woods in this championship. From runner-up finishes all the way to missed cuts, these disappointments are as much a part of Woods' U.S. Open experience as his victories.
Therefore, it seems necessary to recap all of Woods' U.S. Opens.
One by one, in chronological order, here are all 16 of Tiger Woods' U.S. Open performances.
In his first round ever at a U.S. Open, Woods put together a respectable 74.
But he wouldn't go much further.
The rough at Shinnecock Hills took Woods out of the tournament, literally.
On the third hole of his second round, Woods played a wedge out of the thick stuff only to feel something tweak in his wrist. Gamely playing on, Woods tried to make it last.
But another shot out of the rough on five only aggravated the injury further, and by the time Woods hit his tee shot on six, he decided to withdraw.
It was a disappointing end to his first U.S. Open, but with time on his side, there would be plenty more to come.
The young amateur from California started out hot at the 1996 edition of the U.S. Open at Oakland Hills.
Woods holed out from 80 yards for a birdie early on in the round and kept it going from there. By the time he reached the 14th tee, Woods was three-under-par and tied for the lead.
That's when it all fell apart.
Three bogeys, one double and one quad in the last five holes sent the 20-year-old reeling to an opening-round 76.
It was Woods' first taste of the pressure of the Open and how much each shot was magnified at such a demanding tournament.
The next day, he carded a 69 to make the cut and he eventually finished in 82nd place, far off the winning score.
When he got in the lead in an Open again though he would have this experience to learn from and know that staying up there is far from a guarantee.
Fresh off his 12-shot victory at the Masters, Woods set out to grab the second leg of the grand slam at Congressional.
For many this would be just a mere formality on his march to the Grand Slam. But Woods showed that he was human.
The Masters champion came out of the gate with a mediocre 74, falling behind right away.
A second-round 67 got Woods back in the tournament but weekend rounds of 72 and 73 pushed him out of the running and into a T19 finish.
This tournament was one of Woods' most boring in his U.S. Open history. He didn't play well, but he didn't play incredibly poorly.
It was important though, it did show that Woods wasn't unbeatable and that winning a second major would not be so easy.
Woods' first encounter with Olympic was rather uninteresting.
A first-round of 74 was followed by three rounds with scores between 71 and 73. Woods finished just one spot better than in the year's previous Open.
It was just one of those weeks where nothing came together, but nothing fell apart.
After two lackluster tries as an amateur and pro apiece, Woods finally gave himself a shot at a U.S. Open title in 1999.
Just two off the lead heading into the final round, the 23-year-old was in fantastic position to storm to his second major title.
He certainly brought the firepower. He did little early on, but with two big birdies on 14 and 16, Woods crept to within one of the lead going into the two final holes.
As close as ever to that long-awaited second major title, Woods suddenly and shockingly faltered. A pulled tee shot on 17 left him scrambling for par that he couldn't convert when he lipped out a four-footer minutes later.
The agonizing pull left Woods two back and needing a birdie at 18 to have any chance at forcing a playoff. He did reach the green in regulation and gave himself a decent 25-foot chance for that much-needed three, but the ball slid just over the left edge of the cup as Woods sunk in agony.
A third place finish ensued but Woods' winless streak at the Open would not last beyond the 20th century.
A simply amazing performance from Tiger Woods, the greatest he has ever fashioned.
Off the tee his drives were long and straight, from the fairways his irons were pure and on the bumpy Pebble Beach greens Woods' stroke was completely smooth.
Woods played at a different level that week, romping to a victory margin of 15 strokes and producing quite possibly the most dominating golfing performance in the sport's history.
As much as people want to a season like 2000 and a tournament like he had that week at Pebble, it will never happen again.
Coming into the 2001 U.S. Open at Southern Hills, Tiger Woods had completed his own version of the Grand Slam by winning four consecutive majors from the previous year's U.S. Open to that year's Masters.
Was a fifth win in as many majors inevitable?
Not exactly. Southern Hills turned out to be a horrible fit for Woods' game (at least this time around) and he was never in contention after an opening 74.
He eventually backed his way into a T12 finish, but this was all together a very forgettable tournament for the then six-time major champion.
The Open, for the first time, came to a municipal golf course in 2002 and Woods seized the opportunity.
Right from the start, Woods and Bethpage Black fit perfectly. Opening rounds of 67 and 68 gave Woods a halfway lead of three shots, the same margin he would finish with two days later when he held the U.S. Open trophy.
This victory capped off an incredible run where Woods won seven majors in 11 attempts. It was also the first time he captured the first two legs of the Grand Slam.
Little did he know that it would be almost another three years before he won another major championship.
It was business as usual for Woods in 2003, except in the majors.
Despite winning five PGA Tour tournaments that year, he did not win a single major for the first time since 1998 (when he was in the middle of a swing change).
It looked like he might have a shot at the U.S. Open through two rounds.
Woods followed a solid opening-round 70 with a stellar 66 in round two that included some classic Tiger shots and was just three strokes off of Jim Furyk's lead heading into Saturday.
But the eight-time major champion faded on the weekend, shooting rounds of 75 and 72 to fall to T20 position.
While Woods did show flashes of brilliance in round two, it was far from enough to overcome the lack of any spark on the other three days.
The dreaded Open at Shinnecock Hills in 2004 seemed to torture everyone, and Woods was no exception.
The man who had gone winless in his last seven majors never came close to breaking the streak at Shinnecock.
Opening rounds of 72 and 69 weren't terrible but they left Woods seven back and needing a massive weekend charge to get the victory.
Instead, he went in the other direction.
Shinnecock's overtly dry and firm conditions outmatched Woods, forcing him to a 73 on day three and a closing 76 on Sunday.
He did indeed improve three spots from the year before by nabbing a T17 placing, but that certainly didn't make Woods feel any better.
Woods improved one spot in the second go round at Pinehurst but it didn't get him quite what he wanted.
This was a tournament that, going into the final round, Woods didn't look destined to win. He was lurking the whole week, but six shots back of Retief Goosen (a two-time U.S. Open champion) with 18 holes didn't seem like a hole he could dig himself out of.
Goosen helped open the door though with his collapse, and with only Michael Campbell left in the way, the tournament appeared to be Woods'.
Campbell didn't give an inch though, Woods got as close as one after three birdies on his first six holes of the back nine, but with back-to-back bogeys on 16 and 17 his charge all but came to an end.
It was his second runner-up finish ever at a major and another close call at Pinehurst.
The first event after the death of his father, Woods clearly wasn't ready to return to competitive golf.
Having to take on the monster that is Winged Foot, the world No. 1 and his game went completely sour.
On the first day, Woods started bogey, bogey, bogey and that basically spelled the end for him.
A Thursday 76 got him well behind the eight-ball and the same score on Friday meant he would miss the cut in a major for the first time ever in his pro career.
Woods just didn't have anything that week. His driver was extremely wild (he hit 25 percent of his fairways) and his putter completely faltered as well.
Overall though, it was mind that was the problem. He wasn't mentally there.
It took a little longer to recover from his father's death than he first thought, but once he did, 2006 would turn into one of his great years on the golf course ever.
After failing to close out his 13th major title at Augusta in April, Woods has another great chance to do so just two months later.
At the U.S. Open at Oakmont, Woods shot opening rounds of 71 and 74 to put himself within striking distance of the leaders.
Then on Saturday, he really pounced. As almost everyone moved back, Woods fashioned one of the easiest 69s you will ever see, hitting 17 greens and generally never giving himself any work for par.
He was two back heading into Sunday and in the final group with Aaron Baddeley. Although Badds fell back, Woods couldn't close the deal, as an Argentine named Angel Cabrera snuck by to win his first major title.
It was a tough defeat fro Woods, who contended all day and looked poised to catch Cabrera over the closing holes.
However, Woods got a great reward when his daughter Sam was born. That was a much greater joy than any victory could bring.
This tournament needs little explanation.
Woods, on a left leg that included a torn ACL and two stress fractures, put together one of the most incredible performances to win his third Open title.
His work included a back-nine 30 on Friday to get back into contention, two eagles over the final six holes of the third round to take the lead and a 12-foot birdie putt Sunday that forced a playoff with Rocco Mediate.
Even after all of those heroics, he still hadn't won, it would take him 19 holes to finally stave off his determined foe.
This was a win for the ages, especially when the public learned afterwards the actual extent of Woods' injuries.
He would have to sit out the rest of the year to recover, but that one week at Torrey Pines was definitely worth the trouble.
Similar to this year, in 2009 Woods put on a ball-striking clinic en route to a comeback victory at the Memorial.
There was high expectations for Woods to win two weeks later at the U.S. Open and even Jack Nicklaus said that he believed Woods would capture major number 15 that week.
However, things don't always go as planned.
During the first round, the morning groups faced the full wrath of Bethpage Black as cloudy and rainy weather made the course super difficult.
Woods was part of that morning wave. He played stellar golf to be even par through 14 holes, but with two bogeys and a double over the last four he fell to an opening-round 74.
In the afternoon, the sun came out and the players went low, with the lead eventually reaching six under par by the first round's end.
Woods was a full 10 shots back and he never completely recovered from the bad weather break.
He did fire rounds of 69 and 68 to climb up the leader board and when he made a birdie on 14 in the final round (along with a Lucas Glover bogey at nine), he was just three off the lead.
But Woods didn't have enough left to finish. A bogey on the tough 15th effectively ended his chances and relegated him to a T6 finish.
Maybe if Woods got the good side of the draw on day one or could've finished his first round strong he would've won this tournament.
We'll never know because although Woods valiantly fought his way back into contention the hole he left was too deep to get out of.
A decade after the most dominating victory of his career, Woods returned to Pebble Beach a broken man.
His life had become consumed by an embarrassing adultery scandal and his game had been suffering mightily throughout the season.
The struggles continued over the first two days of the tournament as a 74-72 start left Woods well off the pace.
A magical thing happened on Saturday though.
Two over through three holes in his third round, the three-time U.S. Open champion showed himself again.
Three birdies and a bogey over the next five holes got his round back on track and then Woods got really hot. Birdies at 11 and 13 followed, as did ones on 16, 17 and 18 for a back-nine 31 and a third-round 66.
The spectacular performance put him right in the mix before a final-round 75 made him settle for a T4 finish.
It was a disappointing result after such a promising third round. It was a great chance to tie the record with four U.S. Open titles, but Woods wasn't up to the task.
Who knows, maybe he will be this week. We'll just have to wait and see.