2010 U.S. Open Golf: The History of Pebble Beach Golf Links
Pebble Beach Golf Links is known worldwide as one of the most stunningly beautiful golf courses in the world. Located right on the California coastline, the course provides stunning ocean views, extremely firm fairways, and a difficult challenge for all those who play it.
The course will host its sixth U.S. Open this weekend.
History of the Course Itself
Pebble Beach Golf Links opened for play in 1919 and was designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant. The course was designed to feature as many holes as possible on the Pacific coastline.
The first professional tournament held at Pebble Beach was in 1926, which Harry Cooper won.
The first major championship at Pebble Beach, the U.S. Amateur, was held in 1929.
1972 U.S. Open
The first U.S. Open held at Pebble Beach was a memorable one. Jack Nicklaus got his 13th major championship win, which tied the great Bobby Jones. He secured that win at Pebble Beach with an impressive tee shot on the par-three 17th.
Nicklaus' one-iron struck the flag stick, giving him an easy tap-in birdie and a three-stroke win over Bruce Crampton. Nicklaus finished with a 290 (two-over).
1977 PGA Championship
The only major tournament played at Pebble Beach other than the U.S. Open was the 1977 PGA Championship, held from August 11-14.
This tournament was memorable because Lanny Wadkins and Gene Littler were tied at six-under after 72 holes, forcing a sudden death playoff. This was the first time a major championship was decided by a sudden death playoff.
Wadkins won on the third hole of the playoff, sinking a par to claim the championship. This was Wadkins' only major championship of his career, but he earned a spot on the cover of Sports Illustrated!
1982 U.S. Open
Jack Nicklaus was at the center of attention when Sunday rolled around at the 1982 U.S Open. Nicklaus was searching his record fifth U.S. Open Championship, but he had plenty of competition.
Tom Watson denied Nicklaus the chance to be the greatest U.S. Open Champion of all time with a crazy, dangerous chip-in on the famed par-3 17th.
His birdie on the 18th sealed a two-stroke victory over Jack Nicklaus and gave Watson his first U.S. Open and sixth overall major championship.
1992 U.S. Open
Coming into the 1992 U.S. Open, Tom Kite was widely regarded as the best player of his time never to win a major. Kite put an end to those talks with a difficult two-stroke win over Jeff Sluman at Pebble Beach.
The conditions were tough that weekend, but it didn't stop Kite from shooting three under and finishing the week as one of only two players who finished under par.
Although it would be his only major championship of his career, Kite was a great player in his time and this championship was well-deserved.
2000 U.S. Open
Perhaps the most famous of his 14 major championships, Tiger Woods put on an absolute show at the 2000 U.S. Open. His 272 (12-under-par) score is still a tie for the lowest ever in a U.S. Open and his record 15-stroke victory in a major has yet to be approached.
Tiger took hold of the lead from the beginning, shooting a six-under on the first day and never looking back. His 12-under is even more impressive when you see that no other golfer even shot above three-over for the tournament!
Some call this the greatest golfing performance of all-time and you would be hard pressed to find a better one. Woods burst on to the stage with his third major championship and made sure everyone knew he was the best golfer in the world.
2010 U.S. Open
This year's U.S. Open is the fifth trip to Pebble Beach for this tournament and anticipation for this event has been growing steadily for the last couple of years.
The course has undergone some changes since the last time a major tournament was played there, including some added yardage. The course is still a par-71 for the pros, but it now plays at over 7,000 yards (7,040 to be exact).
Included in the changes is the renovation of at least four greens to meet USGA regulations and the addition/renovation of over a dozen bunkers throughout the course.
Fairways are being firmed up and made thinner to create tougher tee shots for the competitors when play starts up on Thursday. Some are complaining that a couple of these changes make some fairways nearly impossible to play, but that is the U.S. Open for you.
Expect to see some bad looking shots from some great golfers this weekend and don't expect the winner to have a score anywhere near Tiger's record of twelve-under-par.
Tiger loves playing at Pebble Beach, but will that be enough for him to bounce back from his disappointments and claim his 15th major championship? Watch this weekend to find out.