Every SI Story ... Every SI Photo ... Ever SI.COM/VAULT
EXCERPT | June 26, 1995
Corey Pavin won the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills
June 20, 2010
Widely regarded as the best player never to have won a major, Pavin teed off at the par-4 18th on the Open's final day with a one-stroke lead over Greg Norman, who was back on 16. Pavin chose a four-wood for his second swing, a 228-yard blind uphill shot to the hole. Rick Reilly reported for SI.
Pavin took a rip and knew he'd flushed it. Of course, proving he'd flushed it was another matter. Because he is short and the hole was so high, Pavin had to run to see the ball land. So he sprinted after the shot as though he wanted it back. "The ball was blocking out the flagstick," he says, "and I thought, Oh, man, that thing might go in!" It didn't, but it rolled to within five feet of the hole. Talk about your Heaven Wood.
Pavin was so overcome by the moment that it nearly felled him. He raised his fists, then stopped in his tracks and squatted in the middle of the fairway to catch his breath, say a prayer and compose himself. "I let my emotions get loose," he said. "I had to get them back inside me."
If Pavin's wasn't the Greatest 72nd Hole Shot in U.S. Open History, it's in contention. If they ever build a case for such things, Pavin's four-wood should go in there with Ben Hogan's one-iron (from Merion), Jack Fleck's seven-iron (from Olympic) and Jerry Pate's five-iron (from Atlanta). For sure, Pavin's is the Greatest Uphill Metal Wood Ever Hit by a Guy Who Had to Run to See the Hole.
Norman bogeyed the 17th hole, and Pavin won his only major title by two strokes. Pavin, now 50, is the captain of the 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup team.
SI.COM | Breaking News | Real-time Scores | Daily Analysis
Cup Runneth Over
Check out SI.com for complete game analysis and up-to-the-minute action from the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, including gamecasts, live blogs and Ben Lyttleton's Three Quick Thoughts after every match. You can also get daily World Cup video highlights, photo galleries of top players such as Argentina's Gabriel Heinze(above, crouching) and extensive coverage of Team USA. Plus....
• Grant Wahl's At The World Cup blog
• Peter King's Things I Think I Think, from Johannesburg
ALL EYES ON ME
By Jim Trotter
Can Matt Ryan rise to the challenge and lead the Falcons back to the playoffs?
THE BLAME GAME
By Jack McCallum
Don't blame the refs, blame the rules for the NBA's questionable calls
RATTLING THE CAGE
By Michael Rosenberg
Will conference realignment make things better for Roy Helu Jr. and Nebraska?
Big 12 Exodus
TUNE IN TO THE U.S. OPEN
Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller have the call from Pebble Beach for the 110th U.S. Open (Thursday and Friday, 3--5 p.m. EDT; Saturday, 4:30--11 p.m. EDT; and Sunday, 3--9 p.m. EDT). For video of the 1995 U.S. Open, go to SI.com/vault