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June 21, 2010
June 21, 2010

Table of Contents
June 21, 2010

LEADING OFF
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
STEPHEN STRASBURG
2010 WORLD CUP
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The Vault

Every SI Story ... Every SI Photo ... Ever SI.COM/VAULT

This is an article from the June 21, 2010 issue

EXCERPT | June 26, 1995

Major Statement

Corey Pavin won the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills

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.

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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....

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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

PHOTOPhotograph by BOB MARTINLITTLE BIG MAN The 5'9" Pavin was notoriously short off the tee—he ranked 150th on the PGA Tour in driving distance—but that was a bonus at Shinnecock, where winds swirled all weekend.PHOTOSHEEDY & LONGPHOTOWALTER IOOSS JR.PHOTOAL TIELEMANSPHOTOMARTIN MEISSNER/AP (HEINZE)PHOTODYLAN MARTINEZ/REUTERS (GYAN)PHOTOJEFF VINNICK/ZUFFA LLC/GETTY IMAGES (LIDDELL)PHOTORON CHENOY/US PRESSWIRE (COLORADO)PHOTOANDREW HANCOCK (RYAN)PHOTOSCOTT AUDETTE/REUTERS (NBA)PHOTOGREG NELSON (HELU JR.)PHOTO