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1972 U.S. Open
Recap and Scores for the 1972 US Open Golf Tournament

The 1972 U.S. Open was the first U.S. Open ever played at Pebble Beach Golf Links. So it's only appropriate that it was won by Jack Nicklaus, who has since stated that if he had only one round of golf left to play, he'd choose Pebble Beach as the course to play it on.

The 1972 U.S. Open is notable as the last major championship in which Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer battled head-to-head - although that battle was in a relatively brief stretch of the final round. In its history of the 1972 U.S. Open, the USGA describes the action:

"... In the final round, a double-bogey 6 left (Nicklaus) just two strokes in front of Arnold Palmer. A key moment came as Nicklaus stood over an 8-foot bogey putt at the par-3 12th right at the time Palmer lined up a 10-foot birdie at 14. Nicklaus converted and Palmer didn’t. Not realizing he trailed by only one shot, Palmer played too aggressively over the next two holes and bogeyed each one to eventually finish with a 4-over 76, four strokes off Nicklaus’ winning score."

Nicklaus' last pursuer was Bruce Crampton, but Nicklaus finished off the win with what many consider one of the best shots in U.S. Open history. On the tee at the par-3 17th, Nicklaus held a three-stroke lead. He removed any doubt about the win by carving a 1-iron through the wind. The ball hit the green, bounced once, and struck the flagstick, settling inches away.

The fourth-round scoring average for the field was 78.8, the highest final-round scoring average in the post-World War II era. Nicklaus' winning total of 290 is the second-highest winning total since World War II.

It was Nicklaus' third U.S. Open victory, and his 11th professional major championship. Counting his two U.S. Amateur wins, it was Nicklaus' 13th combined (amateur and pro) win in a major, tying Bobby Jones' then-record.

1972 U.S. Open Scores
Results from the 1972 U.S. Open golf tournament played at the par-72 Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, Calif. (a-amateur):

Jack Nicklaus 71-73-72-74--290 $30,000
Bruce Crampton 74-70-73-76--293 $15,000
Arnold Palmer 77-68-73-76--294 $10,000
Homero Blancas 74-70-76-75--295 $7,500
Lee Trevino 74-72-71-78--295 $7,500
Kermit Zarley 71-73-73-79--296 $6,000
Johnny Miller 74-73-71-79--297 $5,000
Tom Weiskopf 73-74-73-78--298 $4,000
Chi Chi Rodriguez 71-75-78-75--299 $3,250
Cesar Sanudo 72-72-78-77--299 $3,250
Billy Casper 74-73-79-74--300 $2,500
Don January 76-71-74-79--300 $2,500
Bobby Nichols 77-74-72-77--300 $2,500
Bert Yancey 75-79-70-76--300 $2,500
Don Massengale 72-81-70-78--301 $1,900
Orville Moody 71-77-79-74--301 $1,900
Gary Player 72-74-75-80--301 $1,900
a-Jim Simons 75-75-79-72--301  
Lou Graham 75-73-75-79--302 $1,750
a-Tom Kite 75-73-79-75--302  
Al Geiberger 80-74-76-73--303 $1,625
Paul Harney 79-72-75-77--303 $1,625
Bobby Mitchell 74-80-73-76--303 $1,625
Charles Sifford 79-74-72-78--303 $1,625
Gay Brewer 77-77-72-78--304 $1,427
Rod Funseth 73-73-84-74--304 $1,427
Lanny Wadkins 76-68-79-81--304 $1,427
Jim Wiechers 74-79-69-82--304 $1,427
Miller Barber 76-76-73-80--305 $1,217
Julius Boros 77-77-74-77-- 305 $1,217
Dave Eichelberger 76-71-80-78--305 $1,217
Lee Elder 75-71-79-80--305 $1,217
Jerry Heard 73-74-77-81--305 $1,217
Dave Hill 74-78-74-79--305 $1,217
Tom Watson 74-79-76-76--305 $1,217
Brian Allin 75-76-77-78--306 $1,090
Larry Hinson 78-73-72-83--306 $1,090
Hale Irwin 78-72-73-83--306 $1,090
Barry Jaeckel 78-69-82-77--306 $1,090
Ron Cerrudo 77-77-76-77--307 $994
Tony Jacklin 75-78-71-83--307 $994
Jerry McGee 79-72-71-85--307 $994
George Rives 80-73-79-75--307 $994
Mason Rudolph 71-80-86-70--307 $994
Tom Shaw 71-79-80-77--307 $994
Billy Ziobro 76-77-77-77--307 $994
Bobby Cole 72-76-79-81--308 $930
Gibby Gilbert 77-77-77-77--308 $930
David Graham 77-77-79-75--308 $930
Ron Letellier 75-77-74-82--308 $930
John Schroeder 78-75-75-80--308 $930
Mike Butler 78-73-77-81--309 $890
Tom Jenkins 73-80-75-81--309 $890
Ralph Johnston 74-72-79-84--309 $890
Tommy Aaron 76-76-77-81--310 $835
Martin Bohen 77-76-77-80--310 $835
Bob Brue 77-75-79-79--310 $835
Tim Collins 79-71-81-79--310 $835
Hubert Green 75-76-78-81--310 $835
Bobby Greenwood 77-75-72-86--310 $835
Jim Hardy 78-76-79-77--310 $835
Mike Hill 75-77-75-83--310 $835
Jim Colbert 74-79-76-82--311 $800
Bob Murphy 79-74-83-75--311 $800
George Archer 74-74-77-87--312 $800
Bruce Devlin 75-78-74-85--312 $800
Dick Hendrickson 80-74-79-82--315 $800
Austin Straub 76-77-75-87--315 $800
Dwight Nevil 76-77-81-82--316 $800
a-Dan O'Neill 78-76-77-86--317  

Back to list of U.S. Open Winners

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