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1974 U.S. Open
Recap and Scores for the 1974 U.S. Open Golf Tournament

The 1974 U.S. Open is the one that came to be known as "The Massacre at Winged Foot," and it's a tournament that played into the reputations of two golfers. The champion, Hale Irwin, established his reputation for being good on tough courses. While Tom Watson extended the reputation he had in the early few years of his career for not being able to close out tournaments.

Watson, after a third-round 69, led Irwin by one stroke entering the final round. But Watson stumbled out of the gate in Round 4 with a string of front-nine bogeys, finished with a 79 and dropped into a tie for fifth place. Still, at this early stage in the future Hall-of-Famer's career, it was Watson's first-ever Top 10 finish in a major championship.

Irwin was also in the early stages of his career, and also a future Hall-of-Famer. His victory here was just the third of Irwin's PGA Tour career. He reached the 72nd hole with a 2-stroke lead over Forrest Fezler and Lou Graham (who won the next year at the 1975 U.S. Open). Irwin successfully negotiated Winged Foot's treacherous 18th - the hole where Phil Mickelson blew up and lost the 2006 U.S. Open - with his stock-in-trade, an expertly played long iron shot to the green. Irwin two-putted for par to close out a 73 and win the championship at 7-over 287.

That 7-over score is the second-highest winning score in relation to par of any U.S. Open after World War II. Not a single player broke par in the first round. The legend is that the USGA "tricked up" Winged Foot because the governing body felt embarrassed by Johnny Miller's final-round 63 a year earlier at Oakmont.

Is that true? No question the course conditions were brutal. But keep in mind that the winning score two years earlier at Pebble Beach was 290, higher than Irwin's winning 287 this year. And the 1974 U.S. Open does not hold the tournament's post-World War II records for fewest rounds below par, or most rounds over-par, or highest 36-hole cut. Which takes nothing away from just how difficult Winged Foot played in 1974 - which was very difficult. The winning score at Winged Foot in 2006 was 5-over 285.

The USGA's habit of making hard courses harder for the U.S. Open, and playing many of them as par-70s, entered into the public consciousness for good after the 1974 U.S. Open, as did the nickname, "The Massacre at Winged Foot."

During this championship, Sandy Tatum of the USGA was asked if the organization was trying to embarrass the world's best golfers. "No," Tatum famously replied, "we're trying to identify them."

Arnold Palmer finished tied for fifth, his final Top 5 finish in any of the majors. And Ken Venturi played in a major championship for the final time here, missing the cut.

1974 U.S. Open Golf Tournament Scores
Results from the 1974 U.S. Open golf tournament played on the par-70 West Course of Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York (a-amateur):

Hale Irwin 73-70-71-73--287 $35,000
Forrest Fezler 75-70-74-70--289 $18,000
Lou Graham 71-75-74-70--290 $11,500
Bert Yancey 76-69-73-72--290 $11,500
Arnold Palmer 73-70-73-76--292 $8,000
Jim Colbert 72-77-69-74--292 $8,000
Tom Watson 73-71-69-79--292 $8,000
Gary Player 70-73-77-73--293 $5,500
Tom Kite 74-70-77-72--293 $5,500
Jack Nicklaus 75-74-76-69--294 $3,750
Bud Allin 76-71-74-73--294 $3,750
John Mahaffey 74-73-75-73--295 $2,633
Frank Beard 77-69-72-77--295 $2,633
Larry Ziegler 78-68-78-71--295 $2,633
Mike Reasor 71-76-76-73--296 $1,933
Tom Weiskopf 76-73-72-75--296 $1,933
Raymond Floyd 72-71-78-75--296 $1,933
David Graham 73-75-76-73--297 $1,700
Dale Douglass 77-72-72-76--297 $1,700
Al Geiberger 75-76-78-68--297 $1,700
Leonard Thompson 75-75-76-72--298 $1,575
J.C. Snead 76-71-76-75--298 $1,575
Larry Hinson 75-76-75-73--299 $1,450
Bruce Crampton 72-77-76-74--299 $1,450
Bobby Mitchell 77-73-73-76--299 $1,450
Lanny Wadkins 75-73-76-76--300 $1,300
Chi Chi Rodriguez 75-75-77-73--300 $1,300
Jim Jamieson 77-73-75-75--300 $1,300
Hubert Green 81-67-76-76--300 $1,300
David Glenz 76-74-75-76--301 $1,160
Rod Funseth 73-75-78-75--301 $1,160
Jerry McGee 77-72-78-74--301 $1,160
Ron Cerrudo 78-75-75-73--301 $1,160
Rik Massengale 79-72-74-76--301 $1,160
Don Iverson 74-77-76-75--302 $1,060
Johnny Miller 76-75-74-77--302 $1,060
Bob E. Smith 77-74-73-78--302 $1,060
Steve Melnyk 74-79-73-76--302 $1,060
John Buczek 73-73-83-73--302 $1,060
Mark Hayes 73-77-76-77--303 $980
Dave Eichelberger 76-77-76-74--303 $980
Kermit Zarley 74-73-78-78--303 $980
Homero Blancas 77-71-79-76--303 $980
Dave Stockton 79-74-78-72--303 $980
Bob Stone 75-74-77-78--304 $935
Tom Ulozas 77-75-74-78--304 $935
Jerry Heard 73-77-75-79--304 $935
Jim Dent 76-73-79-76--304 $935
Lynn Janson 77-74-77-77--305 $905
Bobby Nichols 72-77-80-76--305 $905
George Knudson 78-75-75-78--306 $880
Jim Masserio 75-75-76-80--306 $880
Mike McCullough 76-76-74-80--306 $880
Alan Tapie 77-74-77-79--307 $845
Bob Zender 77-73-79-78--307 $845
a-Jay Haas 78-73-79-77--307  
Barney Thompson 72-77-80-78--307 $845
Jack Rule 78-75-73-81--307 $845
Eddie Pearce 75-71-84-78--308 $820
Charles Sifford 77-76-76-80--309 $810
Tom Shaw 77-76-78-81--312 $800
Jim Simons 77-72-81-83--313 $800
Roy Pace 74-76-78-85--313 $800
a-Bill Hyndman 79-72-82-81--314  
a-Andy Bean 74-76-83-81--314  
Bruce Summerhays 77-76-79-83--315 $800

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