Ed. note: This look back at the 2000 U.S. Open – during the week that the 120th edition had been scheduled at Winged Foot – is the fifth in a series of remembrances of memorable years in tournament history.
Perfection in major championship golf is unattainable, an elusive ideal saved for dreams and video games. Golf itself is too exacting, the cathedrals of play too demanding, the pressure of competition too consuming for any one person to navigate without succumbing, even in the case of victorious survival.
Twenty years ago, this week, we witnessed the closest anyone has come to perfection.
Some of the elements that made the 2000 U.S. Open that way were baked into the cake before a tee shot was struck. It was the 100th playing of the championship and Pebble Beach, arguably the country’s most recognizable course, served as host. This was to be the week Payne Stewart defended the title he captured at Pinehurst a year prior – to honor his untimely passing, players lined up along the 18th fairway and hit balls into Stillwater Co...
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