Dustin Johnson had his chances, but he couldn't convert and it led to Jordan Spieth winning his second straight major. Johnson, majorless at the time, had an eagle putt to win on the 72nd hole of the 2015 Open at Chambers Bay, but it didn't fall. Then came the heartbreaker. He missed a short birdie putt coming back, tapped in for par, and lost to Spieth by one.
2 of 11Getty Images
Dustin Johnson, 2010
Dustin Johnson, his caddie Bobby Brown and a USGA rules official look into a hazard on the 4th hole during the final round of the 110th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in 2010. Johnson held a three-shot leading entering the final round, but he shot a final-round 82 and tied for eighth.
3 of 11Getty Images
Phil Mickelson, 2006
As the curtain dropped on Phil Mickelson's 72nd hole tragicomedy at Winged Foot in 2006, the stunned protagonist squatted like a catcher on the 18th green, closed his eyes and burrowed his head in his hands. A bogey would have won the U.S. Open, but he made double bogey. The moment, caught by dozens of flashing cameras, became an indelible symbol of how suddenly the U.S. Open can make a grown man literally buckle at the knees.
4 of 11Robert Back, Al Tielemans/SI
Jason Gore, Retief Goosen, 2005
Retief Goosen (right photo) led the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst by three after 54 holes, and Jason Gore (left photo) was tied for second at even par. Then came the final round. Goosen fell apart before he made the turn and shot 81. Gore finished 14 over in his final round for an 84. Neither finished in the top 10, and Gore dropped all the way to T49. Michael Campbell beat Tiger Woods by two to win.
5 of 11Matthew Stockman/Allsport
Stewart Cink, 2001
Cink thought he needed to drain his 15-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole for any chance of forcing a playoff at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., but he missed it, However it's the next putt — a miss from 18 inches — that still eats at him to this day. As it turned out, a Cink two-putt would have got him in the playoff. "It not only wrecks your confidence," Cink said of his lapse. "It's kind of embarrassing."
6 of 11Bob Jordan/AP
Phil Mickelson, 1999
Mickelson's U.S. Open heartbreak didn't begin at Winged Foot. In a thrilling and historic finish at Pinehurst, Payne Stewart rolled in a bending 15-footer for par at 18 to lasso the title from Lefty. "I couldn't believe my eyes," Stewart said of his winning putt. Mickelson couldn't either.
7 of 11Steve Munday/Allsport
Colin Montgomerie, 1994
This is what Oakmont in June can do to a man. A cherry-faced Montgomerie battled commendably on Sunday, shooting a 70 to sneak into a playoff with Ernie Els and Loren Roberts. But in scorching heat on Monday, a worn-out Monty quickly wilted, limping home with a 78 to lose by four.
8 of 11JACQUELINE DUVOISIN
Gil Morgan, 1992
In 1992, Morgan had a big lead heading into the weekend at the U.S. Open. At nine under, he was five shots clear of Raymond Floyd and Wayne Grady. In the third round he became the first player in U.S. Open history to reach 10 under and made it all the way to 12 under and led by seven. Then the wheels fell off. He made three doubles and three bogeys from there to shoot 77 and finished with an 81 on Sunday.
9 of 11James Drake/SI
Jack Nicklaus, 1975
Nicklaus won four U.S. Opens, but it easily could have been five (or more). Seven off the pace when the final round began at Medinah in 1975, the Bear refused to fold on a hot and sticky afternoon, climbing to within a stroke of the leader through 15 holes. But instead of going in for the kill, he collapsed, finishing bogey-bogey-bogey. Three pars would have won him the title.
10 of 11Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Arnold Palmer, 1966
The King in the lead. Nine holes to play at The Olympic Club. Seven shots ahead of the field. If golf were an arena sport, the fans would have darted for the exits. But playing aggressively in hopes of surpassing Ben Hogan's Open scoring record of 276, Palmer got sloppy, played the back nine in four over, and was caught by Billy Casper, who beat Palmer in a Monday playoff.
11 of 11Wally McNamee/Corbis
Ken Venturi, 1964
Champions are rarely victims, but on an oppressively hot Sunday at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., Venturi was the exception. At the close of the third round — this was when the final 36 holes were played on the same day — Venturi, visibly wracked by heat exhaustion and dehydration, missed two tap-in par putts. At the intermission, Venturi's physician fed him tea and salt tablets and advised him to withdraw. Venturi declined, and with his doctor trailing him with ice packs, shot even par over the next 18 holes to win by four. When it was all over, his then-wife, Conni, gave him a shoulder to lean on.
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