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Tom Kite

Tom Kite shot an even-par 72 on the final day to finish with a 72-hole score of 3-under-par 275 and defeat runner-up Jeff Sluman by two strokes. After three days of cool weather with little wind, the conditions for Sunday's final round turned severe as wind gusts up to 40 m.p.h. whipped the seaside course. Only five players broke or matched par for the day and 20 others failed to break 80.

The Open began with 29 players breaking par and Gil Morgan leading the way with a 6-under 66, one stroke better than two-time champion Curtis Strange. Phil Mickelson, making his first start as a professional, birdied the opening hole and shot 68 to trail by two. Also at 68 was Andy Dillard, playing in his first Open. He merely fashioned the best start in U.S. Open history by birdying each of the first six holes.

Morgan added a 69 to lead Dillard by three strokes after 36 holes. Morgan's two-day 135 was nine under par, putting him on the brink of history as the first player in the Open ever to reach 10 under. Raymond Floyd and Wayne Grady were at four under par, tied for third and Kite had an even-par 72 to join 11 others at 1-under 143.

Morgan made U. S. Open history at the third hole of the third round when he rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt to go 10 under par. He added birdies at the sixth and seventh holes to go 12 under and lead by seven, but from there his game unraveled. He played the next seven holes in nine over par, scoring three double bogeys, three bogeys and just one par and struggled home in 77. Despite his troubles, Morgan led after 54 holes with a 4-under 212, one stroke better than Ian Woosnam, Mark Brooks and Kite.

In the final round, Morgan held the lead until the fourth hole, where his double bogey six dropped him to two under par, one stroke behind Kite, who was parring No.5 to remain three under. Kite added to his lead with birdies at the sixth and seventh and Morgan made another double bogey at the sixth en route to an 81. From the point in Saturday's round when he reached 12 under par, Morgan played the final 29 holes in 17 over par t finish at 293, eight strokes behind. Kite stayed comfortably ahead, birdying the 12th and 14th to offset bogeys at Nos. 16 and 17.

As each of the leaders filed to make a run, Colin Montgomerie finished play more than two hours in front of the leaders and posted a total of even-par 288. With Kite only halfway through his final round and scores skyrocketing, it appeared Montgomerie's total might be good enough to win. As it was, he passed 25 players during the final round, finishing one stroke behind Sluman and three behind Kite.


Starts - 33

Best Finish - Winner 1992

Rds - 114

Cuts Made - 24

Top 3 -1

Top 5 - 2

Top 10 - 4

Top 25 - 9

Avg. - 73.57

Scores In 60s - 9

Rds Under Par - 16

Earnings - $625,028.71
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    Historical Notes
    On Oct. 4, 1895, the first U.S. Open Championship was conducted by the United States Golf Association on the nine-hole course of Newport (R.I.) Golf and Country Club.
    The first U.S. Open was considered something of a sideshow to the first U.S. Amateur, which was played on the same course and during the same week. Both championships had been scheduled for September but were postponed because of a conflict with a more established Newport sports spectacle, the America's Cup yacht races.
    Ten professionals and one amateur started in the 36-hole competition, which was four trips around the Newport course in one day. The surprise winner was Horace Rawlins, 21, an English professional who was the assistant at the host course. Rawlins scored 91-82-173 with the gutta-percha ball.
    Prize money totalled $335, of which Rawlins won the $150 first prize. He also received a gold medal and custody of the Open Championship Cup for his club for one year.
    In its first decade, the U.S. Open was conducted for amateurs and the largely British wave of immigrant golf professionals coming to the United States.
    As American players began to dominate the game, the U.S. Open evolved into an important world golf championship. Young John J. McDermott became the first native-born American winner in 1911 and repeated as champion in 1912.
    In 1913, the U.S. Open really took off when Francis Ouimet, a 20-year-old American amateur, stunned the golf world by defeating famous English professionals, Harry Vardon and Ted Ray, in a playoff.
    Another surge in the championship's popularity coincided with the amazing career of Georgia amateur Bob Jones, who won the U.S. Open four times (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930). Spectator tickets were sold for the first time in 1922 and a boom in entries caused the USGA to introduce sectional qualifying in 1924.
    In 1933, John Goodman became the fifth and last amateur to win the U.S. Open. The others were Ouimet, Jerome D. Travers (1915), Charles Evans Jr., (1916), and Jones.
    In each era, the world's greatest players have been identified by surviving the rigorous examination provided by the U.S. Open. Ben Hogan's steely determination boosted him to four victories (1948, 1950, 1951, 1953). Arnold Palmer's record comeback win in 1960, when he fired a final round of 65 to come from seven strokes off the lead, cemented his dashing image. Jack Nicklaus' historic assault on the professional record book began when he won the first of his four U.S. Open Championships in 1962, his rookie season as a professional.
    Nicklaus, who also won in 1967, 1972, and 1980, is one of only four golfers to win four U.S. Opens. The others are Willie Anderson (1901, 1903, 1904, 1905), Jones and Hogan.
    In 1954, the U.S. Open course was roped from tee to green for the first time. That year also marked the first national television coverage. Coverage was expanded by ABC Sports in 1977 so that all 18 holes of the final two rounds were broadcast live. In 1982, on the ESPN cable network, the first two rounds were broadcast live for the first time. NBC began televising the U.S. Open in 1995.
    The format of the U.S. Open has changed several times. The USGA extended the championship to 72 holes in 1898, with 36 holes played on each of two days. In 1926, the format was changed to 18 holes played each of two days, then 36 holes on the third day. In 1965, the present format of four 18-hole daily rounds was implemented for the first time.
    In 2002, a two-tee (Nos. 1 and 10) start was used for the first and second rounds. In addition, Bethpage State Park's Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y., was the first facility owned by the public to host a U.S. Open. International qualifying sites were added in 2005 and the champion at Pinehurst Resort in N.C. was Michael Campbell, who qualified in England.