1995 U.S. Open: Pavin Comes Through in the Clutch

Corey Pavin acknowledges the crowd after victory in the US Open at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, New York on June 18, 1995
1995 US Open champion Corey Pavin (center). David Cannon/Getty Images

The 1995 U.S. Open was the 100th anniversary of the tournament's first playing in 1895. And what an anniversary present Corey Pavin gave himself. After years of trying, the golfer who was one of the most consistent performers on the PGA Tour won his first — and, as it turned out, only — major championship title.

Quick Bits

  • Winner: Corey Pavin, 280 (scores below)
  • Dates: June 15-18, 1995
  • Golf course: Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
  • U.S. Open number: This was the 95th time the U.S. Open was played.

How Corey Pavin Won the 1995 US Open

Corey Pavin was one of the better players on the PGA Tour in the early 1990s, but as the 1995 U.S. Open arrived, he had yet to win a major championship. Pavin's name often came up in discussions of the "best player without a major."

Greg Norman was a superstar in golf, and he did have major wins under his belt prior to the 1995 U.S. Open, but he also had a history of heartbreaking close calls and collapses in majors.

When the final round began, Norman and Tom Lehman were tied for the lead. But at the end of the day, it was Pavin who finally had his major victory.

Norman started fast, opening with rounds of 68 and 67. Norman increased to a 74 in the third round, while Lehman fired a 67 to tie Norman at the top. Pavin was three strokes behind following rounds of 72, 69 and 71.

But in the final round at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Pavin surged with a 68, compared to a 73 from Norman and a 74 from Lehman. While Norman and Lehman began faltering on the back nine, Pavin held steady. He took the lead after a birdie on No. 15, then made a tricky par putt on the 17th.

After teeing off on the final hole, Pavin, one of the shortest hitters in the game at that time, still needed a 4-wood to reach the elevated final green. He struck the ball pure, and began racing after the shot, running up the fairway until he was able to see the ball on the green. He raised his arms over his head in celebration — at that point, Pavin knew the 1995 U.S. Open championship was his. He got the ball down for par and claimed the trophy.

1995 U.S. Open Scores

Results from the 1995 U.S. Open golf tournament played at the par-70 Shinnecock Hills Country Club in Shinnecock Hills, N.Y. (a-amateur):

Corey Pavin 72-69-71-68—280 $350,000
Greg Norman 68-67-74-73—282 $207,000
Tom Lehman 70-72-67-74—283 $131,974
Bill Glasson 69-70-76-69—284 $66,633
Jay Haas 70-73-72-69—284 $66,633
Neal Lancaster 70-72-77-65—284 $66,633
Davis Love III 72-68-73-71—284 $66,633
Jeff Maggert 69-72-77-66—284 $66,633
Phil Mickelson 68-70-72-74—284 $66,633
Frank Nobilo 72-72-70-71—285 $44,184
Vijay Singh 70-71-72-72—285 $44,184
Bob Tway 69-69-72-75—285 $44,184
Brad Bryant 71-75-70-70—286 $30,934
Lee Janzen 70-72-72-72—286 $30,934
Mark McCumber 70-71-77-68—286 $30,934
Nick Price 66-73-73-74—286 $30,934
Mark Roe 71-69-74-72—286 $30,934
Jeff Sluman 72-69-74-71—286 $30,934
Steve Stricker 71-70-71-74—286 $30,934
Duffy Waldorf 72-70-75-69—286 $30,934
Billy Andrade 72-69-74-72—287 $20,085
Pete Jordan 74-71-71-71—287 $20,085
Brett Ogle 71-75-72-69—287 $20,085
Payne Stewart 74-71-73-69—287 $20,085
Scott Verplank 72-69-71-75—287 $20,085
Ian Woosnam 72-71-69-75—287 $20,085
Fuzzy Zoeller 69-74-76-68—287 $20,085
David Duval 70-73-73-72—288 $13,912
Gary Hallberg 70-76-69-73—288 $13,912
Mike Hulbert 74-72-72-70—288 $13,912
Miguel Angel Jimenez 72-72-75-69—288 $13,912
Colin Montgomerie 71-74-75-68—288 $13,912
Jose Maria Olazabal 73-70-72-73—288 $13,912
Jumbo Ozaki 69-68-80-71—288 $13,912
Scott Simpson 67-75-74-72—288 $13,912
Guy Boros 73-71-74-71—289 $9,812
Curt Byrum 70-70-76-73—289 $9,812
Steve Elkington 72-73-73-71—289 $9,812
Raymond Floyd 74-72-76-67—289 $9,812
Bernhard Langer 74-67-74-74—289 $9,812
Bill Porter 73-70-79-67—289 $9,812
Curtis Strange 70-72-76-71—289 $9,812
Hal Sutton 71-74-76-68—289 $9,812
Barry Lane 74-72-71-73—290 $8,147
John Daly 71-75-74-71—291 $7,146
Nick Faldo 72-68-79-72—291 $7,146
Bradley Hughes 72-71-75-73—291 $7,146
Jim McGovern 73-69-81-68—291 $7,146
Christian Pena 74-71-76-70—291 $7,146
Omar Uresti 71-74-75-71—291 $7,146
Bob Burns 73-72-75-72—292 $5,842
Matt Gogel 73-70-73-76—292 $5,842
Peter Jacobsen 72-72-74-74—292 $5,842
Eduardo Romero 73-71-75-73—292 $5,842
Ted Tryba 71-75-73-73—292 $5,842
Greg Bruckner 70-72-73-78—293 $4,833
Brad Faxon 71-73-77-72—293 $4,833
Scott Hoch 74-72-70-77—293 $4,833
Steve Lowery 69-72-75-77—293 $4,833
Chris Perry 70-74-75-74—293 $4,833
Tom Watson 70-73-77-73—293 $4,833
John Cook 70-75-76-73—294 $3,969
David Edwards 72-74-72-76—294 $3,969
Jim Gallagher Jr. 71-75-77-71—294 $3,969
Paul Goydos 73-73-70-78—294 $3,969
Brandt Jobe 71-72-76-75—294 $3,969
Tommy Armour III 77-69-74-75—295 $3,349
Mike Brisky 71-72-77-75—295 $3,349
Tom Kite 70-72-82-71—295 $3,349
John Connelly 75-71-74-76—296 $3,039
Ben Crenshaw 72-71-79-75—297 $2,806
John Maginnes 75-71-74-77—297 $2,806
Joey Gullion 70-74-81-76—301 $2,574

Tiger Woods' Debut and More Notes On the 1995 U.S. Open

Another notable thing about this tournament is that it was the site of Tiger Woods' first appearance in a U.S. Open tournament. Woods, 19 years old at the time of the tournament, qualified by winning the 1994 U.S. Amateur Championship.

His tournament ended early, however. After scoring 74 in the first round, Woods suffered a wrist injury and withdrew during the second round. Woods went on to win the U.S. Open in 2000, 2002 and 2008.

Other notables:

  • While this was the 100th anniversary of the first U.S. Open, it was only the 95th time the tournament was played. Why the discrepancy? The tournament skipped a few years during the two world wars of the 20th century.
  • In the final round, Neal Lancaster became the first golfer to score 29 for nine holes in a U.S. Open, recording that score on his back nine. He shot 65 and finished four strokes behind Pavin.
  • Andy North, winner of the 1978 and 1985 U.S. Opens, played this tournament for the final time. He missed the cut. It was North's last appearance in any of the four majors.
  • Phil Mickelson finished tied for fourth place, his first Top 10 finish in a U.S. Open.