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Remembering top moments from Tiger Woods’ 2000 U.S. Open win

Tiger Woods‘ list of accomplishments in his extraordinary career is a long one.

The golf legend has won it all in seemingly every event and manner. Yet one bullet point on Woods’ lengthy résumé stands out: his historically dominant performance at the 2000 U.S. Open.

Heading into the tournament, it had been three decades since the event was decided by more than 3 strokes. It hadn’t been decided by double-digit strokes since the 19th century.

At Pebble Beach in California, Woods won by 15 strokes, a record-shattering margin that no has come close to matching in any major.

Here’s a look back at some of the highlights from Woods’ 2000 master class.

Setting the tone

Woods being in excellent form at Pebble Beach was far from a shock — he was in the midst of what would become one of the most remarkable stretches of his career. Having just posted a 5-stroke victory at the Memorial Tournament in late May, Woods wasted no time in moving in front of the pack at the U.S. Open.

He shot 6-under in the first round, good for first. Though Woods led the field, his first-round margins weren’t indicative of the historic pace he would reach. Miguel Angel Jiménez of Spain trailed by just 1 stroke at the round’s conclusion, with John Huston 2 strokes back.

Superb putting pushes him ahead

Though Woods was exceptional in just about every aspect of the game that June, his putting in particular wowed onlookers.

Despite subpar weather conditions, Woods would one-putt on 20 of his first 38 greens. He didn’t three-putt once during the entire U.S. Open. Spectators and competitors had no choice but to marvel at Woods’ precision.

“He had some Jedi powers; he could pretty much will the ball in the hole,” said Jesper Parnevik, who played with Woods. “And sometimes I could swear he did because I would think the ball was going to miss or already had missed, and it would go in sideways. That’s some strong-ass, Obi-Wan Kenobi/Jedi stuff going on.”

A lone third-round blemish

As if to persuade those around him that he was not supplementing his performance with earth-bending mind control powers, Woods did struggle on one hole in the third round.

His triple bogey on the round’s third hole added a 7 to an otherwise exemplary scorecard. It marked the first time in the Masters era that a player won a major championship with a triple bogey on his card.

Final two rounds turn the competition into a rout

Despite his third round triple bogey, Woods managed to finish even stronger than he started at Pebble Beach. He finished Round 2 with an already-sizable 6-stroke lead, but left Round 3 ahead by a remarkable 10 strokes. His buffer at the end of the third round was the largest 54-hole lead in U.S. Open history.

But even Woods’ stellar Round 3 paled in comparison to his final round. He fired his way through his last 18 holes, steadily dropping from 8-under par to 12-under. Woods became the first person to finish the competition under par by double digits, expanding his lead on the field even further as he powered his way to the final green. As Woods gained speed, those around him faltered — he was the only player on the course to finish at par or better.

Lifting the trophy and setting the stage for the future

When Woods hoisted the U.S. Open championship trophy it was only the starting point in a run that would rank among some of the sport’s greatest.

Woods’ U.S. Open victory was the first accomplishment in a set of triumphs soon-to-be-dubbed the “Tiger Slam.” He followed up his success at Pebble Beach with wins at St. Andrews, Valhalla and Augusta over the next year, eventually making him the simultaneous holder of every men’s major championship — the first golfer in modern history to do so.

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