This weekend's U.S. Open at Oakmont is going to be chaos. Earlier in the week, players shared videos of heavy rough all over the course. The U.S. Open is traditionally golf's toughest major, and Oakmont, which is hosting its U.S. Open-high ninth event, is one of the sports most treacherous venues. With rain already suspending play in the first round, crooked numbers are expected over the next four days.
Could the 2016 U.S. Open be one of the highest-scoring ever? Oakmont's champion should be right up there with these ten winners, who claimed victory with the highest championship scores post-World War II (equipment and rule changes in the 1940s led to lower scoring, more relatable to the modern game).
Tommy Bolt (+3, 1958, Southern Hills Country Club)
Gary Player, 22, made his U.S. Open debut and raced to the top of the leaderboard. But Bolt, who carded a second-round 68, held a one-shot lead on Player. Bolt separated himself with a third-round 69 and held off Player by four strokes for his lone major title.
Lou Graham (+3, 1975, Medinah Country Club)
Graham entered the weekend at +4, 11 shots behind second-round leader Tom Watson. Weekend scores of 78 and 77 dropped Watson all the way to ninth. Meanwhile, Graham pulled out a 68 on Saturday and a 73 on Sunday to finish +3, tied with John Mahaffey. An even 71 in the 18-hole playoff gave Graham his only major title.
Ed Furgol (+4, 1954, Baltusrol Golf Club)
Gene Littler led Ben Hogan and Furgol by two strokes through 36 holes, but Furgol charged ahead with a third round 71, while Littler and Hogan each shot 76. Littler trimmed away at Furgol with a fourth-round 70, but Furgol's 72 kept him one stroke ahead, and he earned his only major championship.
Geoff Ogilvy (+5, 2006, Winged Foot Golf Club)
This U.S. Open would be in the +4 range had it not been for Phil Mickelson's meltdown. All Mickelson needed was a par on 18 to win his first U.S. Open. Instead, he blasted his drive into a hospitality tent and double bogeyed. Ogilvy, who chipped in on 17, won his only major. Mickelson has six U.S. Open runner-ups, and the tournament is the currently the only major that has eluded his grasp.
Angel Cabrera (+5, 2007, Oakmont Country Club)
After one round of the last U.S. Open at Oakmont, two players, Nick Dougherty (-2) and Cabrera (-1) finished Thursday under par. No one finished a round in red numbers the next three days. Aaron Baddeley and Tiger Woods headlined the final Sunday pairing, with Baddeley at +2 and Woods at +4, but Cabrera slashed him way into contention with a 69. Woods and Jim Furyk finished at +6, one shot behind Cabrera. El Pato won his second major at the Masters in 2009.
Ben Hogan (+7, 1950, Merion Golf Club)
A February 1949 car accident left Hogan with a double-fracture of the pelvis, and doctors believed there was a chance he would never walk again. Hogan recovered and returned to golf in 1950. At the U.S. Open, he opened with a 72, eight shots behind the leader. But constant chipping away over the next three rounds put Hogan in a three-way tie at +7 through 72 holes. Hogan then logged a 69 in the playoff to win by four strokes.
Ben Hogan (+7, 1951, Oakland Hills Country Club)
Hogan narrowly made the cut at +9 through two rounds, but something clicked on moving day. With scores of 71 and 67 to end the tournament, Hogan cleared runner-up Clayton Heafner by two shots.
Jack Fleck (+7, 1955, Olympic Club)
Fleck opened at +6 and woke up Friday just hoping to make the cut. He fired a 69 to jump into contention. A third-round 75 slowed Fleck, but a final round 67 tied him with Ben Hogan atop the leaderboard. Fleck then defeated Hogan by three shots with a 69.
Hale Irwin (+7, 1974, Winged Foot Golf Club)
In "The Massacre at Winged Foot," no player broke par in the first round. Tom Watson again left a major on the table, entering the final round with a lead at +3 and shooting a 79 (but he won eight majors, so it is OK). Arnold Palmer, making a run at 44, started Sunday at +6, but struggled through a 76. Irwin proved the steadiest player in the tournament, shooting scores of 73-70-71-73 to win at +7. The U.S. Open returns to Winged Foot in 2020.
Julius Boros (+9, 1963, The Country Club)
Boros, who won his first U.S. Open in 1952, sat three shots behind Jacky Pupit after round three. A final-round 72 put him in a three-way tie with Cupit and Arnold Palmer. Boros then shot a 33 on the front nine in the playoff, en route to an easy three-stroke win over Cupit. The tournament took place 50 years after Francis Ouimet's victory at The Country Club (plot for The Greatest Game Ever Played). The U.S. Open returned to Brookline in 1988 for a Curtis Strange victory and is slotted to host the competition in 2022.
Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.