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Golf – 1987 US Open Championship – Final Round – Olympic Club San Francisco – Host Jim McKay


The 1987 U.S. Open Golf Championship was the 87th U.S. Open in history….and was held June 18–21 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California…..where eleven former champions were in the field and only four made the 36-hole cut….as Scott Simpson passed and held off 1982 champion Tom Watson on the Lake Course to win his only major title by one stroke.  This was the third U.S. Open at the Lake Course of the Olympic Club….with the previous two being held in 1955 and 1966…as both of these ended in playoffs.

Tom Watson held a share of the lead after 36 holes….then took a one-shot lead over Simpson and Keith Clearwater into the final round….as Clearwater shot a six-under 64 on Saturday to get into the final pair with Watson….who struggled out of the gate on Sunday on Olympic’s difficult start….as he bogeyed the first two holes and the fifth as well…..while Simpson birdied the first….but then had three bogeys in four holes. With consecutive birdies at 8 and 9, Watson carried a one-stroke lead to the back nine….as Simpson in the group ahead on the course….took the lead with a 30-footer (9 m) for birdie at 15….only to have Watson respond with a birdie at 14 to tie….then at 16, Simpson sank a 9-footer for his third straight birdie to take the lead….when Watson missed his from 12 feet to match. Simpson found a greenside bunker on 17….then hit his sand shot to 6 feet and saved par. With a par on 18, Simpson was in the clubhouse with a 68….as Watson needed a birdie to a force a Monday playoff…..when his 35-foot putt narrowly missed and Simpson was the champion by a stroke. In the final pairing, Clearwater had trouble both early and late shooting a 79 (+9) to fade to a tie for 31st….while Seve Ballesteros finished in solo third place, his best career finish in a U.S. Open.

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