1980sABCGolfJim McKayPGAPGA US Open

Golf – PGA – 1987 US Open – Round 3 – Olympic Club – With Jim McKay


This ABC coverage of the 3rd Round of the 1987 PGA US Open Championship from The Olympic Club in San Francisco was elegantly and eloquently covered by legendary sports commentator Jim McKay.  As the 3rd round came to an end…Tom Watson held a 1 stroke lead over fellow Americans Keith Clearwater and Scott Simpson…. with USA’s Lennie Clemsnts. Spain’s Seve Ballesteros, West Germany’s Bernhard Langer and USA’s Ben Crenshaw just 2 strokes off the pace and going into the final round.

Tom Watson had 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 had shot a six-under 64 on Saturday to get into the final pair with Watson….as Watson struggled out of the gate on Sunday on Olympic’s difficult start in the final round….when he bogeyed the first two holes and the fifth as well. 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. Simpson, a group ahead on the course, took the lead with a 30-footer (9 m) for birdie at 15….but Watson responded with a birdie at 14 to tie. At 16, Simpson sank a 9-footer (2.7 m) for his third straight birdie to take the lead….then Watson missed his from 12 feet (3.7 m) to match. Simpson found a greenside bunker at 17….then hit his sand shot to 6 feet (1.8 m) and saved par. With a par on 18, Simpson was in the clubhouse with a 68 and Watson needed a birdie to a force a Monday playoff. His 35-foot (11 m) putt narrowly missed and Simpson was the champion by a stroke. In the final pairing, Clearwater had trouble both early and late and shot a 79 (+9) to fade to a tie for 31st….as Seve Ballesteros finished in solo third place, his best career finish in a U.S. Open.

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