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U.S. Open top 10 moments

  • Story Highlights
  • Some of the most memorable moments in golf have been at the U.S. Open
  • Remarkable comebacks against the odds feature strongly in the list
  • Tiger Woods' 2008 victory through the pain barrier is ranked as one of the best
By Timothy Abraham
For CNN
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- The U.S. Open golf championship had a humble beginning when 11 players in 1895 completed on a nine-hole course in Newport, Rhode Island.

Tiger Woods celebrates his triumph over pain with victory in the 2008 U.S. Open

Tiger Woods celebrates his triumph over pain with victory in the 2008 U.S. Open

Since then it has gone on to become one of the most prestigious golf events in the world. Now in its 109th year the tournament has produced some truly unforgettable golf.

Here CNN takes a look at some of the greatest moments in the history of the shoot-out.

Disagree with our assessment of the best moments in U.S. Open history? Let us know by posting your comments on the Sound Off box below.

1 Tiger Woods plays through pain 2008
Woods had struggled throughout the tournament at Torrey Pines with a fractured left leg but was still in contention heading into the final round. The American, who was visibly in pain, managed to summon enough strength to force a play-off with Rocco Mediate after he sunk a 12-foot put on the 72nd green. Woods' mental tenacity then shone through as he maintained his concentration levels to defeat Mediate with a birdie on the 18th hole in the subsequent play-off to claim his 14th major championship.

2 Arnold Palmer's remarkable comeback 1960
Few people would have considered Palmer a contender to lift the title at Cherry Hills Country Club when he began his final round in 15th place -- seven strokes behind leader Mike Souchak -- but what followed was one of the greatest comebacks in golf history. Palmer ousted Ben Hogan and then Jack Nicklaus with a virtually flawless round of 64 to finish on four under and take the U.S. Open crown for the only time in his career by two shots.

3 Ben Watson's chip 1982
There was little to choose between Watson and Jack Nicklaus when the pair came up against each other at Pebble Beach at a time when they were both vying for the title as the best golfer on the planet. In the final round Watson struck perhaps the most famous shot in U.S. Open history, when he produced an audacious chip from a bad lie in thick rough for a birdie on the 71st hole to move a shot clear of Nicklaus before eventually winning the championship by two strokes.

4 Tiger Woods wins by record margin 2000
Old Tom Morris' achievement of a major victory by the record margin of 13 strokes in the British Open in 1862 had not been broken for 138 years, but at the peak of his powers Woods was also to add that accolade to his collection. He finished 15 strokes ahead of second-placed Ernie Els at Pebble Beach and also became the first player in the history of the U.S. Open to finish at double-digits under par as part of his 'Tiger Slam' when he held all four major championship titles.

5 Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie collapse 2006
Australia's Geoff Ogilvy was handed the U.S. Open trophy when two of his rivals for the title pressed the self-destruct button. Ogilvy had earlier chipped in at the 17th and holed a brave putt at the 18th to set the target at five over par for victory. Montgomerie dropped two shots on the 18th hole when a first major title seemed to be within his grasp and moments later Mickelson, who needed only a par to secure the title, also suffered a case of the last-hole jitters and double-bogeyed to completed the double collapse.

6 Ben Hogan puts crash behind him 1950
With heavily bandaged legs after a near-fatal car accident 16 months earlier, which left medical experts predicting he may never walk again, Hogan defied the odds to lift the title at Merion Golf Club. He had struggled to find form in the build up to the tournament which led to some commentators predicting his career was over. But Hogan proved he was made of sterner stuff as he defeated Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio in an 18-hole playoff to win his second of four U.S. Open titles.

7 Tony Jacklin dominates in 1970
Europe was without a U.S. Open winner since Willie Macfarlane's victory in 1925 but Jacklin was able to end the 45-year hiatus and give fans across the pond a moment to savor on a challenging course at the Hazeltine National Golf Club. Jacklin produced some superb golf and what made the victory all the more impressive is that he led the event from start to finish, eventually taking the title by seven shots with a margin that has been bettered only by Tiger Woods.

8 Payne Stewart wins four months before death 1999
Famed for his eccentric patterned trousers and ivy caps Stewart won the last of his three major titles at the Pinehurst Resort. Having first won the U.S. Open in 1991 Stewart clinched his second title in style when he rolled in a superb 20-foot par putt at the 18th hole which he celebrated with fist pump over the hole. He was unable to defend his title after he died in a plane crash four months later at the age of 42.

9 Francis Ouimet's shock win 1913
As the leading players of the era Harry Vardon and Ted Ray from Great Britain were hot favorites to land the title at The Country Club in Brookline. But the pair were shocked by the performance of the relatively unknown 20-year-old American who became the first amateur to win the U.S. Open after victory in an 18-hole play-off. Ouimet's modest background saw him turned into a folk hero and the unlikely victory also helped raise the profile of the sport which had been considered the preserve of the elite up to that point.

10 Glover conquers Mickelson and Duval 2009
American journeyman Lucas Glover denies Phil Mickelson, a perennial bridesmaid at the event, a fairytale victory at Bethpage Black. It was the 29-year-old's first major title, but what was of greater note was the fact Glover won with a final round three-over-par 73 in tough and windy conditions, holing only one birdie on the final day.

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