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1992


Tom Kite

Tom Kite shot an even-par 72 on the final day to finish with a 72-hole score of 3-under-par 275 and defeat runner-up Jeff Sluman by two strokes. After three days of cool weather with little wind, the conditions for Sunday's final round turned severe as wind gusts up to 40 m.p.h. whipped the seaside course. Only five players broke or matched par for the day and 20 others failed to break 80.

The Open began with 29 players breaking par and Gil Morgan leading the way with a 6-under 66, one stroke better than two-time champion Curtis Strange. Phil Mickelson, making his first start as a professional, birdied the opening hole and shot 68 to trail by two. Also at 68 was Andy Dillard, playing in his first Open. He merely fashioned the best start in U.S. Open history by birdying each of the first six holes.

Morgan added a 69 to lead Dillard by three strokes after 36 holes. Morgan's two-day 135 was nine under par, putting him on the brink of history as the first player in the Open ever to reach 10 under. Raymond Floyd and Wayne Grady were at four under par, tied for third and Kite had an even-par 72 to join 11 others at 1-under 143.

Morgan made U. S. Open history at the third hole of the third round when he rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt to go 10 under par. He added birdies at the sixth and seventh holes to go 12 under and lead by seven, but from there his game unraveled. He played the next seven holes in nine over par, scoring three double bogeys, three bogeys and just one par and struggled home in 77. Despite his troubles, Morgan led after 54 holes with a 4-under 212, one stroke better than Ian Woosnam, Mark Brooks and Kite.

In the final round, Morgan held the lead until the fourth hole, where his double bogey six dropped him to two under par, one stroke behind Kite, who was parring No.5 to remain three under. Kite added to his lead with birdies at the sixth and seventh and Morgan made another double bogey at the sixth en route to an 81. From the point in Saturday's round when he reached 12 under par, Morgan played the final 29 holes in 17 over par t finish at 293, eight strokes behind. Kite stayed comfortably ahead, birdying the 12th and 14th to offset bogeys at Nos. 16 and 17.

As each of the leaders filed to make a run, Colin Montgomerie finished play more than two hours in front of the leaders and posted a total of even-par 288. With Kite only halfway through his final round and scores skyrocketing, it appeared Montgomerie's total might be good enough to win. As it was, he passed 25 players during the final round, finishing one stroke behind Sluman and three behind Kite.

OPEN RECORDS


Starts - 33

Best Finish - Winner 1992

Rds - 114

Cuts Made - 24

Top 3 -1

Top 5 - 2

Top 10 - 4

Top 25 - 9

Avg. - 73.57

Scores In 60s - 9

Rds Under Par - 16

Earnings - $625,028.71