Tiger Woods crushed the opposition at the 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach in a display of dominance that is unlikely to be imitated
They were the best of times within the best of times. If peak Tiger Woods was the year 2000, nothing emphasised his dominance more than the battering of Pebble Beach into submission.
A glance at the final leaderboard from the US Open of 19 years ago makes as staggering reading now as was ever the case: -12 T Woods, +3 M Jimnez/E Els, +4 J Huston. Woodss worst round of the week was 71 in an event where seven over par was sufficient to earn a top-10 finish. I dont know if well ever see a performance as dominant as that again, said Rory McIlroy of Woodss Pebble procession.
Woods, now a 15-times major winner, need not necessarily draw upon 2000 as the US Open makes a return to the Monterey Peninsula from Thursday. The 43-year-olds success at the Masters in April supplied proof that he can still prevail on the greatest stages. Still, a degree of flashback is inevitable. That particular performance, which delivered Woodss third major win, was extraordinary even by the standards of a phenomenal sportsman.
He probably led the field in every single statistical category, said McIlroy. Im sure he was up there in distance and driving accuracy. Pebble, 2000, he never drove the ball better than he did that year, long and straight. He had unbelievable distance control with his irons and he was holing putts. He did everything he needed to do.
Golf can feel pretty easy when its like that. Maybe not to that same level, Ive played tournaments and played well where the back nine has been comfortable and youve been able to sort of let it sink in. But to win by 15? Its remarkable.
Woods looked short of health and/or fitness when missing the cut at last months US PGA Championship. The specifics of the Masters champions scenario, typically, were shrouded in mystery; Woods admitted to illness on the day before the tournament began, as it curtailed his practice. His mood and form were improved by early Junes Memorial Tournament, where he finished tied ninth.
The scale of the achievement within view for Brooks Koepka is illustrated by the fact that a US Open treble was last completed in 1905, when Scotsman Willie Anderson won a third in a row. Koepkas victory at that US PGA Championship, at Bethpage Black, extended his superb run to four major wins inside 23 months. That name [Anderson] has come up a lot this year, he said.
I know what Im chasing or trying to accomplish. Its just another tournament. You can put some outside pressure on. Its a major championship. Ill be up for it, I know that. I enjoy a tough test of golf and thats what youre going to get at a US Open. You know that going in. Its fun to me to get on those big stages and try to win.