Throwback Thursday: The greatest closing round in major history

The Scoop

Johnny Miller produced the greatest closing round in US Open (and Major) history.

The Background

Many consider Johnny Miller’s 63 at Oakmont in 1973 the greatest round ever played.

The then two-time PGA Tour winner came from six shots behind a four-way lead that included local hero Arnold Palmer and, in the process, also raced past the likes of Tom Weiskopf, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.

The Scene

Johnny Miller

Nobody did this at Oakmont, the toughest layout in the United States and particularly not at the Open. But Miller did. He hit every green and recorded the first 63 in major championship history.

And, amazingly, it could have been better – he three-putted the eighth and lipped out on both of his closing holes.

There might have been some overnight rain but only three other players in the field managed to break 70. Miller made it all look very easy.

The Moment

“I’d say that if there was ever a round that I played that felt like somebody helped me from who knows where, up above or whatever, that was the only round that I felt it wasn’t all just me,” revealed Miller.

“I had tremendous concentration levels that day, and everything just went right. You just don’t play Oakmont like that.

“If you go through the round you will probably realise the round had some good potential of being in the high 50s or around 60. I did not get a lot out of the round.

“It was really exciting on 17 and 18. I wanted more strokes because I thought if I got one more under after I birdied 15, it was definitely my championship and I figured if I didn’t birdie any after 15, I probably would still win, but I left the door open a little.

“So the putt I lipped out at 17 and then the violent lip out of 18, I really wanted that putt at 18 really badly, and it wasn’t like I was trying to just cozy it up there.”

More from NCG...

Previous article
Next article
Top