Tiger Woods isn’t competing in the RBC Heritage this weekend, but he’s still commanding the storylines for what he did 20 years ago today. On June 18, 2000, Woods won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach with the most dominant performance in golf history. The win signaled his arrival as not only the best player in the world but the potential greatest player of all time. What Woods accomplished that day will never be replicated on the PGA Tour again.
Tiger Woods was just 24 years old entering the 2000 U.S. Open
A young and powerful Tiger Woods entered the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach at the ripe age of 24. Despite his lack of experience, Woods was already considered the greatest golfer in the world.
Coming into the 2000 U.S. Open, Woods had won 12 of his previous 23 tournaments. He was as dominant as any athlete was in their respective sport at the time. When Woods was on his game, no one could catch him.
Before he even teed off at Pebble Beach, everyone around the golf world had a feeling something special was about to happen. Even Tiger himself had unwavering confidence heading into the weekend.
“I was playing so well heading to Pebble,” Woods said. “I had won earlier in the year at Pebble, so that gave me a bit more confidence, I love the place. So I was at peace going to Pebble and everything was on track.”
Woods was as confident as could be leading into the tournament, but not even he could’ve predicted what happened next.
Tiger Woods won the 2000 U.S. Open by a record 15 strokes
Woods didn’t just win the U.S. Open in 2000. He thoroughly dominated the field and embarrassed some of the greatest golfers of all time in the process. Woods shot 65-69-71-67 in his four rounds during the tournament to finish at -12.
No one else in the field even shot under par.
“This is the greatest performance in golf history,” NBC analyst Johnny Miller said Sunday night. “Maybe the greatest performance in sports history.”
With the historic win, Woods set the U.S. Open record for the largest lead after 36 holes (six shots) and 54 holes (10 shots), as well as the largest winning margin at 15 shots. It’s still the largest margin of victory in a major in golf history.
Woods didn’t just cruise to the finish either. He shot 67 in the final round to completely demolish the rest of the field. If you didn’t know what his lead was, you would’ve never known it by his body language all day. Woods was fist-pumping after par saves and attacking pins down the back nine. At that point, Woods was just showing off.
Woods’ historic victory will never be topped on the PGA Tour
There have been runaway victories on the PGA Tour before. Tom Morris won the British Open by 13 shots in 1962. More recently, Rory McIlroy won the U.S. Open by eight shots in 2011, breaking many of Woods’ records along the way.
But Tiger’s 15-shot win 20 years ago will never be topped. On a course where every other great golfer couldn’t come close to breaking par, Woods made Pebble Beach look like a local chip and putt.
The sheer dominance and how easy Woods made it look will never be outdone on the PGA Tour.