U.S. Open: 10 most clutch shots of all time

Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports /
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7. Corey Pavin-1995 U.S. Open, Shinnecock Hills, 18th hole

Corey Pavin came into the 1995 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills with 12 PGA TOUR wins to his credit, another on the European Tour and two victories in Japan. Widely regarded as one of the best players at the time not to have won a major championship — he was ranked ninth in the world coming into the tournament — Pavin kept himself in contention with rounds of 72, 69 and 71 over the first three days and entered Sunday’s final round in a four-way tie for fifth, three shots back of leaders Tom Lehman and Greg Norman.

As the final groups made the turn, Lehman and Norman remained tied at the top of the leaderboard but a couple of costly bogeys let the pack back into it and Pavin took advantage. He birdied the 12th and made another at 15 to take the lead. Norman also birdied the 15th and was still within striking distance.

Pavin came to the 450-yard, par-4 18th with a two-shot lead but with a shark (golf puns are amazing) behind him, he needed something special. He found the fairway off the tee but still had 209 yards to the cup and not being the biggest hitter in the world, he took a 4-wood out of his bag and gave it a go. The angle he had looking in wasn’t great so when he hit the ball, he couldn’t see where it ended up but it turned out just fine, hopping onto the green and settling just five feet from the hole. The drama might have been a little better had he made the birdie putt but a two-putt par was enough to clinch the 1995 U.S. Open. The win bumped him to sixth in the world rankings and got rid of that pesky moniker of one of the best to never win a major.