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The Anatomy of a Comeback

June 16, 2019 - 2:04 PM
Matt Kuchar, the 1997 U.S. Amateur champion, is one of the contenders within six strokes of the lead. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

Arnold Palmer had the greatest final-round comeback in U.S. Open history, charging from seven strokes behind to win at Cherry Hills in 1960. Palmer drove the par-4 first hole and birdied six of his first seven holes en route to a closing 65. The first seven holes at Pebble Beach are also gettable, with five of the eight easiest holes in this championship coming in that stretch. Two contenders within six strokes of the lead – Brooks Koepka and Matt Kuchar – have played those holes in 8 under par through three rounds. But don’t get your hopes too high if you’re rooting for a final-round charge: All five previous U.S. Open champions at Pebble Beach – and nine of the last 11 U.S. Open winners in total – were in either first or second place through 54 holes.