When all is said and done at this year’s US Open, you still can immerse yourself in US Open history. Here are some books on the US Open I can recommend.
Golf’s Greatest Championship, 50th Anniversary Edition: The 1960 U.S. OpenFifty years after the fact, many golf writers and observers (The GolfBlogger included) consider this to be the greatest of the US Open championships. Palmer was seven strokes down at the beginning of the final day, when he went on one of his patented, swashbuckling charges. Others were not ready to give up, though. A single stroke separated the three leaders on the final two holes: the aging lion Ben Hogan, the reigning king Arnold Palmer and the prince-in-waiting, Jack Nicklaus.
Palmer’s 65 was good enough for a win. Nicklaus, an amateur at the time, finished second. Julius Boros, Jack Fleck, E.J. Harrison, Ted Kroll, Mike Souchak and Dow Finsterwald finished T3. Hogan faltered at the end and was in a tie for ninth with Jerry Barber and Don Cherry.
This book is a gripping piece of golf history.
Open : Inside the Ropes at Bethpage BlackI think John Feinstein is the best golf reporter out there, and with Open, he puts forth a solid bit of reporting. While the book might in places be described as plodding, I was fascinated by the parts of a tournament that we never see: the logistics and behind the scenes personalities.
Bethpage Black was a significant major in a couple of ways. It was the first US Open held on a municipal course (now joined by Torrey Pines), and was played just eight months after the horrific events of 9/11. Tiger Woods won, and was the only one under par. But that really wasn’t the story. The course was the story.
And finally, there’s Are You Kidding Me?: The Story of Rocco Mediate’s Extraordinary Battle with Tiger Woods at the US Open by Rocco Mediate and John Feinstein is Rocco’s account of the amazing 2008 US Open battle between Rocco Mediate and Tiger Woods. It seems as if the entire nation was glued to the television for that one—and this is a gripping account. It also reveals a great deal about Rocco Mediate, a player who might have been one of the greats had it not been for injury and misfortune. Read my full review of the book here.