1992 US Open: Kite Takes Flight

Tom Kite on the 18th green at the 1992 US Open
The final round of the 1992 US Open was a red-letter day for Tom Kite. David Cannon/Getty Images

The 1992 U.S. Open was played at Pebble Beach Golf Links, the third time the USGA national championship visited Pebble Beach. The previous two visits resulted in victories for Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. Would the third time also produce a golfer of major stature? Or would a dark-horse emerge as the winner?

For the first day and a half, it looked like the latter. Gil Morgan - a longtime, solid PGA Tour player, but not a star - was on fire in the early going, taking the first-round lead with a 66, and maintaining it with a second-round 69.

When Morgan birdied the third hole of the third round, he reached 10-under par, the first person in U.S. Open history to get to 10-under. Morgan made it to 12-under - and a 7-stroke lead - before crashing back to earth. From that point until the end of the tournament, Morgan was 17-over par. He finished the third round still leading, but at 4-under. Then he shot 81 in the final round, finishing tied for 13th.

Meanwhile, Tom Kite - one of the PGA Tour's best players, but still without a major championship victory - kept plugging along. He was 3-under after three rounds.

The final round was played in dry, windy conditions on baked, lightning-fast greens. Morgan wasn't the only golfer who struggled. Ian Woosnam, who began the day tied with Kite, shot 79. Nick Faldo, a stroke behind Kite at the beginning of the fourth round, carded a 77.

Kite just kept hitting fairways and greens, making recoveries when he needed to, and posted a 72.

That was good enough to win Kite his first, and what turned out to be his only, major championship. The win was the 17th of Kite's PGA Tour career, and he won only twice more after this.

1992 U.S. Open Scores

Results from the 1992 U.S. Open golf tournament played at the par-72 Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, Calif.

(a-amateur):

Tom Kite71-72-70-72--285$275,000
Jeff Sluman73-74-69-71--287$137,500
Colin Montgomerie70-71-77-70--288$84,245
Nick Faldo70-76-68-77--291$54,924
Nick Price71-72-77-71--291$54,924
Billy Andrade72-74-72-74--292$32,316
Jay Don Blake70-74-75-73--292$32,316
Bob Gilder73-70-75-74--292$32,316
Mike Hulbert74-73-70-75--292$32,316
Tom Lehman69-74-72-77--292$32,316
Joey Sindelar74-72-68-78--292$32,316
Ian Woosnam72-72-69-79--292$32,316
Ian Baker-Finch74-71-72-76--293$22,532
John Cook72-72-74-75--293$22,532
Mark McCumber70-76-73-74--293$22,532
Gil Morgan66-69-77-81--293$22,532
Fred Couples72-70-78-74--294$18,069
Andy Dillard68-70-79-77--294$18,069
Wayne Grady74-66-81-73--294$18,069
Andrew Magee77-69-72-76--294$18,069
Tray Tyner74-72-78-70--294$18,069
Willie Wood70-75-75-74--294$18,069
Seve Ballesteros71-76-69-79--295$13,906
Brad Bryant71-76-75-73--295$13,906
Jay Haas70-77-74-74--295$13,906
Donnie Hammond73-73-73-76--295$13,906
Dudley Hart76-71-71-77--295$13,906
Jim Kane73-71-76-75--295$13,906
Bernhard Langer73-72-75-75--295$13,906
Billy Mayfair74-73-75-73--295$13,906
Jumbo Ozaki77-70-72-76--295$13,906
Curtis Strange67-78-76-74--295$13,906
Paul Azinger70-75-71-80--296$10,133
Mark Calcavecchia70-73-73-80--296$10,133
Russ Cochran73-74-72-77--296$10,133
Jay Delsing73-73-75-75--296$10,133
Anders Forsbrand71-70-77-78--296$10,133
Fred Funk72-75-76-73--296$10,133
Mark McNulty74-72-69-81--296$10,133
Craig Parry73-73-73-77--296$10,133
Tom Purtzer70-72-76-78--296$10,133
Craig Stadler71-72-72-81--296$10,133
Richard Zokol72-72-72-80--296$10,133
Mark Brooks70-74-69-84--297$8,007
Bob Estes72-71-74-80--297$8,007
Raymond Floyd71-69-76-81--297$8,007
Gary Hallberg71-70-73-83--297$8,007
Rocco Mediate71-75-70-81--297$8,007
Don Pooley76-71-76-74--297$8,007
Dillard Pruitt73-73-74-77--297$8,007
Scott Gump75-72-75-76--298$6,370
Hale Irwin73-70-78-77--298$6,370
Sandy Lyle73-74-75-76--298$6,370
Ted Schulz71-75-73-79--298$6,370
Payne Stewart73-70-72-83--298$6,370
Bob Wolcott76-70-74-78--298$6,370
Darryl Donovan73-74-76-76--299$5,903
Jim Gallagher Jr.71-76-69-83--299$5,903
Duffy Waldorf72-70-74-83--299$5,903
Dan Forsman72-70-74-84--300$5,773
Davis Love III72-71-74-83--300$5,773
Mike Smith74-71-74-82--301$5,773
Peter Jacobsen74-71-77-80--302$5,773
Scott Simpson76-71-68-88--303$5,773
Greg Twiggs72-71-80-80--303$5,773
Kirk Triplett73-73-80-79--305$5,773

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