1998 US Open: Janzen Gets the Better of Stewart ... Again

Lee Janzen of the USA poses with the trophy as Payne Stewart of the USA looks on. Janzen won the 1998 U.S. Open Championships
Runner-up Payne Stewart (left) next to champion Lee Janzen at the 1998 U.S. Open. Craig Jones/Getty Images

It was deja vu all over again at the 1998 U.S. Open where, just as happened five years earlier, Lee Janzen chased, caught and passed Payne Stewart in the final round to win the trophy.

Quick Bits

  • Winner: Lee Janzen, 280 (scores below)
  • Dates: June 18-21, 1998
  • Golf course: Olympic Club (Lake Course) in San Francisco, Calif.
  • U.S. Open number: The was the 98th time the tournament was played.

Janzen's Second US Open Win, and Second Time Denying Stewart

The 1998 U.S. Open was played on the Lake Course of the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Payne Stewart led each of the first three rounds, but someone was chasing him — Lee Janzen. Janzen chased and caught Stewart to win the 1993 U.S. Open five years earlier, and he chased and caught Stewart to win this one, too.

It didn't appear likely at the start of the final round. Janzen bogeyed two of his first three holes, and at that point he was seven strokes behind Stewart. But over his remaining 15 holes, Janzen carded four birdies and no bogeys, shooting a round of 68.

That 68 was one of only three sub-par rounds in the final round. And neither of the other two came from Stewart or other contenders. Stewart wound up with a 74 in the final round. And Janzen wound up with the one-stroke victory.

Janzen's hopes could have ended on the fifth hole of the final round when he drove the ball into trees on the left of the par-4's fairway. The ball appeared to be stuck up in a tree; it could not be found, at any rate, and Janzen began walking back to the tee to replay under the lost ball penalty.

And then, somehow, Janzen's ball dropped from the sky, literally — it fell out of a tree. It fell into deep rough, but, still, there was no penalty, and Janzen even managed to chip in from off the green for a par on the hole.

As noted, Janzen was seven strokes behind the leader early in the final round.

Coincidentally, a previous U.S. Open at Olympic Club, in 1966, also had a seven-stroke, final-round comeback. That was by Billy Casper, who came from seven behind in the final round to tie Arnold Palmer, then beat Palmer in a playoff.

Casey Martin's Golf Cart

The 1998 U.S. Open was the first one in which a competitor rode in a cart. Casey Martin, suffering from a birth defect that caused the withering of his right leg, qualified for the tournament. He earlier, after being denied a cart by the PGA Tour, successfully sued the PGA Tour under the Americans With Disabilities Act for the right to use a motorized cart.

The USGA abided by that legal decision, and Martin rode in a cart between shots. He made the cut and finished 23rd.

1998 US Open Scores

Results from the 1998 U.S. Open golf tournament played at the par-70 Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif. (a-amateur):

Lee Janzen, $535,00073-66-73-68-280
Payne Stewart, $315,00066-71-70-74-281
Bob Tway, $201,73068-70-73-73-284
Nick Price, $140,59773-68-71-73-285
Steve Stricker, $107,39273-71-69-73-286
Tom Lehman, $107,39268-75-68-75-286
David Duval, $83,79475-68-75-69-287
Lee Westwood, $83,79472-74-70-71-287
Jeff Maggert, $83,79469-69-75-74-287
Jeff Sluman, $64,49072-74-74-68-288
Phil Mickelson, $64,49071-73-74-70-288
Stuart Appleby, $64,49073-74-70-71-288
Stewart Cink, $64,49073-68-73-74-288
Paul Azinger, $52,21475-72-77-65-289
Jesper Parnevik, $52,21469-74-76-70-289
a-Matt Kuchar70-69-76-74-289
Jim Furyk, $52,21474-73-68-74-289
Colin Montgomerie, $41,83370-74-77-69-290
Loren Roberts, $41,83371-76-71-72-290
Frank Lickliter II, $41,83373-71-72-74-290
Jose Maria Olazabal, $41,83368-77-71-74-290
Tiger Woods, $41,83374-72-71-73-290
Casey Martin, $34,04374-71-74-72-291
Glen Day, $34,04373-72-71-75-291
D.A. Weibring, $25,64072-72-75-73-292
Per-Ulrik Johansson, $25,64071-75-73-73-292
Eduardo Romero, $25,64072-70-76-74-292
Chris Perry, $25,64074-71-72-75-292
Vijay Singh, $25,64073-72-73-74-292
Thomas Bjorn, $25,64072-75-70-75-292
Mark Carnevale, $25,64067-73-74-78-292
Mark O'Meara, $18,37270-76-78-69-293
Padraig Harrington, $18,37273-72-76-72-293
Bruce Zabriski, $18,37274-71-74-74-293
Steve Pate, $18,37272-75-73-73-293
John Huston, $18,37273-72-72-76-293
Joe Durant, $18,37268-73-76-76-293
Chris DiMarco, $18,37271-71-74-77-293
Lee Porter, $18,37272-67-76-78-293
Justin Leonard, $15,15571-75-77-71-294
Scott McCarron, $15,15572-73-77-72-294
Frank Nobilo, $15,15576-67-76-75-294
Darren Clarke, $12,53774-72-77-72-295
Joey Sindelar, $12,53771-75-75-74-295
Tom Kite, $12,53770-75-76-74-295
Joe Acosta, Jr., $12,53773-72-76-74-295
Olin Browne, $12,53773-70-77-75-295
Jack Nicklaus, $12,53773-74-73-75-295
Ernie Els, $9,71175-70-75-76-296
Michael Reid, $9,71176-70-73-77-296
Brad Faxon, $9,71173-68-76-79-296
Scott Verplank, $9,71174-72-73-77-296
Fred Couples, $8,53172-75-79-71-297
Tim Herron, $8,53175-72-77-73-297
Jim Johnston, $8,53174-73-79-71-297
John Daly, $8,53169-75-75-78-297
Mark Brooks, $8,03075-71-76-76-298
Scott Simpson, $7,84472-71-78-79-300
Rocky Walcher, $7,69677-70-77-79-303
Tom Sipula, $7,54975-71-78-81-305

 

Comings and Goings at the 1998 US Open

  • The 1998 U.S. Open was the last one in which Jack Nicklaus made the cut (he played only two more after this one). Nicklaus finished tied for 43rd at 15-over par.
  • Scott Simpson, winner of the 1987 U.S. Open at Olympic Club, played the tournament for the final time and finished 58th.
  • The low amateur was Matt Kuchar, who tied for 14th. Kuchar later won multiple PGA Tour tournaments and played in multiple Ryder Cups.
  • This was the first U.S. Open played by Retief Goosen, winner of the 2001 and 2004 tournaments.