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FOCUS ON GOLF / U.S. OPEN

The Last Five Winners

June 12, 1997

The last five U.S. Opens have been won by players who had not won a major tournament and have not won one since.

TOM KITE

1992

Kite had won 15 times on the PGA Tour before the '92 Open at Pebble Beach and had several close calls in the majors--seven top-five finishes in the Masters, two in the British Open and two in the PGA. Finally, on a windy Sunday at Pebble, he was one of only five players to shoot par or better and won by two shots.

LEE JANZEN

1993

Janzen had won twice in 3 1/2 years on the tour before a record-tying performance at Baltusrol. He shot four rounds in the 60s to win by two with a score of 272, tying Jack Nicklaus for the lowest score in Open history.

ERNIE ELS

1994

Els, from South Africa, was not a regular player on the PGA Tour when the Open was held at Oakmont Country Club. He joined the tour soon thereafter. Els won a playoff over Loren Roberts and Colin Montgomerie for his first victory on the U.S. tour.

COREY PAVIN

1995

Pavin's memorable 228-yard four-wood on No. 18 solidified a two-stroke victory over Greg Norman at Shinnecock Hills gave him his first major title. "I can't think of any shot that I have hit better under pressure than that one," he said.

STEVE JONES

1996

Steve Jones? He hadn't won since 1989 and was 79th on the money list in 1995. Jones, who had suffered what threatened to be a career-ending dirt-bike accident in 1991, was the first sectional qualifier to win the event since Jerry Pate in 1976.

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