|Dates||June 14–17, 1962|
|Course(s)||Oakmont Country Club|
|Length||6,894 yards (6,304 m)|
|Field||150 players, 51 after cut|
|283 (−1), playoff|
The 1962 U.S. Open was the 62nd U.S. Open, held June 14–17 at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, a suburb northeast of Pittsburgh. Jack Nicklaus defeated 1960 champion Arnold Palmer in an 18-hole Sunday playoff that marked the beginning of their legendary rivalry. For Nicklaus, it was his first professional win, the first of four U.S. Open titles and a record 18 major championships. Though just 22, it was Nicklaus' sixth U.S. Open and tenth major, having played in four Masters. He had won the U.S. Amateur twice (1959, 1961) and was the top amateur at the previous two Opens, placing second to Palmer in 1960 and fourth in 1961.
Only two of the six former champions in the field made the 36-hole cut, Palmer and defending champion Gene Littler.
Lengths of the course for previous major championships:
Past champions in the field
Made the cut
|Player||Country||Year won||R1||R2||R3||R4||Total||To par||Finish|
|Arnold Palmer||United States||1960||71||68||73||71||283||−1||2|
|Gene Littler||United States||1961||69||74||72||75||290||+6||T8|
Missed the cut
|Player||Country||Year(s) won||R1||R2||Total||To par|
|Tommy Bolt||United States||1958||76||76||152||+10|
|Cary Middlecoff||United States||1949, 1956||74||79||153||+11|
|Billy Casper||United States||1959||77||77||154||+12|
|Ed Furgol||United States||1954||78||78||156||+14|
Thursday, June 14, 1962
Defending champion Littler took the first round lead with a 69 (−2) before a record opening round gallery of 17,486, mostly following Palmer in the afternoon, paired with Nicklaus. The previous record was 13,916 in 1960 near Denver.
|1||Gene Littler||United States||69||−2|
|T2||Bobby Nichols||United States||70||−1|
|Bob Rosburg||United States|
|T4||Frank Boynton||United States||71||E|
|J. C. Goosie||United States|
|Arnold Palmer||United States|
|Gary Player||South Africa|
|Robert Schoener||United States|
|T9||Eugene Francis (a)||United States||72||+1|
|John Guenther (a)||United States|
|Jack Nicklaus||United States|
Friday, June 15, 1962
Palmer carded a 68 in the morning and Bob Rosburg a 69 to co-lead after 36 holes at 139 (−3), with Nicklaus three strokes back in a tie for fourth. Palmer and Nicklaus were paired together in the first two rounds. The second round attendance record was broken with 19,971 in the gallery, surpassing the previous mark of 15,225 set in 1961 near Detroit.
|T1||Arnold Palmer||United States||71-68=139||−3|
|Bob Rosburg||United States||70-69=139|
|3||Billy Maxwell||United States||71-70=141||−1|
|T4||Bobby Nichols||United States||70-72=142||E|
|Jack Nicklaus||United States||72-70=142|
|Gary Player||South Africa||71-71=142|
|T7||Miller Barber||United States||73-70=143||+1|
|Gene Littler||United States||69-74=143|
|T9||Phil Rodgers||United States||74-70=144||+2|
|Don Whitt||United States||73-71=144|
Saturday, June 16, 1962 - (morning)
|T1||Bobby Nichols||United States||70-72-70=212||−1|
|Arnold Palmer||United States||71-68-73=212|
|T3||Phil Rodgers||United States||74-70-69=213||E|
|Bob Rosburg||United States||70-69-74=213|
|T5||Jack Nicklaus||United States||72-70-72=214||+1|
|Gary Player||South Africa||71-71-72=214|
|7||Gene Littler||United States||69-74-72=215||+2|
|8||Billy Maxwell||United States||71-70-75=216||+3|
|9||Art Wall, Jr.||United States||73-72-72=217||+4|
|T10||Gay Brewer||United States||73-72-73=218||+5|
|Tommy Jacobs||United States||74-71-73=218|
Saturday, June 16, 1962 - (afternoon)
After 54 holes at Oakmont, Palmer held a share of the lead with Bobby Nichols, with Phil Rodgers and Bob Rosburg a stroke back, and Nicklaus and Gary Player two back. Rosburg shot a 79 (+8) in the final round and quickly fell out of contention, while Nichols and Rodgers carded scores of 73 and 72, respectively, to share 3rd place. But the story of this day was the duel between Palmer and Nicklaus. Although he bogeyed the 9th, Palmer still led Nicklaus as they made the turn. That would change quickly as Nicklaus birdied 11 and Palmer bogeyed 13, evening up the score. Nicklaus missed a birdie attempt at the last to finish with a 69, while Palmer missed a birdie at 18 from 12 feet (4 m) that would have won the championship. This set up an 18-hole playoff between golf's most popular player and the game's rising star.
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money ($)|
|T1||Jack Nicklaus||United States||72-70-72-69=283||−1||Playoff|
|Arnold Palmer||United States||71-68-73-71=283|
|T3||Bobby Nichols||United States||70-72-70-73=285||+1||5,500|
|Phil Rodgers||United States||74-70-69-72=285|
|5||Gay Brewer||United States||73-72-73-69=287||+3||4,000|
|T6||Tommy Jacobs||United States||74-71-73-70=288||+4||2,750|
|Gary Player||South Africa||71-71-72-74=288|
|T8||Doug Ford||United States||74-75-71-70=290||+6||1,767|
|Gene Littler||United States||69-74-72-75=290|
|Billy Maxwell||United States||71-70-75-74=290|
Cumulative tournament scores, relative to par
Sunday, June 17, 1962
The 10,000 that showed up for the playoff on Sunday were decidedly pro-Palmer, constantly taunting the 22-year-old upstart from Ohio. (Palmer was from nearby Latrobe and had won two of the last three majors, with five overall.) Nicklaus, however, silenced the crowd by going up by four strokes after six holes. Palmer then launched one of his patented charges with birdies at 9, 11, and 12 to close within one, but a three-putt bogey at 13 proved to be costly for Palmer. Nicklaus held him off from there and prevailed by three strokes, carding a 71 to Palmer's 74. Nicklaus won the championship on the greens; he had just one three-putt the entire week, while Palmer had 10. Nicklaus became the youngest winner of the U.S. Open since Bobby Jones in 1923, and became the first since Jones to hold the Open and the U.S. Amateur championship at the same time; he had won the Amateur the previous year before turning pro in the winter. For Palmer, this began a frustrating stretch as a runner-up in four U.S. Opens in six years, with three in playoffs. His words after the tournament proved prophetic, saying of Nicklaus: "Now that the big guy is out of the cage, everybody better run for cover."
|Place||Player||Country||Score||To par||Money ($)|
|1||Jack Nicklaus||United States||71||E||17,500|
|2||Arnold Palmer||United States||74||+3||10,500|
- Included in earnings is a playoff bonus of $2,500 each, from the playoff gate receipts.
|Palmer||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+2||+2||+3||+2||+2||+1||E||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+3|Birdie Bogey Double bogey
- "U.S. Open history:1962". USGA. Archived from the original on February 5, 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- Gundelfinger, Phil (June 14, 1962). "Nation's top golfers attack soggy Oakmont fairways". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 32.
- Gundelfinger, Phil (June 18, 1962). "Nicklaus Defeats Palmer". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 1. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Gundelfinger, Phil (June 14, 1962). "Field of 150 tees off in 62nd Open". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 35. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- "Golf Playoff Detail". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 18, 1962. p. 21. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- "A Legend is Born: Palmer Establishes Legacy, While Miller Has Round For The Ages". USGA. March 8, 2007. Archived from the original on December 16, 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
- "Oakmont, the champ, the man to beat". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Florida. NEA. June 10, 1953. p. 9.
- Rosensweet, Alvin (June 15, 1962). "17,486 attend first round of the Open". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 1.
- Gundelfinger, Phil (June 15, 1962). "Littler leads Open with 69; Palmer hits 71". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 1.
- MacDonald, Jim (June 16, 1962). "Palmer, Rosburg tie for U.S. Open lead". Toledo Blade. p. 14.
- Gundelfinger, Phil (June 16, 1962). "Palmer, Rosburg in 'Open' lead". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 1.
- "Starting times for Friday". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 15, 1962. p. 16.
- "National Open Golf Scoreboard". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 16, 1962. p. 14.
- "Jack's Finish Ties Palmer; More Today". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. June 17, 1962. p. 1-Sports. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- MacDonald, Jim (June 17, 1962). "Palmer, Nicklaus tie at 283 in U.S. Open". Toledo Blade. p. 1-sports.
- "Open Scores". Toledo Blade. June 17, 1962. p. 5-(sec.3). Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Wright, Alfred (June 25, 1962). "That big strong dude". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- "Robust Jack Nicklaus Captures National Open Play-Off". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. June 18, 1962. p. 8. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- McDonald, Jim (June 18, 1962). "Nicklaus Cuts Palmer Down To Size". Toledo Blade. p. 14. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Dulac, Gerry (March 17, 2012). "U.S. Open: Battle of '62 had Jack, Arnie, Woody". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- "Playoff Cards". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 18, 1962. p. 21. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
|Major Championships||Succeeded by|
1962 Open Championship