Jim Furyk celebrated his first Father's Day as a parent by capturing the 2003 U.S Open Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club outside Chicago, winning by three strokes over Stephen Leaney and by seven over Kenny Perry and Mike Weir. They were the only four players to finish under par.
Entering the final round with a three-shot lead, Furyk closed with a 2-over-par 72 for an 8-under total of 272, tying the U.S. Open scoring record shared by Jack Nicklaus (1980), Lee Janzen (1993) and Tiger Woods (2000). Except for bogeys on the final two holes, Furyk would have had the record to himself. Leaney also shot 72 on the final day.
"It's a proud day," said Furyk. "It's beyond some dreams. My name will be on that trophy with some unbelievable names in golf and you can't take that away from me."
The championship opened with drama and emotion as 53-year-old Tom Watson fired a 5-under-par 65 to share the first-round lead with Brett Quigley. Watson and long time caddie Bruce Edwards, fighting his own personal battle with ALS, seemed to rediscover the magic that marked Watson's victory in the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
"I had tears in my eyes after sinking the final putt," Watson noted, following his round. "You can only imagine at this stage of my career how important this is, and how rare this opportunity is." Although Watson's play fell off in the following rounds, as he finished tied for 28th at four-over-par 284, his opening round remained for many the highlight of the championship.
Furyk opened with rounds of 67-66-67 and entered the final round leading by three strokes over Australia's Leaney and by five over Nick Price and Vijay Singh. Throughout the day, none of the challengers mounted a serious assault on Furyk's lead. Singh and Price faltered with rounds of 78 and 75, respectively. Perry, who closed with a round of 67, vaulted from 33rd to 3rd on the leader board, but, he never threatened the leaders and finished at one-under-par 279. Weir also finished earlier in the day with a 71.
Paired with Furyk in the final round, Leaney failed to capitalize on the few errors that Furyk made. After Furyk posted bogeys at the 10th and 12th, Leaney knocked in an eight-foot putt for birdie at the 13th to pull within three strokes of the lead, but that would be the closest he would come to catching Furyk.
"He just kept me at arm's length all day," said Leaney.
Scoring at Olympia Fields was lower than expected, with the field returning rounds in the 60s, the most in any U.S. Open Championship. Furyk (67-67-133) Singh (70-63-133) established a new 36-hole scoring record, while Furyk (67-66-67-200), set a new 54-hole mark. In the second round, Singh fired (34-29-63, tying nine-hole and eighteen-hole records for the championship. Only on Sunday when the fairways and greens became firm and fast, did the course reveal its true character, yielding just six sub-par rounds.
Sixty-eight players made the cut at Olympia Fields, which came at 3-over-par 143, lowest in U.S. Open history. Ten amateurs qualified for the championship, the most since 1984, but only two made the cut, with low-amateur honors captured by Trip Kuehne.
Starts - 14
Best Finish - Winner 2003
Rds - 54
Cuts Made - 13
Top 3 - 3
Top 5 - 5/p>
Top 10 - 5
Top 25 - 7
Scores in 60s - 9
Rds Under Par - 9
Earnings - $2,595,297.27