The South Course at Torrey Pines is hosting its second U.S. Open this week, and it’s a venue that is quite familiar to golf fans from its yearly late-January role as the host of the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open. When Tiger Woods prevailed over Rocco Mediate in a memorable U.S. Open playoff in 2008, it marked his second victory over the Torrey Pines layout that year. Tiger rolled to an eight-stroke victory in January, one of seven times he has captured the January event.
This year, Patrick Reed has a chance to replicate Tiger’s feat, having cruised to a five-stroke win in the Farmers Insurance Open on Jan. 31. The last two times a player had a chance to repeat a PGA Tour victory later in the season in the U.S. Open happened at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. In 2010, Dustin Johnson won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, then held the 54-hole lead in the U.S. Open before finishing in a tie for eighth place behind Graeme McDowell. In 2019, Phil Mickelson captured his fifth AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, but he was not a factor in the U.S. Open in June, finishing in a tie for 52nd.
Tiger being Tiger, the 2008 twin wins were his second time pulling off the yearly double – in 2000, he shot a final-round 64 to win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, then produced one of the most dominant performances in major-championship history, a 15-stroke triumph for the first of his three U.S. Open victories. In 1972, Jack Nicklaus defeated Johnny Miller in a playoff in the AT&T event at Pebble Beach, then earned a two-stroke U.S. Open win over Bruce Crampton in June that was sealed by his iconic 1-iron tee shot that hit the flagstick for a tap-in birdie on the 71st hole.