1977 U.S. Open Winner and Scores

The 1977 U.S. Open was the 77th time the tournament was played. The champion won it despite (literally) playing under a death threat.

Winner: Hubert Green, 278

Where it was played: Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tournament dates: June 16-19, 1977

Leader after first round: Larry Nelson, Tom Purtzer, Grier Jones, Florentino Molina, Hubert Green, Rod Funseth and Terry Diehl, 69

Leader after second round: Hubert Green, 136

Leader after third round: Hubert Green, 208

What Happened at the 1977 U.S. Open

Twelve golfers were within three strokes of the lead as the final round began at the 1977 U.S. Open. The golfer who held that lead was Hubert Green. But unbeknownst to Green before he teed off, earlier in the day a disturbing phone call had been received by authorities.

A caller to the Oklahoma City FBI office said three men were on their way to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Southern Hills Country Club, to shoot and kill Green. Green would be murdered on the 15th hole, the caller said. To this day, nobody knows if the threat was credible and serious, or whether it was a cruel hoax. And due to mistakes and oversights earlier in the day, Green wasn't informed of the threat until he walked off the green of the 14th hole.

Green had won 11 PGA Tour events to that point, but was still looking for his first win in a major. Now, holding a one-stroke lead after 14 holes of the final round of a U.S. Open, he was being informed that a threat had been made on his life. Green decided to keep playing without delay.

But he hooked his drive on the 15th into a tree, which might have been some good luck — the ball might otherwise have gone out of bounds. Green hit his approach to 35 feet and 2-putted for par. No shots rang out, no snipers were found on or around the course. Green survived the 15th, literally and figuratively, and then birdied the 16th to take a 2-stroke lead.

Green wound up with a 70 in that final round to win by one stroke over 1975 U.S. Open champ Lou Graham. Graham started the day three shots behind Green, but ran off four birdies on the back nine. Green had to make a 3-foot putt on the final hole to avoid a playoff, and rolled it in for the win. Andy Bean, in solo second one behind Green at the start of the final round, blew up with a 79 and finished well back.

The 1977 U.S. Open was the final one played by Sam Snead, who shot 74-78 and missed the cut. Snead never won a U.S. Open, the only major trophy missing from his career. Julius Boros, U.S. Open champ in 1952 and 1963, and Tommy Bolt, U.S. Open winner in 1958, also played for the final time (in Bolt's case, it was his last appearance in any of the majors), and both also missed the cut.

1977 U.S. Open Final Scores

Hubert Green 69-67-72-70—278
Lou Graham 72-71-68-68—279
Tom Weiskopf 71-71-68-71—281
Tom Purtzer 69-69-72-72—282
Jay Haas 72-68-71-72—283
Gary Jacobsen 73-70-67-73—283
Lyn Lott 73-73-68-70—284
Terry Diehl 69-68-73-74—284
Tom Watson 74-72-71-67—284
Mike McCullough 73-73-69-70—285
Rod Funseth 69-70-72-74—285
Peter Oosterhuis 71-70-74-70—285
Jack Nicklaus 74-68-71-72—285
Al Geiberger 70-71-75-69—285
Gary Player 72-67-71-75—285
Steve Melnyk 70-73-70-73—286
Joe Inman 70-70-72-74—286
Wally Armstrong 71-70-70-75—286
Arnold Palmer 70-72-73-72—287
Bruce Lietzke 74-68-71-74—287
Billy Kratzert 73-69-75-70—287
Jerry McGee 76-69-76-66—287
Ron Streck 73-73-71-71—288
Sam Adams 70-69-76-73—288
Andy Bean 71-70-68-79—288
Gay Brewer 73-72-70-74—289
Mike Morley 70-73-74-73—290
George Archer 73-72-74-71—290
Lee Trevino 74-70-73-73—290
J.C. Snead 72-75-68-75—290
Tom Kite 71-73-70-76—290
Johnny Miller 71-73-70-76—290
John Lister 72-73-68-77—290
Don Padgett 70-74-66-80—290
Graham Marsh 74-72-72-73—291
Grier Jones 69-75-72-75—291
Rod Curl 75-71-73-72—291
Jim Simons 75-67-71-78—291
Florentino Molina 69-76-75-72—292
Rik Massengale 71-72-77-72—292
Mark Hayes 76-68-73-76—293
Hale Irwin 73-71-77-72—293
Gil Morgan 76-70-69-78—293
Phil Hancock 74-73-72-75—294
Bruce Fleisher 73-69-74-78—294
Fuzzy Zoeller 73-69-79-73—294
Raymond Floyd 73-73-78-71—295
David Canipe 74-73-70-78—295
George Burns 70-75-76-75—296
Jim Dent 76-71-74-75—296
Ben Crenshaw 74-71-72-79—296
Morris Hatalsky 70-74-72-80—296
Bill Mallon 73-71-77-77—298
a-Lindy Miller 73-73-76-77—299
Larry Nelson 69-75-78-77—299
John Melnick 71-75-78-75—299
Bob E. Smith 70-77-77-76—300
a-John Fought 73-74-78-77—302
Vince Bizik 71-76-76-79—302
Chi Chi Rodriguez 74-71-75-84—304

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