1983 U.S. Open: Winner and Scores

The 1983 U.S. Open was the 83rd time the tournament was played. Larry Nelson trailed Tom Watson by one entering the final round, but Watson opened a 3-shot lead after nine holes of Round 4. However, from that point the momentum reversed, and Nelson made a 60-foot putt on the third-to-last hole en route to the victory.

Winner: Larry Nelson, 280

Where it was played: Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania

Tournament dates: June 16-20, 1983

Leader after first round: Seve Ballesteros, Bob Murphy and John Mahaffey, 69

Leader after second round: John Mahaffey and Joey Rasselt, 141

Leader after third round: Seve Ballesteros and Tom Watson, 212

What Happened in the 1983 U.S. Open

Tom Watson and Seve Ballesteros shared the third-round lead, but Larry Nelson is the man who made the move in the final round of the 1983 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club.

Ballesteros was looking for his first U.S. Open win, and Watson was trying to win back-to-back titles as the defending champion. They started the final round one stroke ahead of Nelson, who finished his third round by going 7-under over the last 13 holes.

Ballesteros fell away a bit in the final round, eventually finishing fourth. But Watson and Nelson were hot from the start, Watson going out in 31 and Nelson in 33.

Nelson caught Watson on the 14th hole, but the momentum was interrupted by rain. The final round picked up again the next day, Monday, and Nelson pulled ahead with a 60-foot birdie putt on the 16th. Watson missed a 5-footer for par on the 17th and was unable to make birdie at the last to tie. That made Nelson the 1983 U.S. Open championship.

Nelson played the third and fourth rounds in 132 strokes, 65-67, setting a U.S. Open scoring record for the final 36 holes that, as of this writing, still stands. The victory was the sixth for Nelson on the PGA Tour (he eventually earned 10 titles). It was the second of his three wins in major championships: He previously won the 1981 PGA Championship, and later won the 1987 PGA Championship.

Arnold Palmer made his last cut in a U.S. Open here at Oakmont. It was his next-to-last appearance in a U.S. Open. Palmer tried for several years after the 1983 U.S. Open to make it into the tournament through qualifying, but never did. At the 1994 U.S. Open, the USGA gave Palmer a special exemption so he could make a farewell appearance when the Open was once again at Oakmont.

Paul Azinger missed the cut here in his first appearance in a major. Someone else of note who missed the cut was Rick Smith, who later became one of the best-known golf instructors in America.

1983 U.S. Open Final Scores

Larry Nelson 75-73-65-67—280
Tom Watson 72-70-70-69—281
Gil Morgan 73-72-70-68—283
Seve Ballesteros 69-74-69-74—286
Calvin Peete 75-68-70-73—286
Hal Sutton 73-70-73-71—287
Lanny Wadkins 72-73-74-69—288
David Graham 74-75-73-69—291
Ralph Landrum 75-73-69-74—291
Chip Beck 73-74-74-71—292
Andy North 73-71-72-76—292
Craig Stadler 76-74-73-69—292
Lennie Clements 74-71-75-73—293
David Ogrin 75-69-75-74—293
Jim Thorpe 75-70-75-73—293
Pat McGowan 75-71-75-72—293
Scott Simpson 73-71-73-76—293
Mike Nicolette 76-69-73-75—293
Raymond Floyd 72-70-72-79—293
Gary Player 73-74-76-71—294
Tom Kite 75-76-70-73—294
Griff Moody 76-72-73-73—294
D.A. Weibring 71-74-80-69—294
Tom Weiskopf 75-73-74-73—295
Gary Koch 78-71-72-74—295
Mark Hayes 75-72-74-75—296
Tommy Nakajima 75-74-74-73—296
Bob Ford 76-73-75-72—296
Ken Green 77-73-71-75—296
Joey Rassett 72-69-78-77—296
Curtis Strange 74-72-78-72—296
Tim Simpson 76-74-73-74—297
Roger Maltbie 76-72-69-80—297
Ron Terry 75-75-73-75—298
Mike Sullivan 74-76-74-74—298
Andy Bean 76-75-73-74—298
Peter Jacobsen 75-75-77-71—298
John Mahaffey 69-72-79-78—298
Bob Gilder 75-74-75-75—299
Hale Irwin 72-76-75-76—299
Skeeter Heath 73-76-74-76—299
Keith Fergus 76-72-79-72—299
Wayne Levi 74-76-74-76—300
J.C. Snead 76-73-76-75—300
Jack Nicklaus 73-74-77-76—300
Jay Haas 74-74-74-78—300
Mike Reid 75-75-78-72—300
Scott Hoch 74-77-74-76—301
Nick Price 72-77-72-80—301
Mark McNulty 75-76-75-76—302
Forrest Fezler 75-76-74-77—302
Peter Oosterhuis 75-76-77-74—302
Bob Shearer 76-74-75-77—302
Bob Boyd 76-75-74-77—302
a-Brad Faxon 77-74-75-76—302
Lou Graham 71-77-78-76—302
Bob Murphy 69-81-74-78—302
Frank Conner 72-74-81-75—302
Greg Norman 74-75-81-72—302
Arnold Palmer 74-75-78-76—303
Hubert Green 74-74-76-79—303
Donnie Hammond 74-73-81-75—303
a-John Sherman 80-71-79-74—304
Bob Eastwood 75-76-80-74—305
Bruce Devlin 70-79-77-80—306
Bobby Wadkins 71-77-81-77—306
Jim Nelford 72-79-79-77—307
Rocky Thompson 76-75-79-80—310
Jim Booros 72-79-82-77—310
Hsu Sheng-San 74-77-80-81—312

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