1987 U.S. Open Winner and Scores

The 1987 U.S. Open was the 87th time the tournament was played. The champion claimed his trophy on the strength of a late birdie binge.

Winner: Scott Simpson, 277

Where it was played: Olympic Club in San Francisco, California

Tournament dates: June 18-21, 1987

Leader after first round: Ben Crenshaw, 67

Leader after second round: Tom Watson and Mark Wiebe, 137

Leader after third round: Tom Watson, 208

What Happened in the 1987 U.S. Open

Scott Simpson came from one stroke behind entering the final round to pip Tom Watson by one stroke. Watson was the third-round leader, but Simpson shot 68 in the final round to Watson's 70. The tide turned on the 14th through 16th holes, when Simpson reeled off three consecutive birdies to take the lead.

Watson tied the tournament lead with a second-round 67, then took the outright lead with a third-round 71. Simpson was one stroke behind. Watson maintained his one-shot lead over Simpson through 13 holes of the final round. But then Simpson made those three consecutive birdies on Nos. 14, 15 and 16, passing Watson. Watson had a 45-foot birdie putt on the final hole to tie, but missed.

Seve Ballesteros finished five strokes behind Simpson, in third place. It was the third time in five years Ballesteros finished in the Top 5 at the U.S. Open, and proved to be the best finish of his career in this major. Forty-seven-year-old Jack Nicklaus was tied for second after two rounds, a stroke behind Watson, but collapsed on the weekend with rounds of 76 and 77. Nicklaus finished tied for 46th.

Simpson won seven times on the PGA Tour. Although he challenged at several other U.S. Opens — including a runner-up finish, via playoff, in the 1991 U.S. Open — his win here proved to be Simpson's only major championship title.

1987 U.S. Open Final Scores

Scott Simpson 71-68-70-68—277
Tom Watson 72-65-71-70—278
Seve Ballesteros 68-75-68-71—282
Bobby Wadkins 71-71-70-71—283
Ben Crenshaw 67-72-72-72—283
Larry Mize 71-68-72-72—283
Curtis Strange 71-72-69-71—283
Bernhard Langer 69-69-73-72—283
Mac O'Grady 71-69-72-72—284
Jim Thorpe 70-68-73-73—284
Tommy Nakajima 68-70-74-72—284
Lennie Clements 70-70-70-74—284
Dan Pohl 75-71-69-69—284
Isao Aoki 71-73-70-71—285
Bob Eastwood 73-66-75-71—285
Tim Simpson 76-66-70-73—285
David Frost 70-72-71-73—286
Mark Calcavecchia 73-68-73-72—286
Nick Price 69-74-69-74—286
Jumbo Ozaki 71-69-72-74—286
Jim Woodward 71-74-72-69—286
Kenny Knox 72-71-69-74—286
Jodie Mudd 72-75-71-68—286
Steve Pate 71-72-72-72—287
Danny Edwards 72-70-72-73—287
Peter Jacobsen 72-71-71-73—287
Craig Stadler 72-68-74-73—287
Don Pooley 74-72-72-69—287
Jay Don Blake 70-75-71-71—287
John Mahaffey 72-72-67-76—287
Hal Sutton 74-70-70-74—288
Tony Sills 71-70-75-72—288
Ken Green 71-74-75-68—288
Dale Douglass 70-73-69-76—288
Keith Clearwater 74-71-64-79—288
Lanny Wadkins 73-71-72-73—289
Denis Watson 69-74-72-74—289
Sandy Lyle 70-74-72-73—289
Barry Jaeckel 73-70-72-74—289
Rodger Davis 75-68-72-74—289
John Cook 70-68-76-75—289
Scott Hoch 72-70-77-70—289
Wayne Grady 73-70-74-73—290
Raymond Floyd 68-73-76-73—290
Sam Randolph 71-71-76-72—290
Ralph Landrum 72-71-74-74—291
Fred Couples 72-71-73-75—291
Roger Maltbie 73-73-75-70—291
Tom Kite 76-69-70-76—291
Jack Nicklaus 70-68-76-77—291
Joey Sindelar 75-71-75-71—292
David Graham 71-76-72-73—292
Gil Morgan 72-71-76-73—292
Greg Norman 72-69-74-77—292
David Hobby 77-70-73-72—292
Ed Dougherty 73-67-78-74—292
Mark McCumber 72-72-69-79—292
Mike Smith 73-71-74-75—293
Duffy Waldorf 74-69-75-75—293
Eddie Kirby 73-69-75-76—293
Jack Renner 73-73-71-76—293
Mark Wiebe 70-67-77-79—293
Gene Sauers 72-69-73-79—293
Bob Gilder 72-72-70-79—293
Bob Lohr 76-67-79-71—293
Mark McNulty 73-72-73-76—294
Russ Cochran 71-69-81-73—294
Jose Maria Olazabal 76-69-76-74—295
Tom Purtzer 74-73-77-71—295
Bob Tway 70-71-79-75—295
Jim Carter 75-72-75-74—296
Donnie Hammond 75-71-76-74—296
Gary Hallberg 71-72-69-85—297
David Ogrin 74-72-74-78—298
Dave Eichelberger 72-75-77-76—300
Fred Wadsworth 75-71-77-77—300
Dave Rummells 74-73-76-78—301

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