#4: Final U.S. Open
Arnold Palmer’s final U.S. Open wasn’t his best golf by any stretch—he three-putted the last five holes on Friday before missing the cut—but arguably it saw one of his finest moments.
Playing at Oakmont in 1994, roughly an hour from his hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Palmer came onto the 18th green with playing partners Rocco Mediate and John Mahaffey, but the cheers were all for him. Bowing slightly as the crowd gave him a two-minute ovation, Palmer finished out, waved to the fans, and then went for his post-round interviews. There, on full display, was the man with whom the entire golfing world had fallen in love: honest, emotional, and grateful. Struggling for words Palmer began to speak, then buried his head in a towel and cried. His 32nd U.S. Open ended exactly as it should have: in front of a home crowd where he could be himself and let a lifetime’s worth of emotions pour out. “I probably did more choking [up] coming up the last fairway than I have in the last 40 years,” he said at the time. Mediate later offered “I’ll remember it forever,” echoing everyone who ever loved the game.