Arnold Palmer, 1966 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club (Golf)

With a seven-stroke lead over Billy Casper and only nine holes left to play, Palmer, in typical style, went for the U.S. Open record instead of playing it safe. But he scored five over par on holes 10 through 17 and barely managed to par the 18th hole to tie Casper, who shot 32 on the back nine. Palmer lost the Monday playoff with a 73 to Casper’s 69. He never won another major.
After the obligatory post-tournament press conference, an official asked Palmer if he wanted to leave by a back door to avoid the crowd waiting outside. He declined. “The way I played,” he said, “I deserve whatever they do to me.” He was pleasantly surprised to find that his fans — “Arnie’s Army” — were even more adoring than they would have been had he won.

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