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On This Date in Sports June 18, 1960: Nexus at the US Open

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

Arnold Palmer, who began the final round seven strokes off the lead rallies to win the U.S. Open for the only time in his career.  Palmer shots a six-under-par 65 in the final 18 holes in the afternoon after a one-over 72 in the morning as the final two rounds were both held on the same day at Cherry Hills CC near Denver. Palmer with a -4 wins by two strokes over amateur Jack Nicklaus who finished had par 71 in the final round.

The 1960 U.S. Open at Cherry Hill Country Club in Englewood, Colorado, was a tournament in which the past, present, and future merged for a thrilling final 36 holes. Ben Hogan, who won four U.S. Open titles, had his last top ten finish. Arnold Palmer coming off a win in the Masters, looked to make two majors in a row while Amateur Jack Nicklaus gave a preview of his greatness to come.  

Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicklaus got off to slow starts at Cherry Hills, as Mike Souchak shot a 68 to grab a one-stroke lead over Jerry Barber and Henry Ransom at the end of the first round. At same time Hogan was four over after a 75, while Arnold Palmer had a 72. U.S. Amateur Champion Jack Nicklaus had a par-71 and was not the high amateur, as singer Don Cherry who often competed in golf tournaments, was at one under. 

Mike Souchak continued to lead after the second round, shooting a 67 to sit at -7 at the midpoint of the tournament. He held a three-shot lead over Doug Sanders, while Don Cherry, with a par-71, remained the top amateur. Ben Hogan got back to par, with a 67 in the second round, while Jack Nicklaus had a second straight 71 to stay even, with Arnold Palmer staying at one over with a par round himself. 

In 1960 the U.S. Open played 36 holes on Saturday, with the third round in the morning and the final round in the afternoon. Mike Souchak lost some ground in the morning with a 73, but at five-under-par remained in the lead, two strokes better than Jerry Barber, Julius Boros, and Dow Finsterwald while Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus each shot a 69 to sit at two-under-par. 

Most thought Arnold Palmer was out of the running as he stood seven strokes back after the third round, in which he had a 72 to drop to +2. Palmer began his charge right at the start of the fourth round as he started with four straight birdies, adding birdies on the sixth and seventh hole to climb the leaderboard. While all the golfer who started the day at the top of the leaderboard were struggling. This included Mike Souchak, who shot a 75 and finished at -1, in a tie for third place. Jack Nicklaus briefly held the lead with an eagle on five and a birdie on nine, but struggled on the back nine and finished a -2, with a par-71 in the final round. Ben Hogan faded in the final round finishing with a par scored, in tie for ninth place. Palmer meanwhile carried the momentum from the hot start, shaking off a bogey on eight with a birdie on the 11th hole to take the lead for good.