A U.S. Open without controversy? As Hall Thompson might say, that just isn't done. Last week the tradition continued, when players wailed that Southern Hills's slick, sloping 18th green was unfair. Here are some notorious incidents from years past. Can you match the faux pas with the Open?
1. The day after Lon Hinkle took a shortcut on a par-5—he reached the green in two by driving into an adjacent fairway—the USGA planted a 24-foot spruce, the Hinkle Tree, by the tee to block his way.
2. Seve Ballesteros was stuck in traffic, and by the time he made it to the 1st tee for his second round, his playing partners had already hit their approach shots on the hole. Ballesteros was DQ'd and angrily said he would never play in the Open again.
3. Everyone ripped this first-time Open venue, which had 13 doglegs and numerous blind shots, but it was Dave Hill who put a fine point on the criticism by saying that all the course lacked was "80 acres of corn and a few cows."
4. This Open's defining moment came in the second round, when Payne Stewart watched in horror as his eight-foot birdie putt on the 18th green just missed, then took a left turn and trundled another 25 feet to the front of the green.
5. When the playoff between Mike Donald and Hale Irwin was tied after 18 holes, this Open reverted to sudden death. USGA director of rules and competitions P.J. Boatwright permitted Irwin to tee off first because he held the honor, although Donald argued that in medal play the honor should have been determined by draw. Donald lost the Open when Irwin birdied the hole.
6. Midway through the first round, Denis Watson had a par putt hang on the lip for 25 seconds before dropping. That was 15 seconds longer than allowed, and Watson was slapped with a two-shot penalty. Watson finished second, a shot behind Andy North, and the Rules of Golf were changed to reduce the penalty for said infraction to one stroke.
7. On the 1st hole of the final round, USGA rules committee chairman Trey Holland ruled that a TV crane standing between Ernie Els's ball and the green was a temporary immovable object; therefore Els was entitled to relief from a bad lie. Wrong. The crane could have been moved, and Els, who bogeyed the hole and went on to win a three-way playoff, should have played his ball as it lay.
8. The USGA had a classic track, firm and fast, but hadn't factored in how it might play if the wind picked up. Naturally, the final round was played in a howling wind in excess of 40 mph, and on Bloody Sunday, 20 of the 66 players shot 80 or higher.
9. In the second round, balls that banked off a tier behind the pin on a par-3 hole funneled back toward the cup. As a result, a record four holes-in-one were made there that day by (above, from left) Doug Weaver, Jerry Pate, Nick Price and Mark Wiebe.