Miller Finds Magic at Pebble Beach
Mark O’Meara is revered for his five Crosby/AT&T Pro-Am victories in a span of 13 years (1985, 1989, 1990, 1992 and 1997)—more than any other golfer in history. If you add his 1980 California Amateur Championship victory, O’Meara notched six wins in 18 years.
As remarkable as is O’Meara’s feat, Johnny Miller can boast as many victories at Pebble Beach, in addition to being the only golfer to have won at Pebble Beach in four different decades.
A Phenomenal Start
Miller’s first win at Pebble Beach came in the 1968 California State Amateur Championship. He followed that up a few months later with a team victory for the Northern California Golf Association in the Morse Cup competition before joining the professional ranks.
The Winning Streak Continues
No one was surprised when Johnny Miller won the Bing Crosby Pro-Am in 1974. He was at the top of his game and in the prime of his career, having narrowly lost the 1972 Crosby in a play-off with Jack Nicklaus and winning the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont with a final round 63—still the lowest score for 18 holes ever in a U.S. Open.
The Fourth & Fifth Wins
At the age of 36, he won again at Pebble Beach in the 1983 Pebble Beach Invitational (then the Spalding). He finished 1983 as #14 on the Money List—his last time in the top 20. When Miller won again in 1987, it was at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and people were pleased: The great champion could “go out” with a victory.
The Final Win
However, when Miller won a third Pro-Am in 1994, at age 46, and became the only golfer ever to win the event in three different decades, even he was stunned.
After three rounds (68-72-67) he found himself in the final pairing, one stroke behind Dudley Hart, and one stroke ahead of Tom Watson. Miller anticipated a high-scoring, three-putting final round at Pebble Beach. Instead, he came away with a surprise, hard-fought victory over Tom Watson, who had a one-stroke lead with three holes to play.
It marked a final, dramatic and magical title to cap off a spectacular career with 24 PGA TOUR victories—the last two coming at Pebble Beach Golf Links.