Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

U.S. Open 101: History, qualifications and this year at Pinehurst No. 2

By admin Jun13,2024

Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about the United States Open:

How old is the tournament?

One hundred twenty-nine years. The first one was played in 1895.

How many times has it been played?

This year will mark the 124th U.S. Open. It was not played in 1917 or 1918 because of World War I, nor was it played in 1942-45 because of World War II.

Who started it?

The United States Golf Association, an organization formed in 1894 by five prominent golf clubs to be the game’s national governing body.

Is it the oldest national championship in the world?

No. The Open, also referred to as The Open Championship, dates back to 1860.

Where was the first U.S. Open played?

It was played on a nine-hole course at Newport (R.I.) Country Club.

Who was the first winner?

Horace Rawlins, a 21-year-old Englishman, shot 173 for 36 holes to beat Scotsman Willie Dunn by two strokes.

Who is the most recent winner?

That would be Wyndham Clark. The American secured his maiden major title at Los Angeles Country Club by defeating Rory McIlroy by a shot.

Who has won the most U.S. Opens?

Four players have won the U.S. Open four times each: Scotsman Willie Anderson and Americans Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus. Hogan also won the 1942 Hale America Open, which some of his supporters claim should be counted as his fifth U.S. Open. The Hale America was a substitute for the U.S. Open, was held in the same time slot and was run like the U.S. Open with local and final qualifying.

How many times has a player won consecutive Opens?

Six players have won back-to-back Opens and one has won three in a row. Chronologically, they are Scotsman Willie Anderson (1903-05), and Americans John McDermott (1911-12), Bobby Jones (1929-30), Ralph Guldahl (1937-38), Ben Hogan (1950-51), Curtis Strange (1988-89) and Brooks Koepka (2018-19).

Who are the most noteworthy players who have NOT won a U.S. Open?

This list would have to start with Sam Snead, whose failure to win a U.S. Open cost him a career Grand Slam. Snead was runner-up in the Open four times – in 1937, 1947, 1949 and 1953. But his most painful loss probably came in 1939, when he came to the final hole needing only a par to win but instead made a triple bogey. As on-course scoreboards did not yet exist, Snead didn’t know he needed only a par; a spectator erroneously told him he needed a birdie. Phil Mickelson is also in this category; he has a record six runner-up finishes (1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2013).

Where is this year’s championship?

The No. 2 course at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina. This will mark the fourth time the USGA anchor site has hosted this major. It first did so in 1999, when Payne Stewart beat Phil Mickelson on the 72nd hole. Michael Campbell, in 2005, won by two shots over Tiger Woods. And Martin Kaymer rolled to an eight-shot, wire-to-wire triumph in 2014. That latter year, the No. 2 course also hosted the U.S. Women’s Open the following week, which was won by Michelle Wie.

Which U.S. Opens have been the most memorable?

It’s all a matter of opinion, of course. Working backwards in the top 10: 10. 1973: Johnny Miller shoots a record 63 in the final round to win. 9. 1982: Tom Watson chips in from deep rough on the 71st hole to win at Pebble Beach. 8. 2008: Limping on what would turn out to be a broken leg, Tiger Woods edges Rocco Mediate after an 18-hole playoff and one sudden-death hole. 7. 1930: Bobby Jones wins the third leg of a Grand Slam he would soon complete. 6. 2000: Woods destroys the field by a record 15 shots at Pebble Beach. 5. 1950: Less than a year and a half after a near-fatal car accident, Ben Hogan wins at Merion. 4. 1966: Seven shots ahead of playing partner Billy Casper at the final turn, Arnold Palmer is caught and loses in an 18-hole playoff. 3: 1913: Francis Ouimet stuns the golf world. 2. 1962: Rookie Jack Nicklaus takes it to Palmer in front of Arnie’s home crowd at Oakmont. 1. 1960: Seven shots back after 54 holes, Palmer drives the green on the first hole, a par 4, shoots 65 and wins his first – and only – U.S. Open.

How do you get to play in a U.S. Open?

Below are the 2024 exemption categories, per the USGA. Anyone — with a Handicap Index not exceeding 0.4 — however, can earn a spot in the field through 18-hole local and 36-hole final qualifying. Certain players are exempt into the latter stage, with most players having to go through both. There were 109 local and 13 final sites this year.

  • F-1. Winners of the U.S. Open the last 10 years (2014-23)

  • F-2. From the 2023 U.S. Open, the 10 lowest scorers and ties

  • F-3. Winner of the 2023 U.S. Senior Open

  • F-4. Winner of the 2023 U.S. Amateur

  • F-5. Winners of the 2023 U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur, and the 2023 U.S. Amateur runner-up (must be an amateur)

  • F-6. Winners of the Masters Tournament from 2020-24

  • F-7. Winners of the PGA Championship from 2019-24

  • F-8. Winners of The Open Championship from 2019-23

  • F-9. Winners of The Players Championship from 2022-24

  • F-10. Winner of the 2023 European BMW PGA Championship

  • F-11. Those players who qualified and were eligible for the season-ending 2023 Tour Championship

  • F-12. Multiple winners of PGA Tour events that award full-point allocation for the FedExCup, from the conclusion of the 2023 U.S. Open to the initiation of the 2024 U.S. Open

  • F-13. The top 5 players in the 2024 FedExCup standings as of May 20, 2024 who are not otherwise exempt

  • F-14. The points leader from the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour season using combined points earned on the Official Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Points Standings and points earned in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals

  • F-15. The top two players from the final 2023 Race to Dubai rankings who are not otherwise exempt as of May 20, 2024

  • F-16. The top player on the 2024 Race to Dubai rankings as of May 20, 2024 who is not otherwise exempt

  • F-17. Winner of 2023 Amateur Championship (must be an amateur)

  • F-18. Winner of the 2023 Mark H. McCormack Medal (men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking; must be an amateur)

  • F-19. Winner of the 2024 NCAA Division I Men’s Individual Golf Championship (must be an amateur)

  • F-20. Winner of the 2024 Latin America Amateur Championship (must be an amateur)

  • F-21. From the current Official World Golf Ranking, the top 60 points leaders and ties as of May 20, 2024. Players must select a qualifying site at the time of entry. (NOTE: Blank entries will be filed by the USGA for players who become exempt after the close of entries.)

  • F-22. From the current Official World Golf Ranking, the top 60 points leaders and ties as of June 10, 2024 (if not previously exempt). Players must select a qualifying site at the time of entry. (NOTE: Blank entries will be filed by the USGA for players who become exempt after the close of entries.)

  • F-23. Special exemptions as selected by the USGA. (Deadline for submission of request: May 15, 2024)

How big is the Open field?

It is 156 players (click here for the updated field).

Which course has hosted the most Opens?

Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, has hosted nine Opens, including in 2016.

Who is the oldest player to win the Open?

Hale Irwin was 45 years and 15 days old when he won in 1990.

Who was the youngest winner?

John McDermott was 19 years, 315 days old when he won in 1911.

Who was the youngest player?

In 2012 a 14-year-old amateur from China, Andy Zhang, qualified.

Who had the largest victory margin?

Tiger Woods won by 15 strokes in 2000. This is the record for any major.

Who holds the 72-hole scoring record?

Rory McIlroy shot 268 in 2011. That was 16 under par – also a record – on par-71 Congressional. Brooks Koepka won in 2017 at par-72 Erin Hills with a 16-under total (272).

Who holds the 18-hole aggregate Open scoring record?

This was long known as Johnny Miller’s record (even though others subsequently tied it). Miller famously closed in 63 to win the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont. In 2023, however, Rickie Fowler opened in 62 at LACC to establish a new aggregate record. A few minutes after he did that, Xander Schauffele posted a 62 as well. They now co-own the mark.

What does a player get for winning the U.S. Open?

Last year’s winner collected $3,600,000 (out of $20 million, overall purse). The winner is also exempt from qualifying for the other three majors and The Players Championship for the next five years, and exempt from U.S. Open qualifying for the next 10 years. If the winner is a PGA Tour member, he would receive a five-year exemption to all PGA Tour events.

What happens if the U.S. Open is tied after 72 holes?

There used to be an 18-hole playoff the following day. Now, if two or more players are tied at the end of regulation there is a two-hole aggregate playoff, followed by sudden death.


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