The first of a record 6 major championships of the PGA Tour season kicks of this week when the U.S. Open returns to Winged Foot Golf Club in eastern New York. The tournament was originally scheduled for June 18-21 but was forced to reschedule to September 17-20 due to the covid-19 pandemic. It also marks the first time that there were no regional qualifying events with all qualifications instead decided solely on performances on various tours and amatuer events around the world. A strong field will be competing with Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Webb Simpson and more all slated to play.
The U.S. Open is the 2nd oldest major competition, dating back to 1895. The tournament is tied to the creation of the United States Golf Association, better known as the USGA, which formed in order to have a definitive national championship. Two tournaments, the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open, came from this organization and both were held at Newport Country Club. The early years were dominated by British golfers, and it wasn’t until 19 year old John McDermott took home the title in 1911 that an American won the national championship. McDermott is also still the youngest player to claim the U.S. Open. Today, the tournament is best known for its particularly tough setup, with courses undergoing alterations before hosting to ensure it is the most difficult event on the PGA Tour. Past champions of the event include the greatest names in the history of golf, including Harry Vardon, Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka.
pictured: John McDermott, first American U.S. Open Champion
Winged Foot Golf Club
The small town of Mamaroneck, NY welcomes back the U.S. Open for the 6th time to the exclusive Winged Foot Golf Club. The club has two championship courses, the East and host course West. The West Course was designed by A.W. Tillinghast, the legendary American architect, and was renovated in 2017 by Gil Hanse to bring it up to modern standards. It is known for its particularly challenging greens and lengthy roughs, which is part of what makes the course a perfect U.S. Open host. The course has seen legends Bobby Jones, Billy Casper, Hale Irwin, and Fuzzy Zoeller all claim U.S. Opens, while Davis Love III also won a PGA Championship on the course. Phil Mickelson has bitter memories of the course as it was the site of the 2nd of his 6 runners-up finishes at the U.S. Open, the only major he lacks for a career Grand Slam.
Coverage will bounce between Golf Channel, NBC, and NBC’s new streaming platform Peacock. Thursday coverage begins on Golf Channel 7:30am-2pm (all times ET) before switching to NBC from 2-5pm. Final Thursday coverage is on Peacock 5-7pm. Friday begins on Peacock 7:30-9:30 before going onto Golf Channel 9:30am-4pm with 4 -7pm on NBC. Saturday coverage is on Peacock from 9-11am then ends on NBC from 11am-7:30pm. The final round on Sunday is on Peacock from 8-10am before migrating to the Golf Channel from 10 am-12 pm and then ending on NBC from 12-6pm.