US Open Golf Facts

By John Lindell

The United States Open is a major golf championship held in June at a different course each year. The U.S. Open is a coveted title in golf and has grown from a small number of competitors in its early days to as many as 10,000 golfers attempting to qualify today. Along with the Open Championship, the PGA Championship, and the Masters, the U.S. Open is one of golf's four major championships. 

Initial Open

Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island, played host to the first U.S. Open on Oct. 4, 1895. Only 11 players vied for the crown over the 9-hole course, playing 36 holes in one day. Horace Rawlins of England was the winner.

McDermott and Ouimet

The first player born on American soil to claim the U.S. Open title was John J. McDermott in 1911, after 16 years of European dominance. McDermott is also the youngest winner of the title at 19 years old. Just two years later, 20-year-old Francis Ouimet of America upset heavily favored Harry Vardon of England, one of golf's all-time greats.

Bobby Jones

Amateur Bobby Jones won four U.S. Opens in a span of eight years, with his last one coming in 1930. Professional golfers began to dominate the tournament after the early 1930s.

Modern format

In 1965, the United States Golf Association, which runs the tournament, changed the format to what it is today, four rounds of 18 holes. Prior to 1965, the competitors played 18 holes on each of the first two days culminating with 36 holes of golf on the final day of the tournament.

Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer holds the distinction of completing the biggest comeback victory at the U.S. Open. A full 7 shots of the leader heading into the final round, Palmer played a phenomenal game to see him win the 1960 U.S. Open. 

Tiger Woods 

Tiger Woods span of dominance in the golf world included a memorable 2000 U.S. Open win. Woods would win by a record 15 strokes, the largest margin of victory at the U.S. Open. 

Hinkle Tree

Only once has a course been redesigned during the playing of the U.S. Open. After Lon Hinkle played played the eight hole by driving between a gap in the trees onto the Inverness Club's 17th fairway, the organizers of the 1979 U.S. Open decided to hastily plant a tree there to close the gap. Hinkle had played the shot in the first round because it led to an easier shot onto the green and an eventual birdie. The quickly planted tree became known as the Hinkle Tree. 

About The Author

John has written thousands of articles for Demand Studios, Associated Content and The Greyhound Review. A Connecticut native, John has written extensively about sports, fishing, and nature.


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