U.S. Open Golf History

By John Lindell

The U.S. Open is one of the most important golf tournaments in the world and one of the toughest tests in the sport. It evolved into a major championship from the humblest of beginnings, when it took place on a nine-hole course in the shadow of another important event.

First Open

The initial Open occurred on Oct. 4, 1895, at Newport Golf and Country Club in Rhode Island. The tournament took a backseat to the more prominent U.S. Amateur. Horace Rawlins from England won with a score of 173 over 36 holes.

First American

Not until 1911 did someone born on American soil win the U.S. Open, with John J. McDermott taking the title over the more accomplished British players in the field.


In 1913, the tournament came into its own as 20-year-old American Francis Ouimet upset heavily favored Harry Vardon of England in an exciting playoff.


The success of amateur Bobby Jones during the 1920s sparked greater interest in the U.S. Open. In 1924, the tournament added sectional qualifying to its format because of the large numbers of golfers that tried to enter the event.

Four-time Winners

Among the players to win the U.S. Open four times are Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Willie Anderson and Jack Nicklaus.


Up until 1965, the tournament consisted of two rounds of 18 holes followed by a rigorous third day of 36 holes. It is now four rounds of 18 holes held over four days.

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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