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Unique U.S. Open Records

Tiger Woods has twice won the U.S. Open by leading wire to wire. Photo by: Keith Allison (flickr).

The U.S. Open, originally slated for Father’s Day weekend in June, will instead tee it up Sept. 17-20 due to COVID-19 pandemic delays.
The tournament will be held at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. It’s the sixth time that Winged Foot will play host to the U.S. Open, two behind the Oakmont Country Club, which has held a record eight U.S. Open Championships.
Let’s look at some other unique aspects relating to U.S. Open history.


What They Get

The U.S. Open champion is automatically invited to play in golf’s other three majors - the Masters, British Open Championship and PGA Championship - for the next five years. They also earn a 10-year exemption from having to qualify for the U.S. Open.
A U.S. Open win is also worth a five-year membership to play on the PGA Tour. U.S. Open champs are also entitled to invitations to the The Players Championships for the next five years following their victory.


First American Winner

As hard as it may be to believe, the first 16 U.S. Open winners were either from Scotland (12), England (three) or Jersey (one).
In 1911, John McDermott of Wheaton, Ill. was the first American winner of the tournament. He also kept the U.S. Open trophy in state, as the tournament was held at the Chicago Golf Club that year.


First Back-To-Back Winner

Not only was Scotland’s Willie Anderson the first back-to-back U.S. Open champion in 1903-04, he won again in 1905 to become the only player to take three straight tournaments.
Coupled with his 1901 triumph, Anderson, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Bobby Jones own a share of the most U.S. Opens won with four apiece.


Highest Score By A Winner

The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. took the U.S. Open players to task. Julius Boros finished as the winner at a record nine over par.
No player managed to score lower than 69 during the four days of competition.

 

Lowest Score By A Winner

In terms of under par, Rory McIlroy (2011) and Brooks Koepka (2017) were both 16-under par.
McIlroy’s 72-hole score of 268 is the lowest winning total in U.S. Open history. He shot in the 60s all four rounds (65-66-68-69).


They Went Low

When talking low rounds, 63 is the record U.S. Open one-day tally for 18 holes.
Six players have carded a 63. The most recent was Tommy Fleetwood in 2018. Johnny Miller was the first in 1973. He shot that score in the final round to win the tournament.

He Got High

Ray Ainsley had a hole to forget on the par four 16th at the Cherry Hills Country Club in Englewood, Colo. during the 1938 U.S. Open.
He carded a 19 for the highest single-hole score in the history of the tournament.


First To Win Via Playoff

Anderson’s first of four U.S. Open titles in 1901 also was the first to be won via the traditional 18-hole playoff.
Anderson carded an 85, one stroke better than Alex Smith.

Wire-To-Wire Winners

Eight times, the U.S. Open has been captured by a wire-to-wire champion. Tiger Woods (2000, 2002) did it twice. The first was Walter Hagen in 1914. Jim Barnes (1921), Hogan (1953), Tony Jacklin (1970), Rory McIlroy (2011) and Martin Kaymer (2014) also achieved this feat.


Youngest Winner

McDermott’s 1911 triumph not only made him the first American winner, at 19 years, 10 months and 14 days, he’s also the youngest winner and the only teenaged U.S. Open champ.
McDermott won again in 1912 at the age of 20. Francis Ouimet (1913) and Gene Sarazen (1922) also won while 20 years old.


Oldest Winner

When Hale Irwin captured his third title in 1990, he was 45 years, 15 days old. Irwin also won in 1979 and 1974.
Ted Ray (1920), Julius Boros (1963) and Raymond Floyd (1986) were all 43-year-old U.S. Open champions.
Sam Snead is the oldest player to make a U.S. Open cut. He was 61 in 1973 when he finished 29th on the leaderboard.


Last Amateur Winner

Ouimet was the first amateur winner in 1913. Twenty years later, Johnny Goodman was the eighth and the most recent amateur to win the U.S. Open in 1933.
Four of those eight were won by Jones.


Second Best

Phil Mickelson is the champion runner-up in U.S. Open play. He’s finished second a record six times - in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2013.
Nicklaus, Jones, Arnold Palmer and Snead all show four second-place finishes.


Ever Present

Jack Nicklaus has played in a record 44 U.S. Opens. Photo by: U.S. Navy (Public Domain).

Nickluas has started a record 44 U.S. Opens. That’s at least 10 more than any other player.
He made the cut in 35 of those tournaments.

No Tournament

From 1917-18 there was no U.S. Open played due to U.S. involvement in World War I.
The years 1942-45 also passed without a U.S. Open being contested after the USA entered World War II.


Turning Two

Eleven players have won both the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur during their playing careers.
Woods, Nicklaus and Jones are the only players with multiple wins of both titles.
Woods is also one of three players to capture the U.S. Open and U.S. Junior tournaments. He won multiple U.S. Junior events. He’s the only player with wins in the U.S. Junior, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open.