US Open: Clue yourself up with every fact you’ll need to know about the oldest American Major

From the most wins to the record-breaking scorecards, Today’s Golfer gets you up to speed with every fact you’ll ever need about the US Open.

The US Open tees off at Pinehurst No.2 for the fourth time in its distinguished 124-edition history, only by-passing seven years since 1895 due to World War I (1917, 1918) and World War II (1943-1945).

Fun Fact: 2024 will be the 1,000th championship conducted by the USGA.

Only the British Open Championship, British men’s and Women’s Amateur Championship, Australian Amateur, and Canadian Amateur have existed longer, making the US Open the second oldest of the men’s majors. Today the tournament is positioned third in golf’s Grand Slam roster, after The Masters and PGA Championship, and ahead of The Open Championship.

But that information alone might not get you too far if you’re struggling for conversation behind a Brian Harman-paced four-ball this week. So, to keep your playing partners entertained, here are a bunch more US Open facts to pass the time. They may even come in clutch at the next pub quiz!

Retief Goosen with US Open Trophy 2001

Who has won the US Open the most times?

Four men have won the US Open on four occasions with many people believing Ben Hogan should be credited with a fifth crown after winning the Hale America National Open in 1942 which was held as a replacement due to World War II. Hale Irwin and Tiger Woods are the next most prolific winners with three US Open titles each.

  • Willie Anderson: 1901, 1903, 1904, 1905
  • Bobby Jones: 1923, 1926, 1929, 1930
  • Ben Hogan: 1948, 1950, 1951, 1953
  • Jack Nicklaus: 1962, 1967, 1972, 1980
  • Hale Irwin: 1974, 1979, 1990
  • Tiger Woods: 2000, 2002, 2008

What is the widest margin of victory at the US Open?

Tiger Woods’ remarkable 15-stroke demolition job of the field in 2000 at Pebble Beach was by far the widest margin of victory at the US Open. Tiger finished 12-under for the tournament with Earnie Els and Miguel Angel Jiminez sharing second place on 3-over. Woods also set records for the largest 36-hole lead (six shots) and 54-hole lead (10 shots) on route to his second US Open title.

Tiger Woods has won three US Opens

Who is the oldest player ever to win the US Open?

At 45 years and 15 days, Hale Irwin is the oldest winner of the US Open. He picked up his third title in 1990 at Medinah, 11 years after his last.

Who is the youngest player ever to win the US Open?

The youngest winner of the US Open is John McDermott who was just 19 years, 10 months, and 14 days old when he won the tournament in 1911.

Has anyone ever successfully defended the US Open?

Yes, several. Willie Anderson won three on the bounce (1903-1905), and six players have managed back-to-back wins – John McDermott (1911, 1912), Bobby Jones (1929, 1930), Ralph Guldahl (1937, 1938), Ben Hogan (1950, 1951), Curtis Strange (1988, 1989), and most recently Brooks Koepka (2017, 2018).

Brooks Koepka successfully defended his US Open title in 2018

How many players have won the US Open wire-to-wire?

Seven US Open champions have also been leading the tournament after each of the first three rounds – Walter Hagen (1914), Jim Barnes (1921), Ben Hogan (1953), Tony Jacklin (1970), Tiger Woods (2000, 2002), Rory McIlroy (2011), and Martin Kayer (2014).

Has a left-hander ever won the US Open?

The US Open remains the only major to have eluded a left-hander. Phil Mickelson had arguably the best chance when he was leading on the 72nd hole at Winged Foot in 2006, only to make a double bogey and hand the title to Geoff Ogilvy.

Along with Mickelson, Bob Charles, Mike Weir, Bubba Watson, and Brian Harman are the only left-handed golfers to have won a major championship.

What is the lowest winning score at the US Open?

Rory McIlroy (2011) and Brooks Koepka (2017) share the record for the lowest winning score relative to par on 16-under. McIlroy’s victory at the par-71 Congressional Blue Course is the lowest aggregate score (268) to date.

Rory McIlroy holds the record for the lowest winning score at a US Open

What is the highest winning score at the US Open?

The brutal nature of US Open course setups has inevitably seen some high winning scores over the years. Olin Dutra finished the week in 1934 on 13-over at Merion which was good enough for a one-stroke victory. A year later, Sam Parks Jr. lifted the trophy at Oakmont with a 72-hole total of 11-over par. In 2006 and 2007 Geoff Ogilvy and Angel Cabrera both captured their respective US Open’s with a winning score of five-over.

Has a qualifier ever won the US Open?

Yes. Lucas Glover won his maiden major at the 2009 US Open, coming through final qualifying before storming to a four-stroke victory at Bethpage Black. New Zealander Michael Campbell achieved the same feat in 2005, holding off Tiger Woods to secure a first major win. In 1969, Orville Moody lifted the trophy having come through both local and final qualifying events.

Lucas Glover won the 2009 US Open Championship after coming through qualifying

Has an amateur ever won the US Open?

Yes. The US Open has seen five amateur winners across eight US Opens – Francis Ouimet (1913), Jerome D. Travers (1915), Charles Evans Jr. (1916), Bobby Jones (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930) and Johnny Goodman (1933).

Which nationality has won the most US Opens?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the USA has seen the most champions with an American lifting the trophy in 87 of the 123 editions to date. Scotland has fared the next best with 13 winners, followed by England with eight and South Africa with five champions.

Which course and state has hosted the most US Opens?

Oakmont Country Club, Pittsburgh has hosted the US Open on nine occasions with a tenth scheduled for 2025. New York is the state to have welcomed the most US Opens with 20 editions being played between Winged Foot (6), Shinnecock Hills (5), Oak Hill (3), Bethpage Black (2), and one a piece for Fresh Meadow, Inwood, Country Club of Buffalo and Garden City.

Pinehurst No.2 will host the US Open for the fourth time in 25 years

Where are future US Opens being played?

  • 2025: Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pa.
  • 2026: Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y.
  • 2027: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, Calif.
  • 2028: Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, N.Y
  • 2029: Pinehurst Resort & C.C. (No. 2), Village of Pinehurst, N.C.
  • 2030: Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa.

See a full breakdown of future venues and previous winners at each course.

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About the author

Ross Tugwood is a Senior Digital Writer for Today's Golfer.

Ross Tugwood

Senior Digital Writer

Ross Tugwood is a Senior Digital Writer for, specializing in data, analytics, science, and innovation.

Ross is passionate about optimizing sports performance and has a decade of experience working with professional athletes and coaches for British Athletics, the UK Sports Institute, and Team GB.

He is an NCTJ-accredited journalist with post-graduate degrees in Performance Analysis and Sports Journalism, enabling him to critically analyze and review the latest golf equipment and technology to help you make better-informed buying decisions.

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