By the Numbers: U.S. Open History

The U.S. Open often boasts one of the toughest courses on tour each season, with players putting up big numbers year in and year out. That’s not to say players don’t go low and post great scores, however. Being the storied tournament that it is, records are abound and the numbers are staggering.

Here are some of the most notable records and eye-popping numbers from 113 years of the U.S. Open:

18 – Longest span between first and last victory at the U.S. Open, held by Jack Nicklaus (1962–1980).

268 – Lowest 72-hole score. Rory McIlroy set this record in 2011 at Congressional Country Club when he won by eight strokes. This victory came after he collapsed and blew a 54-hole lead at the Masters.

16 – Most strokes under par, set by McIlroy in the 2011 U.S. Open. He was 17-under par at one point during the fourth round, but finished the championship at 16-under. The next closest is 12-under, set by Tiger Woods at Pebble Beach in 2000.


7 – Largest number of strokes to come back from in the final round. Arnold Palmer trailed by seven strokes to Mike Souchak at the start of the final round of the 1960 U.S. Open, but fired a 65 to win by two shots.

21 – Number of players to win multiple U.S. Open championships. Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Robert T. Jones Jr. and Willie Anderson lead the way with four victories each, while Woods and Hale Irwin are close behind with three U.S. Open wins.

6 – Most runner-up finishes. Phil Mickelson has yet to claim that elusive U.S. Open title, finishing second a total of six times. His latest runner-up finish came in 2013 at Merion, where he closed with a final-round 74 to lose by two strokes to Justin Rose.


11 – Fewest number of entries for any U.S. Open. In 1895, the first year of the U.S. Open’s existence, 11 golfers competed in the 36-hole tournament at the Newport course.

10,127 – Number of entries for the 2014 U.S. Open, the most in U.S. Open history. It is also the first U.S. Open to receive more than 10,000 entries, with the previous record being 9,860 in 2013.

$150 – Amount of winnings awarded to the champion of the 1895 U.S. Open. Horace Rawlins, 21, won the 1895 Open and took home $150. The total purse for the tournament was $335, while the purse for 2014 is $8 million. Quite the difference.

670 – Longest hole in U.S. Open history. The 670-yard, par-5 16th hole at The Olympic Club in 2012 is not only the longest hole in U.S. Open history, but it was considered the toughest par-5 on the PGA Tour in 2012. The scoring average was 5.382, surrendering only 36 birdies for the whole tournament.


44 – Most consecutive starts at the U.S. Open (Jack Nicklaus, 1957-2000).

5 – Number of players who have completed the career grand slam. Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are the only players to complete the career grand slam, winning all four majors in their career. Woods, of course, is the most recent to do so, winning the 2000 Open Championship to finish the feat.

– Number of active players looking to complete the career grand slam with a U.S. Open win: Phil Mickelson. He’ll look to (finally) win a U.S. Open title and join the short list of players to complete the career grand slam, getting the monkey off his back that’s been there for far too long.

Related Link: Complete 2014 U.S. Open Coverage

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Pinehurst 2.0: Mean Greens
The Real Origins of Pinehurst
A Look Back: Phil Mickelson’s Six U.S. Open Runner-Up Finishes
Masters Thoughts with Will Ferrell
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