2019 U.S. Open: 13 crazy U.S. Open facts you never knew
From a burning trophy to a par 6 to a 19 on a single hole, the U.S. Open has plenty of history that not even golf’s biggest fans know about.
1. Fiery victory
The original U.S. Open Championship trophy was destroyed in 1946. Lloyd Mangrum, winner of that year’s U.S. Open, took the trophy home to show off in the clubhouse of his home course, Chicago-area Tam O’Shanter. The clubhouse burned to the ground, and the 51-year-old trophy with it.
2. The weight of glory
The current U.S. Open championship trophy is 18 inches high, six inches in diameter, and weighs 8.5 lbs. The lid of the trophy is topped by a winged, female figure representing Victory. The trophy has been in use since the previous edition was destroyed.
3. See it, believe it
1947 was also the first year that the U.S. Open was televised: Lew Worsham defeated Sam Snead in a playoff that was televised locally in St. Louis, Missouri (the site of the event). The event was first televised nationally in 1954. The entire weekend 36 holes were first broadcast live in 1977, and in 1982, all four rounds were televised for the first time.
4. The ‘2’ club
There have been three double eagles in the event’s history: T.C. Chen on the 527-yard 2nd hole (Oakland Hills Country Club) in the first round in 1985, Shaun Micheel on the 523-yard 6th hole (Pebble Beach Golf Links) in the fourth round in 2010, and Nick Watney on the 522-yard 17th hole (Olympic Club) in the first round in 2012.
5. Going low and going lower
Tiger Woods holds the widest margin of victory with fifteen strokes, when he dominated at the 2000 U.S. Open, finishing well clear of distant runners-up Ernie Els and Miguel Angel Jimenez. The lowest 72-hole total is 268, held by Rory McIlroy (65-66-68-69) in 2011.
6. Age, wisdom and trophies
Hale Irwin was 45 years old when he won the 1990 U.S. Open and remains the event’s oldest winner.
7. Musical chairs
Raymond Floyd won the U.S. Open at Shinnecock in 1993 on a drama-filled final day during which 10 golfers held or shared the lead during the final round at Shinnecock.
8. First of many…
The first U.S. Open was held on October 4th, 1895 at Newport Golf Club and featured a field of 10 professionals and one amateur who contended for the title over 36 holes in one day. Twenty-one-year-old Horace Rawlins shot 91-82 to win.
9. U.S.(?) Open
International players won the first 16 U.S. Opens, dominating from 1895 to 1910. John McDermott became the first American winner at a youngest-ever 19 years of age in 1911. Just 17 international players have won the tournament since then.
10. Reachable in three…
The Country Club of Buffalo held the 1912 U.S. Open and featured the only par 6 in the event’s history. John McDermott played the 606-yard par-6 10th hole at six-under for the tournament.
Ray Ainsley made a 19 at the par-4 16th at Cherry Hills Country Club in 1938. He hit his ball into the creek and had, well, a hard time getting it out.
12. Pros only!
In 1933, an amateur, John Goodman, won the U.S. Open. No amateur has won since.
13. The youth movement
In 2014, 14-year-old Andy Zhang of China became the youngest competitor in U.S. Open history.
To receive GOLF’s all-new newsletters, subscribe for free here.