The U.S. Open has been contested since 1895. But who is the event’s youngest champion? That honor, as it turns out, belongs to a golfer who had not even reached his 20th birthday by the time of the event.
The year was 1911 when Johnny McDermott won the U.S. Open at 19 years, 10 months and 14 days old. That year’s event was held at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, a suburb just west of Chicago. McDermott took down Mike Brady and George Simpson in an 18-hole playoff for the victory.
In the playoff, McDermott hit the 18th green in two, setting up a two-putt birdie that sealed the victory by two shots at 80. The win not only made McDermott the youngest U.S. Open champion but also the first American-born winner.
McDermott defended his title the following year, too.