US Open Championship History
The first ever US Open took place in 1895 and was played at the nine-hole Newport Golf and Country club in Rhode Island, USA. It was played over 36 holes with only 11 players taking part. The eventual winner was an Englishman named Horace Rawlins who scored a total of 173. For the next three years the US Open maintained the same format of four rounds around a nine-hole golf course before moving to four rounds around an 18-hole course in 1898, the format that is maintained still today.
Despite very modest beginnings the US Open really began to capture the interest of the American people during the early part of the 20th century. The US Open Championship had been dominated by professional golfers from England and Scotland playing amongst American amateurs. This was until an American amateur named John McDermott won the Championship back-to-back in 1911 and 1912. These victories kick started an American dominance, which has been maintained ever since, with home born players winning 84 US Open Championships since 1911.
The US Open was first opened up to spectators in 1922 at the Skokie Country Club (Illinois) but it was the preceding years that would really spark interest from the general public. Between 1923 and 1930 the US amateur Bob Jones won the US Open Championship four times, and as his style of play began to impress fans the profile of the competition increased.
The US Open is now firmly established as one of the best known golf championships in the world and has been one of the four majors since the inception of professional golf during the 1950s. Over the years some of the best known names in the history of golf have had their name inscribed on the US Open trophy.
Famous US Open Winners
Jack Nicklaus, probably the most famous golfer of them all, won the US Open a joint record four times during a career which saw him play in 44 consecutive Championships between 1957 and 2000. Nicklaus was very unlucky not to make it five victories in the US Open when he lost out to Lee Trevino in the 1971 Championship.
Other US Open players who have won the Championship four times include Willie Anderson, Bob Jones and Ben Hogan. Tiger Woods will be attempting to join this illustrious list of great players in 2011 as he bids for his 15th Major. The Tiger of old resurfaced in the final few rounds at the Masters and he'll be aiming to take his new found form to the Congressional County Club on June 16th.
In more recent memory, Hale Irwin won the Championship a total of three times between 1974 and 1990 and on his final victory become the oldest ever US Open champion at the age of 45.
The South African Ernie Els threatened to dominate the title when winning it in 1994 and 1997 but has since failed to make an impact. The Big Easy can never be ruled out and it would be no surprise to see him come back to Major form at the 2013 US Open.