2017 US Open Golf: Sunday Tickets
The U.S. Open made its debut on October 4, 1895 at the Newport Country Club, a nine-hole golf course in Newport, Rhode Island. It was a one-day affair and a 36-hole competition. There were 11 participants, out of which 10 were professional golfers. Horace Rawlins, an Englishman, was declared the champion and given a cash prize of $150. He was also given a $50 gold medal and in addition, the USGA gave him the Open Championship Cup trophy.
From 1895 until 1911, English golfers dominated this championship. John J. McDermott was the first native-born American who won this championship. This got the ball rolling for other American golfers and soon the Americans started to win this championship regularly.
The United States Open Championship – An International Championship
While it is true that since 1911, mostly the American golfers have won this championship, golfers from other countries, too, have won this prestigious championship. Notably, golfers from South Africa have won the U.S. Open five times. Other international champions are from New Zealand, Australia and Argentina. Interestingly, from 2004 to 2007, only the international golfers won this championship. That was the first streak of international golfers consecutively winning this championship since 1910.
Who Can Participate in the U.S. Open?
The U.S. Open Championship is open to both professional and amateur golfers (male and female). The only caveat is that their up-to-date men’s USGA Handicap Index must not exceed 1.4. Potential participants can either enter by competing successfully in the qualifying round or by seeking exemption. Usually, about half of the players who compete are fully exempt from qualifying.
Exemption is provided to those who have won the last U.S. Senior Open. It is also provided to the winners of the last three Players Championships, the winner of the last Amateur Championship, the winner and the runner-up of the last U.S. Amateur, and the winners of the U.S. Open for the last ten years. There are other exemption conditions too.
Benefits of Winning the U.S. Open
The purse at the U.S. Open 2014 was $9 million, out of which the winner received $1.62 million. In addition to money, the biggest attraction of winning this championship is that the winner is listed among the elite golfers. For new golfers, it makes their career secure. The champion also gets the exemption from qualifying for the next year’s U.S. Open. The winner also qualifies to participate in the next year’s all four major golf championships.
In addition, there are benefits for other participants too. Those who finish in the top 10 are fully exempt from qualifying for the next year’s U.S. Open. The top 4 finishers automatically qualify for the next year’s Masters.
How is the U.S. Open Different from the other Three Major Golf Championships?
Unlike other major gold championships, the U.S. Open retains a full 18-hole playoff the following day. If there’s a tie after the fifth round, then the playoff continues as sudden-death on the 91st hole. This has happened three times since 1950s (1990, 1994, 2008).
Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones and Willie Anderson have won the most championships. Willie Anderson holds the additional record of winning three championships consecutively.
The U.S. Open Championship Greatest Moments
- 1982 – Tom Watson snatches victory from the hands of Jack Nicklaus at Pebble Beach. He played a shot from gnarly rough, which is perhaps one of the best shots ever played in golf history.
- 1989 – Curtis Strange became the first golfer to win 2 U.S. Open championships consecutively. He also remains the last golfer to successfully defend his U.S. Open title successfully.
- 1995 – Corey Pavin defeated Greg Norman at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. It was perhaps the only highlight of Pavin’s career.
- These history making moments are best enjoyed in person, while standing on the ground. If you are looking for U.S. Open Golf tickets, this is your time to book them.