The U.S. Open starts next week, and we’re excited to watch. This will be the 123rd U.S. Open and it will be played for the first time at Los Angeles Country Club in Los Angeles, California. We thought we’d dig up a few fun facts about the third major championship of the year.
- The first U.S. Open was played in 1895 on the nine-hole course at Newport Golf Club in Rhode Island. It was 36-holes and was won by Horace Rawlins who took home a whopping $150 in prize money.
- The championship was not held from 1917 to 1918 or from 1942 to 1945 due to World War I and World War II respectively.
Winning has become much more lucrative
- In 1993, the total purse for the U.S. Open topped $1 million for the first time.
- The total purse for the 2023 U.S. Open is $25 million, with the winner taking home $3.15 million.
Trophy Burns to the Ground
- The original U.S. Open trophy was destroyed in a fire in 1946. Lloyd Mangrum, winner of that year’s tournament, took the trophy to the clubhouse of his home course, Chicago-area Tam O’Shanter. The clubhouse ended up burning to the ground along with the 51-year-old trophy.
- A new U.S. Open trophy was designed and is known as the Claret Jug. It is 18 inches high, 6 inches in diameter, and weighs 8.5 pounds. A winged female figure that represents victory tops the lid of the trophy.
Who can Qualify?
- Any professional golfer or amateur with handicap index of 1.4 or less is eligible to play in the U.S. Open.
- Golfers can also earn an exemption through one of the 24 categories for full exemptions outlined by the USGA.
Golf's Longest Day
- This year, there were a record 10,187 entries to try to get into the U.S. Open. USGA local qualifiers brought the final number down to 645 players who competed over 36 holes at 10 venues this past Monday, otherwise known as 'Golf's Longest Day'.
- Out of all those hopeful golfers, a total of 45 qualified to play in this year’s U.S. Open. Eighteen qualifying spots were already secured over the last month at sites in Japan, England and Dallas.
Highs and Lows
- Ray Ainsley holds the record for the highest score on one hole at the U.S. Open. He made a 19 at the par-4 16th at Cherry Hills Country Club in 1938 when he hit his ball into the creek and had a hard time getting it out. Who can relate to this?
- 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.