With over 120 years of history behind it, the United States Open Golf Championship, also known as the US Open, has hosted some of the most important games in the history of the sport with golfers such as Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Rory Mcllroy becoming legends of the event; The Massacre At Winged Foot, the arrival of young Tadd Fujikawa and many others are just a glimpse at the history of the tournament – Do you dare to discover all the curious facts about this event?
An Unknown Conquers The First US Open. An unknown would conquer the first US Open, which was held on the greens of Newport Country Club for 3 days, and this unknown was British golfer Horace Rawlins. Famous players within the sport such as Willie Dunn and James Foulis would all be beaten by Rawlins with a total of 36 holes, his prize being a replica trophy, 150$ in prize money and a gold medal valued at 50$ as well as his name being immortalized in the competitions history
John McDermott and The American Dream. Since its creation in 1895, over a dozen British and Scottish golfers had one this tournament with no American being able to win the gold thus far – 1911 would mark a before and after. John McDermott would be the first American to finally succeed against his foreign counterparts and become a legend amongst American golfers. Not just satisfied with this feat, McDermott would go on to win the competition yet again in 1912 thus opening the door to his fellow Americans who have since dominated this competition.
The Swing of 15-Year-Old Fujikawa. The history of this sport is littered with young golfers, such as Bobby Jones who won his first tournament at the east Lake Country Club at just six years of age and Guan Tianlang who in 2013 participated in the Augusta Masters at the age of 14. Tadd Fujikawa would participate in his first US Open in 2006 at the age of 15, making him the youngest golfer ever to participate in this tournament.
Hale Irwin and The Massacre At Winged Foot. If anything characterized the US Open, its the difficulty and demand for its greens, which requires participants to play a very solid game, and as result the 1973 edition of the competition is considered a tarnish on the history of the event. It was held in Oakmont, and even though the greens were up to the expected standards, unforeseen weather conditions reduced the difficulty of the terrain and as a result Johnny Miller would emerge victorious with a historical record of 63 strokes. Tournament organizers were not happy in the slightest, and as a result prepared what we now know as the Massacre At Winged Foot.
1974 – Winged Foot Would Host The Competition. Even though participants expected more adverse greens than usual, Miller and his fellow golfers were all shocked: The incline of the greens were dizzying, the rough ( areas of thick grass ) was over 20cm, and the length of the field was 6.36 kilometres. Hale Irwin would go on to beat the most difficult US Open he remembers and at the age of 45 would become the oldest golfer to achieve this feat. Faced with many criticisms, the organizers of the event replied accordingly to the spirit of the competition, “We do not want to embarrass the best golfers in the world, we simply want to name them.”
Controversy At Chambers Bay. The 115th edition of this tournament was held at Chambers Bay, a scenario that was met with a wave of negative criticism before, during and after the event. The Reason? A new circuit with challenging hills, dunes and a structure closer to Britain’s “link”.” It was the most horrendous tournament of my life ” Stated Gary player, who also criticized the designer of the course, ” The person who thought up this course must have one leg shorter than the other. ” Whatever the case, the viewing audience broke records, the tournament was full of emotion and the consensus of the audience applauded the boldness and originality of Chambers Bay.
Golf In Times of War. As with other tournaments such as the Ryder Cup, Wimbledon Tournament etc. the first and second world wars would halt the US Open during 1917-1918 and 1942-1945; However the golfing spirit still remained strong and the sport was played in the trenches as we can see in this historical picture: Francis Ouimet, 1913 US Open victor abandons his stripes to show his fellow soldiers his ‘swing’.
Jordan Spieth – The Momentum of Youth. At the age of 21, the promising new American dream Jordan Spieth would go on to win the latest US Open in 2015, being one of the youngest to achieve such a feat, following in John McDermott’s footsteps; Spieth’s victory was two-fold, not only did he win on an unfamiliar pitch but overcame the added pressure from his fans considering he had won the Augusta Masters and victory was expected of him.
Legendary facts for a legendary tournament which we encourage you to closely follow in 2016, Oakmont. between the 16th and 19th of June. There is no reason to move to Pennsylvania to enjoy or begin learning this sport as golf tourism in Alicante is constantly growing with golf clubs, summer camps etc. The beauty of this discipline is not only the entertainment but the countless benefits it provides on a personal, social and cultural level.