A Brief History of US Open Golf

The first U.S. Open was played on October 4, 1895, on a nine-hole course at the Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island.

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US Open History Oakmont

The first U.S. Open was played on October 4, 1895, on a nine-hole course at the Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island. It was a 36-hole competition and was played in a single day. Ten professionals and one amateur entered. Horace Rawlins won the inaugural championship.

USGA RUNS IT

It is run by the United States Golf Association (USGA). The championship was not held from 1917 to 1918 or from 1942 to 1945 due to World War I and World War II respectively. The U.S. Open is currently the second of the four major championships to be played each year. U.S. Open champions are automatically invited to play in the other three majors (the Masters, the Open Championship (British Open), and the PGA Championship) for the next five years, and earn a ten-year exemption from qualifying for the U.S. Open

YOUNGEST AMERICAN CHAMP

The youngest winner of the U.S. Open is John McDermott who was 19 years, 10 months and 14 days old when he won in 1911. He was the first American-born U.S. Open champion as per USGA’s recent tribute to his game. The article points out how McDermott fell ill and was in and out of mental hospitals, perhaps inadvertently causing people to forget his efforts in the sport.

The reason we are talking of him today is because recently, the USGA obtained one of McDermott’s clubs, a mashie (a 5-iron in modern-day terms) at auction and it is now on display at the USGA Museum. The mashie will be temporarily on display through this year’s U.S. Open.

Born in Philadelphia in 1891, McDermott dropped out of West Philadelphia High School in 1907 to pursue a professional golf career.

Meanwhile, Rawlins who died in 1935 was an English professional golfer who won the first U.S. Open Championship in 1895. With this victory, he became the first winner of a “major” outside the United Kingdom.

US Open is always held in mid June to avoid weather delays and coincides with the father’s day weekend.

Image Credit: Golf Swinger

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