The U.S. Open returns to Pebble Beach Golf Links for a sixth time, and the first time since 2010. With a surplus of storylines, including Brooks Koepka going for a third straight Open win and Phil Mickelson looking to finally end his U.S. Open heartbreak and complete the career Grand Slam, it promises to be one of the more fascinating major championships in recent memory. Let’s look at some of the frequently asked questions surrounding golf’s national championship.
When is the U.S. Open played?
The U.S. Open is scheduled every year for the third weekend of June, with the final round planned to be finished on Father’s Day. This year, it will be held from June 13-16.
Who conducts the U.S. Open?
The United States Golf Association (USGA) conducts the championship.
When and where was the first U.S. Open? And who won?
The first U.S. Open was played in 1895 at Newport Golf Club in Newport, R.I. At the time, it was a nine-hole course, so the championship was a 36-hole, one-day competition. The winner was an Englishman named Horace Rawlins, a 21-year-old who beat a field of nine other professionals and one amateur. He won with 173 strokes and was awarded $150, a gold medal and custody of the U.S. Open Trophy for one year.
What is the format of the U.S. Open? How many players are in the field?
The U.S. Open is a four-round, 72-hole stroke-play championship, with a cut after 36 holes. There are 156 players in the field.
If players are tied after 72 holes, how is the winner determined?
Up until 2018, if players were tied after 72 holes of play at the U.S. Open, the winner was determined in an 18-hole stroke-play playoff on the Monday after the final round. The USGA has since changed the format to a two-hole aggregate playoff. If still tied after two holes, players will compete in sudden death until a winner is crowned.
When was the last time an 18-hole playoff occurred?
The last time the U.S. Open went to an 18-hole playoff was in 2008 at Torrey Pines, when Tiger Woods defeated Rocco Mediate on the 19th hole after they were still tied at the end of the playoff.
Where is the U.S. Open being held in 2019?
The 119th U.S. Open will be played at Pebble Beach Golf Links on California's Monterey Peninsula. The course will play as a par 71 at 7,075 yards.
Has Pebble Beach ever hosted the U.S. Open before?
Yes, Pebble Beach has hosted the U.S. Open five other times. The first came in 1972, when Jack Nicklaus won on the same course he captured the 1961 U.S. Amateur title. Since then, Pebble hosted the U.S. Open in 1982, 1992, 2000 and 2010, and it will again in 2027. Tom Watson won in '82, Tom Kite in '92, Tiger Woods (by a record 15 strokes) in '00 and Graeme McDowell in '10. Pebble Beach also has hosted the U.S. Amateur five times (1929, 1947, 1961, 1999 and 2018) and the U.S. Women's Amateur in 1940 and 1948. It is also scheduled to host the 2023 U.S. Women's Open.
What type of course is Pebble Beach? Who designed it?
Pebble Beach is a links-style golf course with some of the most picturesque seaside holes in the world. It was originally designed for free by two noted California amateur golfers, Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, and opened for play on Feb. 22, 1919. Today's course is very similar to the original design. Others who have done work on the course over the years include William Herbert Fowler, Alister Mackenzie, H. Chadler Egan, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.
Is Tiger Woods playing in the 2019 U.S. Open?
Yes, Tiger Woods is in the field for the 2019 U.S. Open.
How many U.S. Opens has Tiger Woods won?
Tiger Woods has won three U.S. Opens, the last coming in 2008 at Torrey Pines, which was also the last of the 14 majors he has won in his career. He previously won the U.S. Open in 2002 at Bethpage Black and in 2000 at Pebble Beach, when he set the record for largest margin of victory in major championship history, winning by 15 strokes.
Who has won the most U.S. Opens?
Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus hold the record for most U.S. Open victories, each winning four.
Who won the 2018 U.S. Open?
Brooks Koepka won the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, N.Y. He won with a total score of one-over 281, one stroke clear of Tommy Fleetwood. It was the second straight year that Koepka won the Open, after taking the title in 2017 at Erin Hills Golf Club with a winning score of 16-under 272, four strokes clear of the next closest competitor.
Brooks Koepka is going for three straight U.S. Open victories. Has anybody done that before?
Yes. Of Willie Anderson's four U.S. Open victories, three came in 1903, 1904 and 1905.
Who are the favorites to win the 2019 U.S. Open?
Coming off his win at the PGA Championship at Bethpage, and being the two-time defending U.S. Open champion, Brooks Koepka is the current favorite to win in 2019 according to Westgate Las Vegas Superbook golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman at 6-to-1 odds. Next is Dustin Johnson at 7-to-1, followed by Tiger Woods at 12-to-1. Jordan Spieth recently was upgraded from 18-to-1 odds to 14-to-1 odds.
Check out our weekly ranking of the top 13 picks to win at Pebble Beach (with current Vegas odds).
How can you qualify for the U.S. Open?
The U.S. Open is open to any professional or amateur with an up-to-date men’s USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4.
Qualifying consists of two stages, local and sectional. Local qualifying is played over 18 holes at more than 100 courses around the United States. A total of 525 spots are available to move on to the sectional qualifying round, known as “Golf’s Longest Day.” Sectional Qualifying is played over 36 holes with several sites in the United States, as well as one each in Japan and Europe. Those who qualify after this stage earn a spot in the U.S. Open’s field of 156 players.
To apply you can go to https://champs.usga.org.
Has a U.S. Open ever been won by something who earned a spot through sectional qualifying?
Yes. The last time was Lucas Glover at Bethpage in 2009.
Has the U.S. Open ever ben won by someone who earned a spot through local and sectional qualifying?
Yes. The last time was Orville Moody at Champions Golf Club in 1969.
To see how a player can earn an exemption into the field, go to http://www.usopen.com/qualifying/exemptions.html
The USGA can also grant special exemptions into the field, which are rare. This year, however, the USGA has given one to two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els. It's the second straight year the South African has been given a special exemption.
Is there an age limit to qualify?
There is not an age limit to qualify for the U.S. Open. The youngest player ever to make the field was 14-year-old Andy Zhang in 2012.
What site has hosted the most U.S. Opens?
Oakmont Country Club outside of Pittsburgh, Pa., has hosted the most U.S. Opens with nine, the most recent in 2016.
What state has hosted the most U.S. Opens?
New York has hosted the most U.S. Opens with 19 after last year at Shinnecock Hills. Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., has hosted the most of any course in New York with five. and will host again in 2020.
What is the U.S. Open scoring record?
The U.S. Open scoring record is held by Rory McIlroy, who shot a total of 16-under 268 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., in 2011.
What is the highest winning score of the U.S. Open?
The highest winning score is held by Fred Herd, who won the 1898 U.S. Open with a total score of 328.
What is the lowest round in U.S. Open history? Highest?
Six players hold the record for lowest round in U.S. Open history with a score of 63. They are: Johnny Miller, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf, Vijay Singh, Justin Thomas and Tommy Fleetwood. Thomas' 63 was the lowest score-to-par (nine under) when he shot the score in the third round of the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills, where he finished T-9. Fleetwood shot his 63 in the final round at Shinnecock Hills a year ago, only the second 63 posted in the final round, along with Miller's in 1973 at Oakmont.
The highest round belongs to J.D. Tucker, who shot a 157 at Myopia Hunt Club in South Hamilton, Mass. In 1898.
Who is the oldest winner of the U.S. Open? Youngest?
The oldest player to win the U.S. Open is Hale Irwin, who won the 1990 U.S. Open at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill., when he was 45 years and 15 days old.
The youngest champion is John McDermott, who won the 1911 U.S. Open at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill., when he was 19 years and 315 days old.
Has an amateur ever won the U.S. Open?
Five amateurs have won eight U.S. Opens in history: Francis Ouimet (1913), Jerome D. Travers (1915), Charles Evans Jr. (1916), Bobby Jones (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930) and John Goodman (1933).
How many times has an American won the U.S. Open?
Of the 118 U.S. Opens that have been contested, an American has won 83 of them.
When was the last time an International player won the U.S. Open?
The last International player to win was Germany's Martin Kaymer at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2014.
Which countries have produced the next most U.S. Open wins?
Second to the United States in U.S. Open victories is Scotland with 14. Englishmen have won seven times, while South African-born players have won five.
What type of conditions are the U.S. Open played in?
The U.S. Open is typically played under very difficult scoring conditions, where accuracy off the tee is essential. Fairways are often narrow and guarded by thick rough, and the course is generally set up quite long.
What are the confirmed future sites of the U.S. Open?
Future sites have been confirmed through 2027. They are as follows:
Winged Foot Golf Club – Mamaroneck, N.Y. (2020)
Torrey Pines Golf Course – La Jolla, Calif. (2021)
The Country Club – Brookline, Mass. (2022)
Los Angeles Country Club – Los Angeles (2023)
Pinehurst Resort, Course No. 2 – Pinehurst, N.C. (2024)
Oakmont Country Club – Oakmont, Pa. (2025)
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club - Southampton, N.Y. (2026)
Pebble Beach Golf Links – Pebble Beach, Calif. (2027)
How much is the purse of the U.S. Open, and how much does the winner receive?
The purse for the 2019 U.S. Open is $12.5 million, an increase of 4500,000 from 2018. The winner will receive $2.25 million.
How many world rankings points does the U.S. Open Winner get?
The winner of the U.S. Open receives 100 world ranking points.
How many FedEx Cup points does the U.S. Open winner get?
The winner of the U.S. Open receives 600 FedEx Cup points.
Who broadcasts the U.S. Open?
Since 2015, FOX Sports has been the official broadcaster of the U.S. Open. FOX’s deal with the USGA will run through 2026. This year, FOX plans to to air 45 hours of coverage from Pebble Beach. With the championship being played on the West Coast, the TV broadcast for all four days is slated to run into prime time on the East Coast, with a scheduled sign off of 10:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.