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U.S. OPEN FAQs

U.S. Open 2023: Frequently Asked Questions

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Andrew Redington

Amidst the chaos of the PGA Tour-Saudi deal, it may be easy to forget that we have a major rapidly approaching. And not just any major but the first U.S. Open in Los Angeles in 75 years. L.A. hasn't hosted a major of any sort since 1995. And with Los Angeles Country Club's famed North Course making its major championship debut, we’re in store for quite the tournament.

Last year at The Country Club in Brookline, Matt Fitzpatrick held on by the narrowest of margins over Scottie Scheffler and Will Zaltoris to take home his first major, along with his first-ever win on the PGA Tour. The defending champ, however, isn’t one of the favorites this go-around as major mainstays Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka top the sportsbook leaderboards with Rory McIlroy, Max Homa and Justin Thomas not too far behind.

Will we see a regional qualifier make a storybook run or will it be a blockbuster of sorts with one of the big names taking home even more hardware? Anything’s imaginable in the City of Angels.

With that as a primer, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions to get you ready for a star-studded Los Angeles U.S. Open.

When is the U.S. Open played?

Traditionally, 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. In 2020, the USGA moved the championship to mid-September in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In 2021, it moved back to its normal spot on the schedule.

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 (R.I.) Golf Club. 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 a score of 173 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 who compete. The top 60 players and ties make the cut.

If players are tied after 72 holes, how is the winner determined?

Until 2018, if players were tied after 72 holes, the winner was determined in an 18-hole stroke-play playoff on 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 between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate. They were still tied after 18 holes, so it then went to a sudden-death playoff, with Woods winning on the 19th hole.

We were just one shot away from seeing extra holes last year at Brookline. If Will Zalatoris made a makeable 14-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole, there would’ve been another playoff to add to this FAQ.

What type of course is Los Angeles Country Club?

One of the world’s most exclusive clubs, LACC is a throwback to a far more primitive Southern California landscape with a rustic and natural feel. It opened in 1927 through the work of designer George C. Thomas Jr. and has been a Golf Digest Top 100 linchpin after its 2010 renovation architect Gil Hanse.

This description according to our Derek Duncan: It’s on the edge of Tinsel Town, but the architecture of the North Course at Los Angeles Country Club has been solid gold ever since its 2010 restoration by architect Gil Hanse, his associate Jim Wagner and their colleague Geoff Shackelford. It matters not that Hanse’s team didn’t replicate the bunkering style of original architect George C. Thomas, but rather the more visually exciting style of Thomas’ associate, William P. Bell. The first nine plays rustically up and down a shallow canyon with holes switching back and forth across a dry barranca, and the second nine loops across a more spacious upland section with one par 3 (the 11th) that can stretch to nearly 300 yards and another (the 15th) that often plays just 90 yards.

Can you play Los Angeles Country Club?

No. Well, not without a member. It is a private golf facility and you need to be invited by a member in order to play there.

Is Tiger Woods playing in the 2023 U.S. Open?

Unfortunately, Woods will not be teeing off in this year’s U.S. Open even after making the cut at the Masters a few months ago. He officially withdrew from the upcoming major back in May but his subtalar fusion surgery, announced in April, made his eventual WD all but certain. There’s no timetable for his return to competition. “The first goal is to recover and lead a much more enjoyable day-to-day life,” Woods’ manager Mark Steinberg said.

How many U.S. Opens has Tiger Woods won?

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Tiger Woods reacts as he sinks a birdie putt on the 18th hole to force a playoff with Rocco Mediate at the 2008 U.S. Open. Woods would beat Mediate in 19 holes the next day to win his third U.S. Open title.

Gina Ferazzi

Woods has won three U.S. Opens, the last coming in 2008 at Torrey Pines. He previously won the U.S. Open in 2002 at Bethpage Black and in 2000 at Pebble Beach, when he set the record for the 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.

Is Phil Mickelson playing in the U.S. Open?

Yes, he is—for the 32nd time in his career. Mickelson has been in the news lately for many reasons, but his T-2 Masters finish shows that he’s always formidable when it counts, especially in majors. The U.S. Open is the one major Mickelson has never won, having finished second a record six times in his quest to complete the career Grand Slam.

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.

The USGA allows those eligible players to attempt to qualify for the national championship. Qualifying consists of two stages, local and final (previously known as sectional). Local qualifying is played over 18 holes at more than 100 courses around the United States. Roughly 530 spots are available to move on to the final qualifying round, known as “Golf’s Longest Day.” Final 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.

Has a U.S. Open ever been won by someone who earned a spot through Final Qualifying?

Yes. The last time was Lucas Glover at Bethpage in 2009.

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Lucas Glover celebrates his 2009 major victory on the 18th green at Bethpage State Park.

TIMOTHY A. CLARY

Has the U.S. Open ever been won by someone who earned a spot through Local and Final qualifying?

Yes. The last time was Orville Moody at Champions Golf Club in 1969.

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 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 20. In addition to Winged Foot’s six, Shinnecock Hills has hosted the U.S. Open five times, Oak Hill three times, Bethpage Black two times with Fresh Meadow, Inwood, Country Club of Buffalo and Garden City each hosting once.

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 in relation 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 in 2018, 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?

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Bobby Jones holds the U.S. Open trophy after his 36-hole playoff victory over Al Espinosa in 1929 at Winged Foot.

Bettmann

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 121 U.S. Opens that have been contested, an American has won 86 of them.

When was the last time an international player won the U.S. Open?

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David Cannon

Last year. Matt Fitzpatrick hails from England and has made Brookline his home away from home, winning both a U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur at the same course. Jon Rahm won the year before that at Torrey Pines’ South Course. Before that, it was Germany’s Martin Kaymer at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2014. England's Justin Rose won in 2013.

Which countries have produced the next most U.S. Open wins?

Second to the United States in U.S. Open victories is Scotland with 13. Englishmen have won eight 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. Even par is usually a good score for the week, although the USGA contends that it's not looking at even par as a barometer.

What are the confirmed future sites of the U.S. Open?

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Aerial view of Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania

Stephen Szurlej

2024: Pinehurst (N.C.) No. 2
2025: Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club
2026: Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y.
2027: Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links
2028: Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, N.Y.
2029: Pinehurst (N.C.) No. 2
2030: Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa.
2032: Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links
2033: Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club
2034: Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
2035: Pinehurst (N.C.) No. 2
2037: Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links
2041: Pinehurst (N.C.) No. 2
2042: Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club
2044: Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links
2047: Pinehurst (N.C.) No. 2
2049: Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club
2051: Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

How much is the purse of the U.S. Open, and how much does the winner receive?

The purse for the 2023 U.S. Open has yet to be announced. The purse in 2022 was a record $17.5 million, with the winner receiving $3.15 million.

How many World Ranking 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?

In June 2020, NBC Universal reacquired the U.S. broadcast and media rights for the U.S. Open, taking over the remainder of a 12-year $1.1 billion contract the USGA had signed with FOX Sports that began in 2015 and expires in 2026. NBC had been the official broadcast partner of the USGA from 1995 through 2014. Four full days of televised coverage will begin on Thursday, June 15 on NBC and the USA Network, with additional early morning coverage on NBC's streaming service Peacock.