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Crunching the Numbers

U.S. Open 2024: The USGA is about to play its 1,000th championship. Here are 9 remarkable stats from the first 999

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June 05, 2024

When the USGA holds the 2024 U.S. Open next week at Pinehurst No. 2, it will be the 124th time the governing body has conducted its marquee event. That’s an impressive number, for sure, but it will be overshadowed as an even more remarkable milestone also takes place in the sandhills of North Carolina: This will be the 1,000th championship overall that the USGA has held.

The count began back in October 1895, shortly after the USGA’s inception, when Charles Blair Macdonald won the inaugural U.S. Amateur Championship at Newport (R.I.) Country Club. The next day, Horace Rawlins won the first U.S. Open at the same course. That November, Lucy Barnes Brown claimed the U.S. Women’s Amateur title.

More than a century later, the USGA has expanded from running three events annually to 15, including championships for all age ranges, team events, international matches and a national competition for adaptive golfers.

“There’s been a lot of evolution in our sport since 1895, and arguably more in the last 20-30 years than during any other point since the start of the 20th century, especially when it comes to the changing demographics of who plays the game,” USGA CEO Mike Whan recently told Golf Journal. “I think Theodore Havemeyer [the first USGA president] and other early USGA leaders would be very proud of where the game stands today.”

Over time, USGA championships have delivered some of golf’s most unforgettable moments: Francis Ouimet's stunning 1913 U.S. Open win; Babe Zaharias' triumphant 1954 U.S. Women's Open win after overcoming cancer; Arnold Palmer driving the first green in the final round at Cherry Hills en route to his 1960 U.S. Open win; Tiger Woods claiming the 2008 U.S. Open title on a broken leg, to name but a few. To prepare for what looks to be another eventful U.S. Open, here are nine remarkable stats from the first 999 championships

738

Number of golfers who have won a USGA championship

At the USGA Museum in Liberty Corner, N.J., the grand Hall of Champions exhibit room chronicles the winners of every USGA championship by year while displaying the trophies from all 15 championships. The rollcall includes 161 players who have won multiple titles—most recently Yuka Saso claiming her second U.S. Women’s Open victory last Sunday—and 131 international winners.

To put some context to how the championship victories have spread out over time, here are the “round-number” winners of USGA championships:

No. 1: Charles B. Macdonald, 1895 U.S. Amateur
No. 50: Gene Sarazen, 1922 U.S. Open
No. 100: William Welch Jr., 1941 U.S. Amateur Public Links
No. 200: Johnny Miller, 1964 U.S. Junior Amateur
No. 300: Jack Larkin, 1979 U.S. Junior Amateur
No. 400: Emilee Klein, 1991 U.S. Girls’ Junior
No. 500: Ricky Barnes, 2002 U.S. Amateur
No. 600: Na Yeon Choi, 2012 U.S. Women’s Open
No. 700: Jon Rahm, 2021 U.S. Open

USGA Championship Trophies

The collection of USGA championship trophies.

John Mummert

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438,684

Total number of entries accepted to compete in the U.S. Open

The USGA prides itself on the fact that its Open championships are the “most democratic” golf tournaments in the world. Any amateur with minimum Handicap Index can enter and attempt to play their way into a championship. Since 2011, the number of entries for the U.S. Open has exceeded 9,000 every year, with 10,052 filing an application to try to play at Pinehurst, just shy of the record 10,187 in 2023.

For the record, here are the number of entries for the USGA’s other three Open championships:

U.S. Women’s Open (started in 1953): 49,635

U.S. Senior Open (1980): 99,473

U.S. Senior Women’s Open (2018): 1,993

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19

Most championships held at any single course

Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., has played host to six different USGA events over a 120-year span with six more championships already scheduled through: 2026 U.S. Amateur, 2030 U.S. Open, 2034, U.S. Women’s Open, 2040 U.S. Open, 2046, U.S. Women’s Open and 2050 U.S. Open.

Here's the list of the previous championships Merion has hosted and the winners of those events:

1904 U.S. Women's Amateur: Georgianna Bishop
1909 U.S. Women's Amateur: Dorothy Campbell
1916 U.S. Amateur: Charles Evans
1924 U.S. Amateur: Bobby Jones
1926 U.S. Women's Amateur: Helen Stetson
1930 U.S. Amateur: Bobby Jones
1934 U.S. Open: Olin Dutra
1949 U.S. Women's Amateur: Dorothy Germain Porter
1950 U.S. Open: Ben Hogan
1954 Curtis Cup: United States
1966 U.S. Amateur: Gary Cowan
1971 U.S. Open: Lee Trevino
1981 U.S. Open: David Graham
1989 U.S. Amateur: Chris Patton
1998 U.S. Girls’ Junior: Leigh Anne Hardin
2005 U.S. Amateur: Edoardo Molinari
2009 Walker Cup: United States
2013 U.S. Open: Justin Rose
2022 Curtis Cup: United States

Merion Golf Club: East
Stephen Szurlej
Private
Merion Golf Club: East
Ardmore, PA, United States
4.9
272 Panelists
Merion East has long been considered the best course on the tightest acreage in America, and when it hosted the U.S. Open in 2013, its first since 1981, the present generation of big hitters couldn’t conquer this clever little course. They couldn’t consistently hit its twisting fairways, which are edged by creeks, hodge-podge rough and OB stakes and couldn’t consistently hold its canted greens, edged by bunkers that stare back. Justin Rose won with a 72-hole total of one-over-par, two ahead of Jason Day and Phil Mickelson. With Gil Hanse's extensive two-year renovation making even more improvements at Merion's East Course, the design should be even more polished when the Open returns again in 2030.
View Course

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175

Number of USGA Championships played at Donald Ross-designed courses

Ross was one of the most prolific course architects, having designed roughly 400 courses throughout his career. Pinehurst No. 2 stands out as one of his greatest accomplishments. In addition to being the 1,000th USGA championship overall, Pinehurst will mark the 175th USGA tournament played at a Ross course (17.5 percent of the total number of championships).

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9

Most USGA wins by any one golfer

Bobby Jones set the record in 1930 when he claimed his fifth U.S. Amateur title to go with his four U.S. Open victories. That last Amateur win at Merion Golf Club in September 1930 also allowed him to close out his Grand Slam season.

It wasn’t until 78 years later that somebody finally matched Jones. Woods did it when he won his third career U.S. Open in 2008 at Torrey Pines. That came after winning three straight U.S. Junior titles from 1991-93 (no one has ever won more than one before or after) and three straight U.S. Amateur titles from 1994-96.

Behind Jones and Woods, two golfers have claimed eight USGA titles—Joanna Gunderson Carner and Jack Nicklaus. And three have won seven USGA championships: Ellen Port, Anne (Quast) Sander and Carol Semple Thompson.

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6

Most USGA wins in any single championship

Jones won his five U.S. Amateur titles in a seven-year span from 1924 to 1930, but it was a contemporary of his that holds the USGA mark for the most wins in any single championship. Glenna Collett Vare claimed the U.S. Women’s Amateur title six times in a 14-year span (1922, 1925, 1928, 1929, 1930 and 1935).

517293914

Glenna Collett Vare (middle) receives the Robert C. Cox Trophy after her 1930 U.S. Women's Amateur victory.

Bettmann

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13 years, 3 months, 7 days

Age of the youngest winner of a USGA event

We don’t know what you were doing at 13, but Aree Song Wongluekiet was busy winning the 1999 U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur at Green Spring Valley Hunt Club in Owings Mills, Md. She claimed the title with a 2-up triumph in the championship match over Nancy Abiecunas.

As for the youngest man to win a USGA event? That would be Jim Liu at the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur, who was 14 years, 11 months and 15 days old when he defeated a then 17-year-old Justin Thomas in the championship match.

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69 years, 6 months, 2 days

Age of the oldest winner of a USGA event

Canada’s Marlene Stewart Streit won the 2003 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur at Barton Creek Resort & Club in Austin, Texas, her fourth USGA title. She was two months older than Lewis Oehmig when he won the 1985 U.S. Senior Amateur at Wild Dunes in Isle of Palms, S.C., to be the oldest male winner of a USGA championship.

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60

Lowest 18-hole score shot in a USGA championship

A year ago Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele made headlines by shooting 62s less than an hour after each other at Los Angeles Country Club to set the all-time scoring record in a U.S. Open. But the lowest score ever shot as part of a USGA championship belongs to Billy Horschel when he shot a 60 at Chaska (Minn.) Town Course during the first round of stroke play at the 2006 U.S. Amateur.

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121

Most USGA championship appearances by a single golfer

Carol Semple Thompson, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and a seven-time USGA winner (1973 U.S. Women's Amateur; 1990 and 1997 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur in 1990 and 1997; 1999-2002 U.S. Senior Women's Amateur), holds a record unlikely to be broken. Following the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, the Pennsylvania native will have played in 12.1 percent of all USGA championships. To put that into perspective, if you attended 10 USGA championships, there’s a good chance you would have seen Carol Semple Thompson compete. (And these numbers don’t even include her eight starts in the now defunct USGA State Team Championship).

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In Carol Semple Thompson's locker (second from right) at the new World Golf Hall of Fame in Pinehurst, N.C., is a display of her competitor badges from her record number of USGA championships she has played in.