Genesis Scottish Open

The Renaissance Club



U.S. OPEN FAQs

U.S. Open 2024: Everything you need to know about this year's major at Pinehurst No. 2

1499623309

Sean M. Haffey

Sometimes numbers are fun. For instance, the 2024 U.S. Open will be the 1,000th championship that the USGA has conducted since the associaiton's inception in 1895. That’s a delightful little bit of history coinciding with the best golfers in the world taking on Pinehurst No. 2 for the third men's major of the year.

Last June at the Los Angeles Country Club, Wyndham Clark took home his first major championship despite never finishing better than 75th in a major prior to the event. Clark held off Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Smith and completed his U.S. Open victory with a two-putt from 60 feet on the 72nd hole. In the process, he locked up his golf immortality.

Moving forward to Pinehurst, the possible storylines that await are intriguing. Will a golfer who survived Local and Final Qualifying make a run at the title or will one of the game’s best add to his already storied legacy? It’s the U.S. Open … anything can happen.

With that as a primer, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions to get you ready for what’s sure to be a thrilling major at Pinehurst No. 2.

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 scheduled for Father’s Day Sunday. The one recent exception came in 2020, when the USGA moved the championship to mid-September in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, then moved it back to its usually slot in 2021.

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?

180123-tiger-woods-torrey.jpg

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

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 at Los Angeles Country Club last year. Rory McIlroy needed Wyndham Clark to three-putt from 60 feet to sneak into a playoff. Clark held strong, however, and did just enough to win his first U.S. Open.

Where is the 2024 U.S. Open being played?

This year's U.S. Open is being played on the historic No. 2 course at Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort & Country Club. This is the fourth time the Donald Ross design will be hosting the U.S. Open, with Payne Stewart (1999), Michael Campbell (2005) and Martin Kaymer (2014) winning previously.

What type of course is Pinehurst No. 2?

A mainstay on Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Courses in the United States and a renowned track since its inception, Pinehurst No. 2 was completed in 1907 by Ross, who called it “The fairest test of championship golf I have ever designed.” The course hosted the prestigious North and South Open from 1902 to 1951 and in addition to the three U.S. Opens has also held a Ryder Cup (1951) and PGA Championship (1936). The resort boasts that No. 2 has served as the site of more single golf championships than any other course in America.

This description of the now 7,588-yard course itself comes from our own Derek Duncan: In 2010, a team led by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw killed and ripped out all the Bermudagrass rough on Pinehurst No. 2 that had been foolishly planted in the 1970s. Between fairways and tree lines, they established vast bands of native hardpan sand dotted with clumps of wiregrass and scattered pine needles. They reduced the irrigation to mere single rows in fairways to prevent grass from ever returning to the new sandy wastelands. Playing firm and fast, it was wildly successful as the site of the 2014 Men’s and Women’s U.S. Opens, played on consecutive weeks. Because of its water reduction, the course was named a Green Star environmental award-winner by Golf Digest that year. In 2019, Pinehurst No. 2 and No. 4 hosted another U.S. Amateur Championship, and the USGA announced Pinehurst No. 2—in addition to hosting the 2024 U.S. Open—will also have the 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047 U.S. Opens.

Can you play Pinehurst No. 2?

Yes, if you have a bit of pocket money. The public course is $470 to play and a bit more after you tip your caddie, but it is doable. It’s a tough track though so you better bring your best game or your best attitude.

Is Tiger Woods playing in the 2024 U.S. Open?

Yes! The 15-time major champ accepted a special exemption from the USGA to get into the Pinehurst field. It is the only major championship that he's not fully exempt. At the start of the year, Woods said he hoped to play all the major championships in 2024. To date he's finished 60th at the Masters in April and missed the cut at the PGA Championship in May.

"The U.S. Open, our national championship, is a truly special event for our game and one that has helped define my career," Woods said in a statement after accepting the USGA's special exemption. "I'm honored to receive this exemption and could not be more excited for the opportunity to compete in this year's U.S. Open, especially at Pinehurst, a venue that means so much to the game."

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

2024953907

David Cannon

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 33rd time in his career. Lefty is exempt after his 2021 PGA Championship victory. The U.S. Open is the one major Mickelson has never won, having finished second (or tied for 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 0.4.

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. Those who advance out of Local Qualifying (roughly 530) then compete in Final Qualifying, which is staged at 13 sites. Players compete in one-day, 36-hole events with roughly 65 golfers overall playing their into the championship proper

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.

88620630

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 no 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. Oakmont will host for the 10th time next year.

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.

1273775993

Jamie Squire

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?

Prior to 2023, six players hold the record for the lowest round in U.S. Open history with a score of 63. They were 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.

All these 63s, however, moved down a spot in the USGA record book when Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele both shot 62s in the first round of the U.S. Open last year at Los Angeles Country Club. Amazingly, their rounds finished within a half hour of each other.

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 Johnny Goodman (1933).

516578086

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

Bettmann

How many times has an American won the U.S. Open?

Of the 123 U.S. Opens that have been contested, an American has won 87 of them.

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

1406182158

David Cannon

Two years ago. 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. Spain's 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 while 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?

541878898

Dustin Johnson in action during Sunday play at Oakmont CC in 2016

Al Tielemans

2025: Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pa.

2026: Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y.

2027: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, Calif.

2028: Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, N.Y

2029: Pinehurst Resort & C.C. (No. 2), Village of Pinehurst, N.C.

2030: Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa.

2031: Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, Calif.

2032: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, Calif.

2033: Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pa.

2034: Oakland Hills Country Club (South), Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

2035: Pinehurst Resort & C.C. (No. 2), Village of Pinehurst, N.C.

2036: Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y.

2037: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, Calif

2038: The Country Club, Brookline, Mass.

2039: The Los Angeles (Calif.) Country Club (North Course)

2040: Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa.

2041: Pinehurst Resort & C.C. (No. 2), - Village of Pinehurst, N.C.

2042: Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pa.

2044: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, Calif.

2047: Pinehurst Resort & C.C. (No. 2), Village of Pinehurst, N.C.

2049: Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pa.

2050: Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa.

2051: Oakland Hills Country Club (South), Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

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

The purse for the 2024 U.S. Open has yet to be announced. The purse in 2023 was a record $20 million, with the winner receiving $3.6 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 750 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.