Jon Rahm won the US Open at Torrey Pines. Donald Miralle
By Christopher Powers and Jay Coffin
The US Open is set to return to The Country Club in Brookline for the first time since Curtis Strange won in 1988. That year, Strange took a one-shot lead into the final round and ultimately was tied with Nick Faldo after 72 holes. They went into an 18-hole Monday playoff and Strange prevailed by shooting 71 to Faldo’s 75.
Of course, The Country Club is no stranger to hosting huge golf events. It was site of the 1999 Ryder Cup when the US stormed from a 10-6 deficit on Sunday to defeat Europe in what was then the largest comeback in Ryder Cup history. It also hosted the 1963 US Open, won by Julius Boros and the 1913 US Open, when 20-year-old amateur Francis Ouimet, who grew up across the street, defeated British professionals Ted Ray and Harry Vardon to win in a playoff.
The Country Club has hosted three US Women’s Amateurs — the last in 1995, won by Kelli Kuehne — and six US Amateurs, the last in 2013 won by Matt Fitzpatrick.
Last year at Torrey Pines, Jon Rahm captured his first major championship after erasing a three-shot deficit to start the final round. He shot 67, finished the week at six-under and beat Louis Oosthuizen by a shot.
Rahm, ranked No. 2 in the World Ranking, will be back to defend his title and will again be among the favorites to hoist the trophy. The rest of the top five include Masters champion Scottie Scheffler (No. 1), Patrick Cantlay (No. 3), Cameron Smith (No. 4) and Collin Morikawa (No. 5). PGA champion Justin Thomas will be looking to capture his third major championship. He’s ranked sixth.
With that as a primer, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions to get you ready for The Country Club.
When is the US Open played?
Traditionally, the US 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 US Open?
The United States Golf Association (USGA) conducts the championship.
When and where was the first US Open? And who won?
The first US Open was played in 1895 at Newport Golf Club, Rhode Island. 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 US Open Trophy for one year.
What is the format of the US Open? How many players are in the field?
The US 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 US 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 scheduled playoff.
What type of course is The Country Club?
It is one of the oldest clubs in the United States and is one of the five charter clubs that founded the USGA. The first six holes of the club were designed in 1893, the next three were added to complete the first nine in 1894 and the full 18 holes were done by 1899.
This description according to our Derek Duncan: At times it feels like playing golf on the moon, or maybe Mars. Rock outcroppings, embankments, rugged shifts of land, canted terrain and thick fescues drive the flow of holes as much as any architectural intent. These elements, sometimes all found on a single hole, can lead to abnormal and uncomfortable shot situations. Though elite players have their distances dialed in, and yardages to precise landing spots are no longer guesswork, the lack of visibility and repeated need to save par after missing the microscopic greens will take a toll on those who don’t approach The Country Club with an open mind.
Can you play The 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 2022 US Open?
Unfortunately, Woods will not be playing this year at The Country Club. The 15-time major champion played in the Masters and made the cut, withdrew after three rounds at the PGA Championship and announced last week that his body needs to get stronger because of injuries he sustained in a single-car crash more than a year ago.
How many US Opens has Tiger Woods won?
Woods has won three US Opens, the last coming in 2008 at Torrey Pines. He previously won the US 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 US Opens?
Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus hold the record for most US Open victories, each winning four.
Is Phil Mickelson playing in the 2022 US Open?
Yes, he is. Thanks to his PGA Championship victory in 2021, which gives him a five-year exemption into the US Open. Prior to his win at Kiawah, Mickelson was not exempt into the US Open field, though he did accept one of the rare special exemptions from the USGA. That became irrelevant after his PGA triumph. He needs the US Open to complete the career Grand Slam.
But Phil Mickelson is playing in LIV Golf series events. You sure he’s eligible?
Yes. He’s eligible. At least for this year. Although the PGA Tour announced earlier this week that those playing in the Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf tour are suspended immediately, the USGA announced last week that those same players are eligible to compete in the US Open in Brookline. Part of a USGA statement said: “Our field criteria were set prior to entries opening earlier this year and it’s not appropriate, nor fair to competitors, to change criteria once established.”
Who are the favorites to win the 2022 US Open?
See the opening paragraphs of this piece regarding Rahm, the defending US Open champion, and the other top-five players in the world. It’s probably safe to add World No. 8 Rory McIlroy to the list of favorites as well.
How can you qualify for the US Open?
The US 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 US Open’s field of 156 players.
Has a US Open ever been won by someone who earned a spot through Final Qualifying?
Yes. The last time was Lucas Glover at Bethpage in 2009.
Has the US 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 US Open. The youngest player ever to make the field was 14-year-old Andy Zhang in 2012.
What site has hosted the most US Opens?
Oakmont Country Club outside of Pittsburgh has hosted the most US Opens with nine, the most recent in 2016.
What state has hosted the most US Opens?
New York has hosted the most US Opens with 20. In addition to Winged Foot’s six, Shinnecock Hills has hosted the US 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 US Open scoring record?
The US Open scoring record is held by Rory McIlroy, who shot a total of 16-under 268 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda in 2011.
What is the highest winning score of the US Open?
The highest winning score is held by Fred Herd, who won the 1898 US Open with a total score of 328.
What is the lowest round in US Open history? Highest?
Six players hold the record for lowest round in US 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 US 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 JD Tucker, who shot a 157 at Myopia Hunt Club in South Hamilton in 1898.
Who is the oldest winner of the US Open? Youngest?
The oldest player to win the US Open is Hale Irwin, who won the 1990 US Open at Medinah Country Club when he was 45 years and 15 days old.
The youngest champion is John McDermott, who won the 1911 US Open at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton when he was 19 years and 315 days old.
Has an amateur ever won the US Open?
Five amateurs have won eight US 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 US Open?
Of the 121 US Opens that have been contested, an American has won 86 of them.
When was the last time an international player won the US Open?
Last year. Jon Rahm is from Spain. 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 US Open wins?
Second to the United States in US 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 US Open played in?
The US 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 US Open?
2023: Los Angeles Country Club
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
2029: Pinehurst (N.C.) No. 2
2030: Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa.
2032: Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links
2033: Oaklmont (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: Oaklmont (Pa.) Country Club
2044: Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links
2047: Pinehurst (N.C.) No. 2
2049: Oaklmont (Pa.) Country Club
2051: Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
How much is the purse of the US Open, and how much does the winner receive?
The purse for the 2022 US Open has yet to be announced. The purse in 2021 was $12.5 million, with the winner receiving $2.25 million.
How many World Ranking points does the US Open winner get?
The winner of the US Open receives 100 world ranking points.
How many FedEx Cup points does the US Open winner get?
The winner of the US Open receives 600 FedEx Cup points.
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