1. Pebble Beach Golf Links #7
    Joann Dost
  2. Graeme McDowell
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  3. Tiger Woods
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  4. Phil Mickelson
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From the beginning, it was clear that the 110th U.S. Open had all the ingredients to produce a most compelling, exciting and dramatic championship. And by the weekend many of golf’s biggest stars and those soon to be had begun to shine. Saturday’s third round delivered some brilliant shot-making, particularly from Dustin Johnson, the long hitting 25 year old who had already won two PGA Tour events at Pebble Beach*. But it was Tiger Wood’s late afternoon three wood at the 18th that rocked the entire Monterey Peninsula and sent the golf world into a frenzy of anticipation for Sunday’s final round. Meanwhile, a quiet, 30 year old Northern Irishman, Graeme McDowell continued to fly under most people’s radar.

U.S. OPEN Facts

On Oct. 4, 1895, the first U.S. Open Championship was conducted by the United States Golf Association on the nine-hole course of Newport (R.I.) Golf and Country Club. The first U.S. Open was considered something of a side- show to the first U.S. Amateur, which was played on the same course and during the same week. Both championships had been scheduled for September but were postponed because of a conflict with a more established Newport sports spectacle, the America’s Cup yacht races. Ten professionals and one amateur started in the 36-hole competition, which was four trips around the Newport course in one day. The sur- prise winner was Horace Rawlins, 21, an English professional who was the assistant at the host course. Rawlins scored 91-82—173 with the gutta- percha ball. Prize money totaled $335, of which Rawlins won the $150 first prize. He also received a gold medal and custody of the Open Championship Trophy for his club for one year. In its first decade, the U.S. Open was conducted for amateurs and the largely British wave of immigrant golf professionals coming to the United States. As American players began to dominate the game, the U.S. Open evolved into an important world golf championship. Young John J. McDermott became the first native-born American winner in 1911 and repeated as champion in 1912. In 1913, the U.S. Open really took off when Francis Ouimet, a 20-year-old American amateur, stunned the golf world by defeating the famous English professionals Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in a playoff. Another surge in the championship’s popularity coincided with the amazing career of Georgia amateur Robert T. Jones Jr., who won the U.S. Open four times (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930). Spectator tickets were sold for the first time in 1922 and a boom in entries caused the USGA to introduce sectional qualifying in 1924. In 1933, John Goodman became the fifth and last ama- teur to win the U.S. Open. The others were Ouimet, Jerome D. Travers (1915), Charles Evans Jr. (1916) and Jones. In each era, the world’s greatest players have been identified by surviving the rigorous examination provided by the U.S. Open. Ben Hogan’s steely determination boosted him to four victories (1948, 1950, 1951, 1953). Arnold Palmer’s record comeback win in 1960, when he fired a final-round 65 to come from seven strokes off the lead, cemented his dashing image. Jack Nicklaus’ historic assault on the professional record book began when he won the first of his four U.S. Open Championships in 1962, his rookie season as a professional. Nicklaus, who also won in 1967, 1972 and 1980, is one of only four golfers to capture four U.S. Open titles. The others are Willie Anderson (1901, 1903, 1904, 1905), Jones and Hogan. In 1954, the U.S. Open course was roped from tee to green for the first time. That year also marked the first national television coverage. Coverage was expanded by ABC Sports in 1977 so that all 18 holes of the final two rounds were broadcast live. In 1982, the first two rounds were broadcast live for the first time on ESPN. NBC began televising the U.S. Open in 1995. The format of the U.S. Open has changed several times. The USGA extended the championship to 72 holes in 1898, with 36 holes played on each of two days. In 1926, the format was changed to 18 holes played each of two days, then 36 holes on the third day. In 1965, the present format of four 18-hole daily rounds was implemented for the first time. In 2002, a two-tee (No. 1 and No. 10) start was used for the first and second rounds. In addition, Bethpage State Park’s Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y., became the first facility owned by the public to host a U.S. Open. International qualifying sites were added in 2005 and the champion at Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort was Michael Campbell, who qualified in England.

Foreign-Born Winners of the U.S. OPEN

1895 — Horace Rawlins, England
1896 — James Foulis, Scotland
1897 — Joe Lloyd, England
1898 — Fred Herd, Scotland
1899 — Willie Smith, Scotland
1900 — Harry Vardon, England
1901 — Willie Anderson, Scotland
1902 — Laurence Auchterlonie, Scotland
1903 — Willie Anderson, Scotland
1904 — Willie Anderson, Scotland
1905 — Willie Anderson, Scotland
1906 — Alex Smith, Scotland
1907 — Alex Ross, Scotland
1908 — Fred McLeod, Scotland
1909 — George Sargent, England
1910 — Alex Smith, Scotland
1920 — Edward Ray, England
1921 — James Barnes, England
1924 — Cyril Walker, England
1925 — William Macfarlane, Scotland
1927 — Tommy Armour, Scotland
1965 — Gary Player, South Africa
1970 — Tony Jacklin, England
1981 — David Graham, Australia
1994 — Ernie Els, South Africa
1997 — Ernie Els, South Africa
2001 — Retief Goosen, South Africa
2004 — Retief Goosen, South Africa
2005 — Michael Campbell, New Zealand
2006 — Geoff Ogilvy, Australia
2007 — Angel Cabrera, Argentina
2010 – Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland

 

 

*Pebble Beach®, Pebble Beach Golf Links®, Pebble Beach Resorts®, and their respective underlying distinctive images are trademarks, service marks and trade dress of Pebble Beach Company. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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