The third of golf’s four major championships has never fallen short in terms of star power.

From Bobby Jones to Byron Nelson to Ben Hogan to Arnold Palmer to Jack Nicklaus to Tiger Woods, some of the game’s biggest legends have been U.S. Open winners over the past 100-plus years of the tournament.

The event has certainly come a long way since it was played for the first time on Oct. 4, 1895, when 21-year-old Englishman Horace Rawlins took first in an 11-player field on a nine-hole course at Newport Golf Club in Newport, Rhode Island.

Now, it’s a four-round major played on some of the best golf courses in the USA and featuring the best golfers from around the world with a winner’s purse in the millions.

Who has had their names etched in the U.S. Open history books as a result of their performance in one of the biggest events on the PGA Tour?

Let’s take a look at the U.S. Open champions and the tourney’s all-time records (all data from the USGA):

Most Victories: 4 – Four Players

Willie Anderson (1901, 1903, 1904, 1905), Bobby Jones (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930), Ben Hogan (1948, 1950, 1951, 1953) and Jack Nicklaus (1962, 1967, 1972, 1980) have all won the event four times. Jones is considered the greatest amateur player of all time, while Hogan and Nicklaus are also well-known all-time greats. But the lesser-known Anderson, who is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, became the first to win four U.S. Opens and the only one to win three consecutive titles.

Most Times Runner-Up: 6 – Phil Mickelson (1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2013)

Wire-to-Wire Winners (No Ties): Seven Players

  • Walter Hagen (1914)
  • James Barnes (1921)
  • Ben Hogan (1953)
  • Tony Jacklin (1970)
  • Tiger Woods (2000, 2002)
  • Rory McIlroy (2011)
  • Martin Kaymer (2014)

The Oldest Champion: 45 – Hale Irwin (1990)

Irwin was 45 years and 15 days old when he won in a playoff at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois in 1990. Just four years prior, Raymond Floyd had broken a 66-year-old record by becoming the oldest U.S. Open winner at 43 years, nine months and 11 days.

The Youngest Champion: 19 – John J. McDermott (1911)

The tournament was still in its infancy when McDermott became the first American-born champion by defeating Mike Brady and George Simpson in an 18-hole playoff at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Illinois. He was just 19 years, 10 months and 14 days old. McDermott also won it the following year.

The Youngest Competitor: 14 – Andy Zhang (2012)

Zhang took the golf world by storm when he played well in qualifying and became the youngest competitor in the U.S. Open at 14 years and six months, according to the USGA. He was added to replace Paul Casey, who withdrew with a bad shoulder after Brandt Snedeker scratched because of an injured rib. He shot 79-78 and missed the cut, but the record is his. “I tried to qualify when I was 15 and didn’t make it, so all credit to Andy,” Tiger Woods told the UK Sun. “He earned his spot.”

Winner in First U.S. Open: Five Players

  • Horace Rawlins (1895)
  • Fred Herd (1898)
  • Harry Vardon (1900)
  • George Sargent (1909)
  • Francis Ouimet (1913)

Longest Span Between First/Last Win: 18 Years – Jack Nicklaus (1962-80)

The Golden Bear was a major champion a record 18 times, including four U.S. Opens. He was a winner for the first time in 1962 and was 40 years old when he shot a record-tying 63 in the first round and set a record with an aggregate of 272. That eclipsed his earlier record of 275 from 1967 at the same Baltusrol Golf Club. He set another record with a seven-stroke win.

Most Appearances: 44 – Jack Nicklaus (1957-2000)

Most Top-10 Finishes: 18 – Jack Nicklaus

Longest Span Between Victories: 11 Years – Two Players

Yeah, the Golden Bear won his first and last U.S. Opens 18 years apart, but he also won between those. These two golfers went more than a decade between U.S. Open wins.

  • Julius Boros (1952-63)
  • Hale Irwin (1979-90)

Most Consecutive Top-10 Finishes: 7 – Three Players

  • Stewart Gardner (1900-06)
  • Bobby Jones (1920-26)
  • Ben Hogan (1950-56)

Lowest Score, 72 Holes: 268 – Rory McIlroy (2011)

Nicklaus’ record 272 at the U.S. Open in 1980 was eventually matched, but it wasn’t beaten until McIlroy’s historical 65-66-68-69 performance at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. He won by eight strokes and set 11 U.S. Open records, including the lowest total under par, which has since been matched by Brooks Koepka.

Highest Winning Score: 331 – Willie Anderson (1901)

Most Strokes Under Par, 72 Holes: 16 – Two Players

  • Rory McIlroy (268, 2011)
  • Brooks Koepka (272, 2017)

Lowest Score, Any Round: 62 – Two Players

History was made in the opening round of the 2023 U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club — twice. In the first major played at LACC, Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele both shot opening-round 62s to break the old record of 63 that was held by six players: Justin Thomas (9-under, 2017), Johnny Miller (8-under, 1973), Tommy Fleetwood (7-under, 2018), Jack Nicklaus (7-under, 1980), Tom Weiskopf (7-under, 1980) and Vijay Singh (7-under, 2003).

Highest Score, Any Round: 157 – J.D. Tucker (1898)

Biggest Final-Round Comeback: 7 Strokes – Arnold Palmer (1960)

Palmer, one of the most celebrated golfers of all time, won four Masters Tournaments and was a two-time winner of the Open Championship, but he captured his only U.S. Open crown in 1960. A year after Billy Casper Jr. topped him by four strokes at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York, Palmer put together a wild comeback after trailing Mike Souchak by eight strokes after 36 holes and seven after 54 at Cherry Hills in Englewood, Colorado.

Largest Winning Margin: 15 Strokes – Tiger Woods (2000)

This was Tiger in his prime as he put together perhaps the most dominant performance in professional golf history. He finished with a 12-under par 272 at Pebble Beach, well ahead of second-place finishers Miguel Ángel Jiménez and Ernie Els at 3-over 287. It’s the largest winning margin of any major and stands as one of modern golf’s iconic moments.

Highest Score in One Hole: 19 – Ray Ainsley (1938)

Most Consecutive Birdies: 6 – Three Players

  • George Burns (1982)
  • Andy Dillard (1992)
  • Adam Hadwin (2017)

Last Hole-In-One: Cameron Young (2022)

Last Double Eagle: Nick Watney (2012)

Amateur Champions: Five Players

  • Francis Ouimet (1913)
  • Jerome D. Travers (1915)
  • Charles Evans Jr. (1916)
  • Bob Jones (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930)
  • John Goodman (1933)

Lowest 18-Hole Score by an Amateur: 65 – Three Players

  • James McHale (6-under, 1947)
  • James Simons (5-under, 1971)
  • Nick Taylor (5-under, 2009)

Lowest 72-Hole Score by an Amateur: 280 – Viktor Hovland (2019)

Hovland wasn’t an amateur long after winning the U.S. Amateur in 2018 and then finishing in a tie for 12th in the 2019 U.S. Open Championship with his record score at Pebble Beach. He broke golf legend Jack Nicklaus’ previous mark by two strokes. He would become the first Norwegian to win on the PGA and European Tours.

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