The U.S. Open

The second-oldest major in golf, the United States Open Championship, or U.S. Open, first began in 1895 at Newport Country Club in Rhode Island.

Organized by the United States Golf Association (USGA), the U.S. Open has been played on a variety of courses, with the largest purse available of the four majors. 

Below is a full breakdown of the prestigious tournament ahead of the 2020 U.S. Open in Mamaroneck, New York. 

When is the U.S. Open?

Each year, the USGA schedules the U.S. Open from Thursday through Sunday in mid-June so that the final round is played on the third Sunday of the month—the same date as Father’s Day.

When the PGA Championship moved from mid-August to May in 2019, the U.S. Open became the third major of the year, instead of the second. 

Where is the U.S. Open?

In 2020, Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York, will host the U.S. Open for the sixth time in the event’s history.

The par-70, 7,264-yard course is modified in order to increase the difficulty of scoring and places an emphasis on accurate driving.

Each year, the U.S. Open rotates its course location. The tournament has traveled to New York State the most times (19), followed by Pennsylvania (17), and Illinois and California (13 each).

The most frequented course is Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania (9 times), with Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey close behind, as host of seven U.S. Opens.       

YearLocation
2014
Pinehurst Resort (Course 2), Pinehurst, North Carolina
2015
Chambers Bay, University Place, Washington
2016
Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, Pennsylvania
2017
Erin Hills, Hartford, Washington
2018
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, New York
2019
Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, California

What is the U.S. Open format?

The U.S. Open is a stroke-play tournament completed from Thursday through Sunday under a 72-hole format (18 holes per day).

Each hole is given a par, or the number of strokes it should take to get the ball in the hole, and scores are determined by how many strokes over or under par the golfer went. The player who used the least number of strokes to complete the course is named the winner.

Only the top 60 players (including ties) make the cut after the second round and advance to play on Saturday and Sunday.  

Who is playing in the U.S. Open?

Any professional or an amateur with a USGA handicap index not exceeding 1.4 players may compete in the U.S. Open if they qualify for the event or have earned an exemption.

The tournament field is set at 156 competitors, with about half of them fully exempt from qualifying.

Some of the exemption criteria include winning the U.S. Open within the past 10 years, winning the Masters, Open Championship or PGA Championship within the past five years, and winning the current year’s BMW PGA Championship. In the year after the Summer Olympic Games, the reigning men’s gold medalist in golf is also exempt.

The youngest person to qualify for the tournament was Andy Zhang of China at the age of 14 in 2012.

Who has won the U.S. Open?

YearWinnerTotal scoreTo par
2014
Martin Kaymer, Germany
271
-9
2015
Jordan Spieth, United States
275
-5
2016
Dustin Johnson, United States
276
-4
2017
Brooks Koepka, United States
272
-16
2018
Brooks Koepka, United States
281
+1
2019
Gary Woodland, United States
271
-13

Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus have each won four U.S. Opens, the most by any one player. Since 1911, players from the United States have mostly dominated the major.

The oldest winner is Hale Irwin, at 45 years and 15 days in 1990, while the youngest champion is John McDermott, at 19 years, 10 months and 14 days in 1911.

What is the purse for the U.S. Open?

Since 2019, the U.S. Open purse has topped all other majors, with $12.5 million in prize money. That figure also ties The Players Championship for the largest purse of all PGA Tour events.  

In 2019, Gary Woodland pocketed $2,250,000 as the champion, and Brooks Koepka took home $1,350,000 in second place. With a four-way tie for third, Xander Schauffele, Jon Rahm, Chez Reavie, and Justin Rose each collected $581,872. Amateurs are not allowed to accept any cash prize.

The champion of the U.S. Open also receives the U.S. Open trophy, a U.S. Open championship gold medal, 600 PGA Tour FedEx Cup points, 100 World Ranking points, plus several tournament exemptions.

How can I watch the U.S. Open?

FOX Sports is the official broadcaster of the 2020 U.S. Open as part of a 12-year deal with the USGA that goes through 2026. Both Fox and FS1 will be responsible for coverage.