With one of the greatest golf tournaments of the year officially upon us, as golfers are set to tee off Thursday night at the Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania, we thought we’d dig up nine interesting facts you didn’t know about the U.S. Open.
1. Jack Nicklaus Played in 44 Consecutive U.S. Opens
Nicklaus qualified as a 16-year-old amateur for the 1957 U.S. Open, and he played in the next 44 straight, including 2000, when he needed a one-time special exemption from the USGA.
2. Sam Snead Once Made the Cut at Age 61
Back in 1973, Snead made the cut – and finished tied for 29th in the tournament at the ripe young age of 61 years old.
3. Payne Stewart Leads All Golfers By Leading the Most Rounds
Stewart won two U.S. Opens, but he also led 11 rounds after 18, 36, and 54 holes, which is the most among all golfers.
4. Arnold Palmer Came Back From 7 Strokes Down to Win
In 1960, Palmer shot a 65 in the final round at Cherry Hills to win, completing the biggest comeback in the tournament’s history.
5. The U.S. Open Played 40% Shorter in the 1800s
The Oakmont Country Club plays at just over 7,250 yards, but back in 1896, it played 4,423 yards at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, N.Y.
6. Nicklaus Leads All Golfers With 18 Top-10 Finishes
The Golden Bear also ranks among the best with 11 top-five finishes, four runner-ups and four wins.
7. 7 of 18 Holes at Oakmont Are on the Other Side of the Pennsylvania Turnpike
One of the busiest highways in the northeast, Interstate 76 (also known as the Pennsylvania Turnpike) , and now there’s a big walking bridge that connects one side to the other.
8. 16-Under is the Lowest Under-Par Score For One U.S. Open Round
Rory McIlroy posted that number in 2011, and no one is even a close second.
9. The Highest Score Recorded on a Single U.S. Open Hole Was 19
Ray Ainsley posted a 19 – that’s two snowmen and change! – on the 16th hole at Cherry Hills in 1938 … He did not win that year.
These facts you didn’t know about the U.S. Open make for great trivia questions while you’re watching 72 holes this weekend!
Photo Credit: Fred Vuich, Getty Images
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