The U.S. Open is one of the PGA Tour’s four major tournaments. Played in mid-June, the tournament follows the Masters as the second major of the golf season. In 2019, the major tournament schedule will change with the U.S. Open becoming the third major of the season. The PGA will move the PGA Championship tournament, the current fourth event, to May and the U.S. Open will become the second competition on the calendar.
The U.S. Open debuted in 1895, and like the other major tournaments, it has tradition other non-majors lack. The tournament changes courses each year and the 2018 event will take place at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in New York. It will be the fifth time the tournament has been held at the club. The U.S. Open is most often held in the northeast of the United States. It has been played 53 times in the region throughout the years.
The tournament’s field features 156 golfers competing in stroke play over the course of four days. Around half the field of each U.S. Open is made up of players exempt from qualifying. The remainder of the places are filled by amateurs and professionals who compete in qualifying tournaments. According to Golf.com, nearly 10,000 golfers each May compete in qualification tournaments to gain entrance into the U.S. Open. It is a difficult tournament to qualify to play in; but it could make a golfer’s career.
The U.S. Open has the largest purse of the four major golf tournaments. In 2017, the U.S. Open purses was $12 million. Tournament winner Brooks Koepka came out of nowhere to win the event, and he pocketed a cool $2.16m in winnings. Winning it not only makes a golfer a big name in the sport, but it can make them rich overnight.
Willie Anderson, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Bobby Jones each won the tournament four times. Hale Irwin and Tiger Woods are second in total wins with three each.