US Open Golf Championship Fun Facts

In just a few days the top golfers in the world will gather at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club to contest the second major of the year; the US Open.  It’s a tournament designed for the long game where precision driving is key.  Unlike the Masters, which has a permanent home at Augusta, the US Open is played on a different course each year. 
In celebration of one of four grand slams of golf - and the legendary players who have tamed the ‘beasts’ - we’ve pulled together a few fascinating US Open golf facts that’ll keep you glued to your screen:

Jim Furyk and the Buxom Blonde

Jim Furyk
At the 2003 US Open ‘Gentleman Jim’ Furyk not only claimed the title with a 272 eight under par - three shots clear of his nearest rival - he was courted by a buxom blonde ‘streaker’ during the critical final round.  The woman, later identified as porn star Brittney Skye, was wearing nothing more than a pair of jeans, a baseball cap and star-spangled banner pasties concealing her nipples! 
Looking suitably titivated the straight-laced American accepted a pair of long stemmed roses before sinking a putt on the 11th green.  Despite the rather saucy encounter Furyk managed to maintain his concentration to bag the one and only major championship in his career to date!

Protracted Playoffs

In the days of yore winning the US Open was often a long and tedious business… for both the competitors and the spectators.  That was particularly true when two or more players were tied on the final day, as playoffs were held over 36 holes. 
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Back in 1931 it took eventual winner Billy Burke 72 extra holes to subdue his opponent.  Fortunately, the rules have since changed and the tournament currently has an 18-hole playoff format.  Next year the format will change again to a two-hole aggregate followed by sudden death!

Americans Dominate at the US Open   

As a true-blue American major the US Open has had an interesting mix of winners, none more so than the Scots and neighbouring English who effectively dominated the event for 16 straight years between 1895 and 1910.  Thereafter it’s largely been the hosts who have claimed the kudos.  In fact, players from only six other nations have lifted the title with South Africans Gary Player (1), Ernie Els (2) and Retief Goosen (2) leading the payout pack in the modern era. 
This year the bookies have three ‘foreigners’ amongst the favourites; Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Jason Day.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there were more contestants from countries like Nigeria, Cuba, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates!

How to Win $2,16 Million

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
In 2018 at Shinnecock Hills 156 players will fight it out for the $12 million purse.  The winner’s share is a cool $2,16 million but to beat the 70-par course, confidence in the long game is crucial.  Why you may ask.  Well… the US Open is always contested on long courses notorious for their difficulty. 
In addition to the usual bunkers, trees and water hazasrds the typical US Open playing surface has undulating greens, narrow fairways and tangled high cut rough that’s almost impossible to hit your way out of.  Stray off course and you’re in trouble as Ray Ainsley discoved at the 1938 torunament at Cherry Hills.  He carded a 19 on the par 4 16th trying to hit his ball out of a stream and in so doing smashed his way into the US Open record books with the highest-ever score on a single hole!
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Published: 06/13/2018