The United States Open Championship is commonly referred to as the US Open. If you are a fan of this sport, then you must know that there are four major golf tournaments held in America, and these are the Masters Tournament, the US Open, the Open Championship, and finally, the PGAChampionship. From this list, the US Open ranks second as a major golf tournament and it features prominently on the PGA and European Tour calendars. The US Open prize money is another reason why it’s so big of an event.
The golf event is hosted by the United States Golf Association and is usually scheduled to take place in mid June so that the final round takes place on Father’s Day, which is usually the third Sunday of the month.
2017 US Open Dates& Prize Money
The 2017 edition will be held at Erin Hills in Erin and it will be the 117th US Open edition. The event will be the first ever to be held in Wisconsin, which is northwest of Milwaukee (US Open location). The total prize fund for this year’s edition is $12 million, meaning that the winner’s share will exceed $2million. The 2017 US Open is scheduled for June 15-28 and some of those expected to be in the field include the following:
- Dustin Johnson who won the previous edition of the US Open,
- Jordan Spieth who won the 2015 edition of the US Open,
- Tiger Woods who won three times, in 2000, 2002, and 2008, and
- Angel Cabrera who won the 2007 US Open edition.
These are some of the regular professional golfers set to feature in this year’s US Open championship.
Historical Facts about the US Open
The first tournament was held at the Newport Country Club in 1895, and it featured a nine-hole course. The 36-hole tournament ran only for a single day, with ten professionals and one amateur competing for the top honors. The historical event was won by Horace Rawlins, a 21-years old Briton.
The US golf prize money for this first edition was a measly $350, and Rawlins took home only $150 plus a gold medal worth $50. The USGA presented Rawling’s club with the Open Championship Cup trophy. Today, the US golf Open tournament carries high stakes, with the winners sharing more than $2 million prize money.
Even though the event was organized in America, history of the tournament shows that the first editions were dominated by Englishmen until 1911 when the dynamics of the game shifted to favor American golfers. In fact, the first American to win the event was John J. McDermott, and he took home the trophy in 1911. It was only after this historical win that the event started seeing Americans winning the US Open Championshiptrophy more frequently and eventually, the event became one of the most popular tournaments on American soil.
Since 1950, only a handful of non-Americans have taken home the win, and most of the winners came from South Africa. In fact, since 1965, South Africa has won in the tournament 5 times.
Qualification and Prizes
The major sporting event is open to any golfer whose updated USGA Handicap does not exceed 1.4. To qualify to compete in the tournament, golfers have to compete successfully in the qualifying round. Even though the field holds 156 golfers, approximately half of these are exempt from participating in the qualifying round. One could say this is how US Open champions are born – through difficult qualifying stages.
Since 2014, the following are some of the USGA exemption categories:
- Winners of the tournament held in the last decade
- Winner and runner-up of the previous edition of the US Amateur
- Winner of the previous edition of the Amateur Championship
- Winners of the last 3 editions of Players Championship
- Winner of the previous edition of the US Senior Open
- Golfers who qualified for the previous edition of the Tour Championship
- Top 60 golfers listed in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR)
- Special exemption as decided by the USGA