Every US Open triumph is impressive, but which ones from history are the best of the best?
US Open time marks a special moment in the American golfing calendar. Let’s take a look back at the most exciting triumphs at our national open competition.
Each of the four men’s majors has a special characteristic that makes it stand out from the others. The Masters has the charm and tradition of Augusta National Golf Club. The Open Championship has the longest history and an impressive stable of links courses, something we don’t see enough of on this side of the pond. And the PGA Championship? It’s the last chance for players to secure major glory in a given year, giving the week a special sense of urgency.
The US Open also has a defining trait: it is annually held at the most prestigious, toughest American courses out there. True, the PGA still secures great venues, but these days, the national open is the one that traditionally graces tracks like Pebble Beach, Oakmont and Pinehurst with its presence.
That might explain why the history of the US Open contains so many great triumphs. The brutally tough scoring conditions and jaw-dropping backdrops often push the world’s elite players to leave everything on the course and perform at their absolute peak level. Trying to make sense of all these great victories is a tough task, but it’s important to understanding the history of the game.
With that in mind, let’s lay down some ground rules for this ranking of the top 20 US Open triumphs in tournament history. There are a number of factors at play when considering the quality of a win. Dominance is at the top of the list – if a player charges ahead and cruises to victory without a challenge, it needs to be respected.
Still, the drama that comes with each win is also important; a nail-biting finish is typically better than a boring trudge through the back nine. Context, or how the win fits into the rest of the player’s season and career, also counts. Ultimately, all of the wins are worth the same, so ranking them is a subjective matter that lends itself to clarification and explanation.
With all that out of the way, let’s head down memory lane. Here’s our ranking of the top 20 victories in the history of the US Open.
Next: 2010: Graeme McDowell