Study and you too can become an expert on the country's biggest tournamentat the very least, you could impress your friends.
1. First U.S. Open: In 1895, Horace Rawlins wins at Newport Country Club in Newport, R.I. The tournament was considered a sideshow to the U.S. Amateur, which was played on the same course and during the same week. Rawlins beat a field of 11 players and took home $150 and a gold medal. This year's champion will take home $1.08 million. He probably will value the gold medal more.
3. You'll hear a lot about Johnny Farrell this week. In 1928 Farrell defeated Bobby Jones in a 36-hole playoff to win the Open at Olympia Fields. He won with a birdie putt on the final hole. Jones never lost another Open. You'll also hear a lot about Mike Donald. In 1990 the little-known Donald lost in a playoff to Hale Irwin at Medinah. Donald would never come close again.
4. In 1913 unknown American Francis Ouimet put the Open on the map. He stunned top European players such as Harry Vardon to win at the Country Club in Brookline, Mass. Ouimet became an instant folk hero, sparking unprecedented interest in the game in America.
5. Since 1991 the defending U.S. Open champion has not fared well. Three champions have missed the cut, and only one player has finished better than tied for 40th. Here's a list of the last 12 champions and what each did the following year:
2001: Retief Goosen, missed cut
2000: Tiger Woods, tie 12th
1999: Payne Stewart, DNP (deceased)
1998: Lee Janzen, tie 46th
1997: Ernie Els, tie 48th
1996: Steve Jones, tie 60th
1995: Corey Pavin, tie 40th
1994: Ernie Els, missed cut
1993: Lee Janzen, missed cut
1992: Tom Kite, missed cut
1991: Payne Stewart, tie 51st
1990: Hale Irwin, tie 11th
6. There has been only one repeat champion in the Open since Ben Hogan did it in 1950-51. Curtis Strange won back-to-back in 1988-89.
2003 u.s. open
Round 2: 36 things to know
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