20 fun facts about the U.S. Open

Ty Tryon tees off on the 18th hole

Ty Tryon tees off on the 18th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf tournament. (June 15, 2010) (Credit: AP)

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1 PGA Tour player Marc Turnesa of Rockville Centre and South Side High School qualified Monday. He will play in his first U.S. Open this week at Congressional Country Club.

2 The Open really is open to any golfer, as long as the golfer has a handicap index of 1.4 or better or is a professional. This year, the USGA accepted 8,300 entries.

3 Twenty-five years ago Wednesday, 10 golfers held or shared the lead during the final round at Shinnecock Hills. Ray Floyd won, and later became a Shinnecock member.

4 Johnny Goodman, who rode to early tournaments on cattle cars, won the U.S. Open in 1933 and the U.S. Amateur in 1937. He was the last amateur to win the Open.

5 Ty Tryon, who qualified for the PGA Tour 10 years ago at 17, qualified for the Open Monday in Rockville, Md., along with his high school teammate, Christo Greyling.

6 The official diagnosis of Tiger Woods after he hobbled to the Open win in 2008 at Torrey Pines was a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and double stress fracture of the left tibia.

7 Ken Venturi’s win in 1964 at Congressional, in withering heat, was the last Open that concluded with 36 holes on a Saturday.

8 Herbie Aikens of Kingston, Mass. was first in this year’s online-only entry registration. Kevin Hayashi of Hilo, Hawaii was the last, beating the deadline by 15 seconds. Neither qualified.

9 Julius Boros was 48 when he won the 1968 Open. That’s still the record for the oldest winner of a major championship.

10 Sam Saunders qualified in the Vero Beach, Fla. sectional and will appear in his first Open, 58 years after the Open debut of his grandfather, Arnold Palmer.

11 Amateur Steve Irwin qualified this year for the championship won three times by his father, Hale.

12 Gene Littler won the Open 50 years ago and still says, “to have that title the rest of your life is really, really something.”

13 Few reached the 10th fairway at Bethpage Black during the stormy second round in 2002. Hal Sutton said, “Come hell or high water, that’s how the USGA was going to set it up, and that’s what came.”

14 First prize for Horace Rawlins, winner of the first Open in 1895, was $150. Graeme McDowell won $1,350,000 last year.

15 “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” the 2005 movie about amateur Francis Ouimet’s stirring 1913 U.S. Open win over Harry Vardon, was filmed in Quebec, Canada.

16 Jack Nicklaus was a PGA Tour rookie in 1962 when he won the first of his four Open titles. Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones and Ben Hogan are the only others to win four.

17 Michael Campbell won the 2005 Open at Pinehurst, having qualified in England. It was the first time for international qualifying sites.

18 After Phil Mickelson, the Open runnerup a record five times, double-bogeyed the final hole at Winged Foot in 2006 and tied for second, he said, “I am such an idiot.”

19 Iowa club pro Jack Fleck used Ben Hogan signature clubs to defeat Hogan in the 1955 Open playoff at the Olympic Club, one of the great upsets in golf history.

20 On the last hole of the last round of the 1969 Open, a marshal yelled at Orville Moody to “get behind the ropes,” before being told that Moody, a former Army sergeant, wasn’t a spectator but was leading the tournament. It was his only PGA Tour win.

 

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