Halfway through the major golf championships in 2022, the U.S. Open is next up for fans to turn their attention toward.
Largely considered the toughest championship, the winner usually finishes with a score around even par, no matter the venue.
Since the U.S. Open has been marked as the toughest on the tour, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see how few players have been able to dominate the tournament since its start in 1895.
Following is a breakdown of all the players who have lifted the coveted silver trophy multiple times in their careers.
Going back decades, Anderson is one of the few to win the U.S. Open four times, and the first to do so as well. With his first win in 1901, he holds the record for the highest winning score, as Anderson shot a 331 and subsequently won in a playoff round. Anderson also remains the only golfer to win the U.S. Open three times in a row, with his remaining wins coming in 1903, ‘04 and ‘05.
One of the greatest amateur golfers the sport has seen, Jones began his U.S. Open dominance in 1923, when he won his first tournament. Focusing instead on education and his family, Jones chose to remain an amateur competitor throughout his career. After his first win in ‘23, Jones’ next U.S. Open win came in 1926, and after he began working as a lawyer in 1928, he won the tournament as an amateur again in 1929. His best year, though, came with his final U.S. Open win in 1930, as he became the first to win the Grand Slam by winning the British Open, U.S. Open, and British and U.S. Amateurs.
Another four-time winner, Hogan won the U.S. Open in 1948, ‘50, ‘51 and ‘53. With a 276 in 1948, Hogan set a scoring record at the U.S. Open, beating the previous low score by five strokes. After getting in a near-fatal car crash, Hogan returned to competition less than a year and a half later, winning the 1950 U.S. Open that was then coined the “Miracle at Merion.” Hogan was victorious again in 1951, becoming the fifth golfer to win the tournament back-to-back, and in 1953, he became the first golfer to win three professional majors the same year, winning The Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.
Not long after Hogan’s dominance ended did Nicklaus’ begin. Nicklaus, the last golfer to win four U.S. Opens, won his first title in 1962. Not only was it his first tournament title, but as Nicklaus was a rookie in ‘62, the win was also his first as a professional. Nicklaus then won in 1967 while breaking the winning record with a score of 275. He won again in 1972 at Pebble Beach, the first major championship at the course. While all other four-time U.S. Open winners happened closer together, Nicklaus’ was furthest apart, with his last win coming in 1980 and spanning 19 years. There, he set another scoring record, winning with a 272.
Irwin also saw success in the U.S. Open, with his wins being littered throughout Nicklaus’ time. Irwin’s first win at the tournament came in 1974 at the “Massacre at Winged Foot,” and with the win, Irwin earned the reputation for playing well on the tougher courses. He then won again in 1979 by two strokes before claiming his final win in 1990. Irwin became the oldest winner of the U.S. Open in 1990 after finishing in the top spot at the age of 45, winning in a playoff.
The only other player to win the tournament three times is Woods, who claimed his first title at the tournament in 2000. While Woods tied the total score record by scoring a 272, he set two records as well, as he finished 12-under-par and defeated his opponents by 15 strokes. Woods then followed that with a win in 2002, when he also won the Masters to become the first golfer in 30 years to win both tournaments in the same year, the previous being Nicklaus in 1972. Woods’ final U.S. Open was another unforgettable one, as he announced days after the win that he was playing with two stress fractures in his left leg as well as a torn ACL. Nevertheless, Woods played through the pain, winning the tournament in a playoff to earn his third victory.
There have also been a number of two-time winners in the U.S. Open, with 16 golfers winning the trophy two times in their career. Brooks Koepka has been the most recent two-time winner, claiming the title in 2017 and ‘18, while Jon Rahm will look to grab his second title after winning last year.