US Open Championship

The US Open Championship (also known as U.S. Open), is easily among the biggest golf championships in the world. Of all golf events in the US, this one is largely considered to be the pre-eminent one. It started off as a one-day event in Rhode Island in 1895, and only 11 golfers, of which 10 of them were professionals, competed. The first prize winner, Horace Rawlins, left the event with $150. To compare that to recent times, Gary Woodland won $2.25 million in 2019.

In its first year of existence, the tournament consisted of only 36 holes. By 1898 it had grown to an 72-hole event, played over 2 days. This time, 49 golfers attended. In 1965, U.S. Open became a 4-round event, which is what it still is today. Nowadays, thousands of golfers try to enter the tournament, but very few make the cut. In 2019, 79 made it through, four of whom were amateurs.

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Even amateurs enter

It is indeed possible for amateurs to enter big international competitions such as US Open Championship (which is why they have “Open” in the title). While nowadays the tournament is often won by big names such as Tiger Woods, who has won it three times, and also the previously mentioned Woodland, the competition has actually been won by amateurs before. Arguably the most notable was Bobby Jones, a Georgian who won multiple times between 1923 and 1930.

This is obviously some time ago, and things are different these days. In fact, the last time an amateur won was in 1933. However, amateurs keep making the cut and they often do reasonably well. There is even a tournament called The United States Ameteur Championship (or U.S. Amateur), which is the leading amateur tournament in the US. Just like U.S. Open, this amateur tournament is organized by United States Golf Association, who also organises U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Women’s Open along with many other golfing events.

Obviously, amateurs play don’t play for money like professionals do, but if you do well in a competition, you can declare your status as a professional. If you do well after that, who knows how far you can go!