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Nic Ladds 7th Dec 2008 - 14:48

The US Open Championship

The US Open Championship was first played in 1895 as a 36-hole tournament over a single day. Over the years the tournament has developed and is now the gruelling 72 hole format played over four days and has become one of the Majors and most coveted titles to win.

Last year's tournament was possibly the most thrilling in recent times with Tiger Woods edging out fellow American Rocco Mediate in a play-off to win the title for the third time.

Historically the US Open has been dominated by American golfers. However until Tiger Woods' victory last year there was a four-year run where non-American golfers managed to come away with the spoils. England have not prevailed since Tony Jacklin took the title in 1970.

The US Open is available to any amateur or professional with a handicap not exceeding 1.4. Both males and females are welcome to attempt to qualify for the 156 strong field.

There are local events played over 18 holes at around 100 different courses in America. After these local qualifiers there is a second stage which is played over 36 holes at several sites in America along one in Europe and one in Japan.

There is no lower age limit for those that can qualify for the US Open which encourages young talent from all over the world to give qualifying a go to see if they can realise their dreams or unearth some stars of the future. The youngest ever qualifier was 15-year-old Tadd Fujikawa who qualified in 2006.

With the prize pool at well over $7 million and a guaranteed place in the following season's Masters for the top eight players, it is hugely beneficial to a golfer's career if they can do well in this prestigious tournament.

The 2009 tournament will be played at the Bethpage State Park (Black Course) in Farmingdale, New York running from June 15 - 21. Last time the US Open was held here in 2002 Tiger Woods came away victorious and not only that, was the only golfer in the field to finish under-par.

Some minor alternations have been made for the 2009 competition but the course is largely the same as the tough one from 2002 in which an over par round over the four days could easily end up winning the tournament.

All eyes this year will be on world number one Tiger Woods as he makes his eagerly anticipated return from injury to defend his title and go for a fourth victory with a repeat of his 2002 heroics at the course.







Tiger Woods


Torrey Pines

283 (-1)


Angel Cabrera



285 (+5)


Geoff Ogilvy


Winged Foot

285 (+5)


Michael Campbell

New Zealand


280 (E)


Retief Goosen

South Africa

Shinnecock Hills

276 (-4)


Jim Furyk


Olympia fields

272 (-8)


Tiger Woods


Bethpage State Park

277 (-3)


Retief Goosen

South Africa

Southern Hills

276 (-4)


Tiger Woods


Pebble Beach

272 (-12)


Payne Stewart



279 (-1)


Lee Janzen


Olympic Club

280 (E)

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