It seems the U.S. Open is a pretty good place for golfers who’ve never won a major before.
With Wyndham Clark‘s victory at the 2023 U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club this past weekend, the past five players to have won the event did so as their first career major victory. Clark, Matt Fitzpatrick (2022), Jon Rahm (2021), Bryson DeChambeau (2020) and Gary Woodland (2019) all had never won a major before triumphing at their respective U.S. Opens.
Oddly enough, this isn’t even the first time five straight first-time winners have triumphed at the U.S. Open this millennium. The same feat was accomplished 2009-13 by Lucas Glover, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Webb Simpson and Justin Rose. It’s not the longest streak, either: From 1973 to 1978, six golfers won the U.S. Open as their first major title (Johnny Miller, Hale Irwin, Lou Graham, Jerry Pate, Hubert Green and ESPN’s own Andy North). All in all, an astounding 72 golfers have the U.S. Open as their first major win.
The U.S. Open also has a history of its first-time winners going on to far greater things. Jack Nicklaus’ first of 18 major wins was at the 1962 U.S. Open, as was Walter Hagen’s first of 11 (1914), Gene Sarazen’s first of seven (1922) and Bobby Jones’ 1923 win, his first of seven in events still considered majors (plus six wins in the U.S. and British amateur championships).
Data from ESPN Stats & Information was used in this article.