The US Open

All sports have their obvious points of ascension, the place that you reach the pinnacle and etch your place into the history of the respective sport that you are playing. Football has the Super Bowl, Baseball has the World Series, and Golf has the series of four majors that will determine who is the crème of the crop, the best of the best. You don’t have to have any complicated formulas, ridiculous statistical booklets or self-important critics telling you who is the best and why, it is quite simply the person that emerges at the top of each of these four contests. Win at the US Open and you have etched your name into the history of golf as one of the best to swing a club.

The Newport Golf and Country Club hosted the first US Open on its nine hole course in 1895 and was won by Horace Rawlins. Rawlins took advantage of the fact that he was an employee of the Newport Golf and Country Club, meaning that he knew the course very well, overcoming the fact that he was a mere 21-year old Englishman at the time. Rawlins wasn’t likely able to retire on his $150 prize money, if that sounds small it is because it was; the real contest of the time was considered to be the US Amateur Open which was to take place on the following week at the same Newport Golf and Country Club.

For the first time in its history, though it was just a local broadcast, the US Open was televised in 1947 which allowed viewers in the St. Louis area to watch Lew Worsham defeat Sam Snead in a playoff. It would take until 1982 for the entire tournament to be broadcast as it has been virtually ever since, showing once again the more recent spike in popularity for golf in general. Oakmont Country Club has hosted the US Open the most times, a total of seven times beginning in 1927 and the eighth time will come in 2007.

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