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These are the Youngest U.S. Open Winners

By T.J. Auclair
Published on

The U.S. Open is typically regarded as the most grueling test in golf. It's as much a mental and emotional battle as it is a physical one, which is saying something -- after all, have you seen that U.S. Open rough?
Since that's the case, you might think the champion would be more polished, someone with more experience and arguably more wisdom. Someone who can take his medicine, so to speak, and not get too high or low. But sometimes, especially as we've seen lately with the impressive list of 20-something major winners, youth is served.
Here's a look at the nine youngest U.S. Open champions in history. Incredibly, eight of the nine came in the first 28 years of the tournament's history.

  1. John McDermott
    Age: 19 years, 9 months, 14 days
    Year: 1911 U.S. Open at Chicago Golf Club
    Notes: McDermott is the youngest U.S. Open champion in the game's history. After 72 holes, he was knotted up at 3-over par with Mike Brady and George Simpson. The trio went to an 18-hole playoff the next day. McDermott emerged as the winner with a 4-over 80, two strokes better than Brady. With the victory, McDermott became the first American-born U.S. Open champion in what was then the 17-year history of the tournament.
  2. Francis Ouimet
    Age: 20 years, 4 months, 12 day
    Year: 1913 U.S. Open at The Country Club
    Notes: This particular U.S. Open was significant for so many reasons. First off, Ouimet became the first amateur to win the tournament. And he did so at the course he was most familiar with in his hometown of Brookline, Mass. He also did it with a 10-year-old caddie, Eddie Lowery, and defeated two of the day's best pros in Ted Ray and Harry Vardon in an 18-hole playoff. As a result, Ouimet is considered to be the "father of amateur golf" in the United States.
  3. Gene Sarazen
    Age: 20 years, 4 months, 18 days
    Year: 1922 U.S. Open at Skokie Country Club
    Notes: This was Sarazen's first of seven major victories. He would also win the PGA Championship later in 1922. But at Skokie Country Club, he finished one stroke ahead of runners-up John Black and 20-year-old amateur Bobby Jones. With the win, Sarazen became the fourth American-born champion of the U.S. Open, joining McDermott, Ouimet and Walter Hagen. He won a second U.S. Open ten years later in 1932.
  4. John McDermott
    Age: 20 years, 11 months, 21 days
    Year: 1912 U.S. Open at the Country Club of Buffalo
    Notes: One year after his victory at the 1911 U.S. Open, McDermott successfully defended his title in New York, finishing two strokes ahead of runner-up Tom McNamara.
  5. Horace Rawlins
    Age: 21 years, 1 month, 30 days
    Year: 1895 U.S. Open at Newport Country Club
    Notes: Rawlins prevailed at the first U.S. Open ever contested back in 1895 at Rhode Island's scenic Newport Country Club. The tournament was only 36 holes then and Rawlins finished two strokes in front of runner-up Willie Dunn.
  6. Bobby Jones
    Age: 21 years, 4 months, 12 days
    Year: 1923 U.S. Open at Inwood Country Club
    Notes: Amateur legend Bobby Jones took home his first career major, knocking off Bobby Cruickshank by two strokes in an 18-hole Sunday playoff. This was the first of Jones' four U.S. Open titles, a record shared with three others: Willie Anderson, Ben Hogan, and Jack Nicklaus.
  7. Walter Hagen
    Age: 21 years, 8 months, 0 days
    Year: 1914 U.S. Open at Midlothian Country Club
    Notes: Walter Hagen held off amateur Chick Evans by a single stroke to win the first of his two U.S. Open titles. It was the first of Hagen's 11 major championships, which is third all-time behind Tiger Woods (14) and Jack Nicklaus (18).
  8. Willie Anderson
    Age: 21 years, 8 months, 25 days
    Year: 1901 U.S. Open at Myopia Hunt Club
    Notes: At this U.S. Open in South Hamilton, Mass., Willie Anderson won the first of his four U.S. Open titles, topping Alex Smith by a single stroke in an 18-hole playoff.
  9. Jordan Spieth
    Age: 21 years, 10 months, 25 days
    Year: 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay
    Notes: This was the second of consecutive major titles for Jordan Spieth in a breakout season where he won the Masters two months earlier. At Chambers Bay, Spieth finished one stroke ahead of runners-up Dustin Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen. With the win, Spieth became the youngest U.S. Open champion in 92 years, since Bobby Jones in 1923.
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