Here we take a look to see where the winner of the US Open tends to finish after the first round from those last 30 editions of the competition. By Cameron Hazzard
Where The US Open Winner Finishes In Round One
Since 1988, there have been 30 US Opens, America’s national annual championship, with 23 different men winning.
Here we take a look to see where the winner tends to finish after the first round from those last 30 editions of the competition.
Going by the old adage of it being important to get off to a good start, the winners of the US Open have tended to defy it.
In the 30 events that have been held since 1988, only six of the winners of the competition have actually led after the first round, with Tiger Woods leading the first round in both 2000 and 2002.
The other winners of the US Open to have been leading after the first round are:
- Martin Kaymer – 2014
- Rory McIlroy – 2011
- Retief Goosen – 2001
- Payne Stewart – 1991 (Stewart was in a share of the lead)
Even fewer players who have been in second place after the first round have gone on to win the tournament.
Since 1988, only three players who have been in second after 18 holes have won the US Open, the most recent being Dustin Johnson in 2016, when he was one shot back after one round.
The other players to have finished the first round in second place and then won the competition are:
- Angel Cabrera – 2007
- Ernie Els – 1994
Fourth & Fifth Place
No player won the US Open having finished third after the first round from 1988 until 2017, so we move on to see which players have won having ended the first day in fourth and fifth.
However, not that many players have actually gone on to win having finished the first day in either fourth or fifth place.
Brooks Koepka won from being fourth and two strokes behind last year, eventually winning by four, although he was the first player to win from either position since 2003.
Other players to have won having finished their first round in fourth or fifth on the leaderboard are:
- Lee Janzen – 4th in 1993
- Jim Furyk – 5th in 2003
- Payne Stewart – 5th in 1999
Five US Open winners since 1988 have finished the first round inside the top-10, but not inside the top-5.
Victorious in 2010, Graeme McDowell was sat in a tie for 10th place, two shots back of the leader on day one, although he went on to win the 110th edition of the competition at Pebble Beach by one shot.
The other winners of the US Open to have finished day one inside the top-10 include:
- Jordan Spieth – 2015
- Geoff Ogilvy – 2006
- Hale Irwin – 1990
- Curtis Strange – 1988
The majority of winners of the US Open since 1998 have actually finished the first round outside the top-10, but inside the top-50, with 10 players going on to win the competition having been a long way back after the first round.
The last two times the US Open has been held at Shinnecock Hills, a player from outside the top-10 but inside the top-50 after the first round went on to win the tournament.
In 2004 at Shinnecock, Retief Goosen came from a tied for 19th position and four shots back to win, whilst in 1995, Corey Pavin came from tied for 46th and six shots back after the first round to claim his only major.
Other players to have come from outside the top-10 but inside the top-50 to win the US Open are:
- Justin Rose – 2013
- Webb Simpson – 2012
- Tiger Woods – 2008
- Michael Campbell – 2005
- Lee Janzen – 1998
- Ernie Els – 1997
- Tom Kite – 1992
- Curtis Strange – 1989
The biggest deficit a player has come back from after the first round and then win the US Open was by Steve Jones, who came back from 83rd on the leaderboard and seven shots back to claim victory at the 1996 US Open at Oakland Hills.
He went on to win the tournament by one shot, following three rounds in the 60s, after an opening round 74.
Lowest Score after Round One
The biggest lead a player has had after round one since 1988 is shared by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in 2000 and 2011 respectively.
Both players shot 65 to record a six under par score to lead the competition. Woods and McIlroy went on to win wire to wire in those years – two of eight occasions where the US Open was won wire to wire.
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