US Open Low Amateurs Of The Past

We take a trip down memory lane to look at some high-profile names who have been the low amateur at the US Open

Viktor Hovland with the low amateur medal at the 2019 US Open
Viktor Hovland won the US Open low amateur in 2019
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The low amateur medal has been won by a host of players since it was introduced in 1979. While they may not have been well-known at the time of their achievement, some have become among the highest-profile players in the game. Here are a selection of them. 

Viktor Hovland - 2019

Viktor Hovland in the 2019 US Open

Viktor Hovland finished T12 at the 2019 US Open

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In 2019, the US Open was hosted at the iconic Pebble Beach, and Norwegian Viktor Hovland shot a final-round 67 to finish in a tie for 12th place. 

His four-round total of 280 was not only impressive on its own, it also broke Jack Nicklaus' record for lowest score by an amateur in the US Open.

Hovland has gone on to win four times on the PGA Tour, including the 2023 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village. He came agonisingly close to claiming his first Major title the month before that, too, before eventually missing out to Brooks Koepka for the PGA Championship title. 

Hovland also played in the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.

Scottie Scheffler - 2017

Scottie Scheffler is awarded the low amateur medal at the 2017 US Open

Scottie Scheffler has gone on to become of the best players in the world

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Scheffler and Cameron Champ were the only two amateurs to make the cut at the 2017 US Open at Erin Hills. 

Scheffler won the low amateur honour by one stroke as he finished one under-par to finish tied for 27th. 

Since then, the American has become one of the best players in the world. He claimed the 2022 Masters title as part of a stunning breakout year and has six PGA Tour wins. He has also been top of the world rankings four times.

Jon Rahm - 2016

Jon Rahm receives his medal at the 2016 US Open

Jon Rahm won the US Open low amateur in 2016

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Rahm turned professional after finishing as the low amateur of the 2016 US Open at Oakmont, and has reached incredible heights since then.

The Spaniard went on to win the tournament in 2021 at Torrey Pines, while he claimed his second Major title with the 2023 Masters. 

He has also represented Team Europe in the Ryder Cup, including beating Tiger Woods in the 2018 singles. 

In total, Rahm has claimed 11 PGA Tour wins and 10 on the DP World Tour to confirm his status as one of the most impressive players of his generation. 

Like Scheffler, Rahm has also been World No.1, albeit two more times than the American.

Matt Fitzpatrick - 2014

Matt Fitzpatrick at the 2014 US Open

Matt Fitzpatrick won the 2014 US Open low amateur

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Like Rahm, Fitzpatrick turned professional after achieving the low amateur at the 2014 US Open a year after he arrived on the scene as US Amateur champion.

The Englishman has kicked on well since, with nine professional wins, largely on the DP World Tour. However, his crowning glory to date came in the 2022 US Open at The Country Club of Brookline, where he beat Will Zalatoris for his first Major title. 

Fitzpatrick was also the youngest Englishman to win five times on the European Tour.

Jordan Spieth - 2012

Jordan Spieth at the 2012 US Open

Jordan Spieth went on to win the US Open three years after becoming low amateur

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Spieth won the low amateur medal in 2012, and went on to win the US Open at Chambers Bay three years later. That was his second Major title of the year, after he also won The Masters at Augusta National a couple of months earlier. 

The only Major title that eludes Spieth is the PGA Championship, but with plenty of years ahead of him, many believe it is only a matter of time until he completes a career Grand Slam

Spieth has also played in four Ryder Cups and had four spells at the top of the world rankings. 

Patrick Cantlay - 2011

Patrick Cantlay at the 2011 US Open

Patrick Cantlay has had a successful career since becoming the 2011 US Open low amateur

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cantlay finished tied for 21st at the 2011 US Open and has gone onto achieve plenty of further success in the game, including eight wins on the PGA Tour and a highest world ranking of third. 

While Cantlay has yet to win a Major, he's come close on a number of occasions, and had four top-10 finishes. 

Cantlay was also part of the 2021 Team US Ryder Cup victory and reached a career high of third in the world rankings the year after.

Matt Kuchar - 1998

Matt Kuchar at the 1998 US Open

Matt Kuchar became US Open low amateur in 1998

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Matt Kuchar won the low amateur at the US Open all the way back in 1998, when he finished in a share of 14th place.

Since then, he has gone on to record nine wins on the PGA Tour, including victory in the 2012 Players Championship. 

While Kuchar has yet to win a Major, the former World No.4 has recorded top-10 finishes in each, including runner-up at the 2017 Open.

Phil Mickelson - 1990 And 1991

Phil Mickelson at the 1991 US Open

Phil Mickelson became US Open low amateur twice

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Lefty finished as low amateur at the US Open in both 1990 and 1991, held at Medinah and Hazeltine respectively.

Any golf fan knows how well Mickelson has done since then, going on to win six Majors, including three Masters victories, marking him out as one of the greats. Among those was the 2021 PGA Championship title, which made him the oldest Major winner in history, aged 50.

The US Open is one Major trophy that Mickelson is yet to claim, despite coming agonisingly close six times.

Fred Couples - 1979

Fred Couples at the 1984 US Open

Fred Couples at the US Open in 1984, five years after becoming low amateur

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The oldest player on this list to win the low amateur was Fred Couples, all the way back in 1979.

A 15-time winner on the PGA Tour and Masters champion in 1992, it's fair to say that Couples has had a successful career since that achievement. He is not done yet, either. At the 2023 Masters, Couples became the oldest player to make the cut in the tournament, aged 63. 

He is currently playing on the PGA Champions Tour, where he has won 14 times.

US Open Low Amateurs

  • 2022 - Travis Vick
  • 2021 - No amateurs made the cut
  • 2020 - John Pak
  • 2019 - Viktor Hovland
  • 2018 - Luis Gagne and Matt Parziale
  • 2017 - Scottie Scheffler
  • 2016 - Jon Rahm
  • 2015 - Brian Campbell
  • 2014 - Matt Fitzpatrick
  • 2013 - Michael Kim
  • 2012 - Jordan Spieth
  • 2011 - Patrick Cantlay
  • 2010 - Russell Henly and Scott Langley
  • 2009 - Nick Taylor
  • 2008 - Michael Thompson
  • 2007 - No amateurs made the cut
  • 2006 - No amateurs made the cut
  • 2005 - Matt Every
  • 2004 - Spencer Levin
  • 2003 - Trip Kuehne
  • 2002 - Kevin Warrick
  • 2001 - Bryce Molder
  • 2000 - Jeffrey Wilson
  • 1999 - Hank Kuehne
  • 1998 - Matt Kuchar
  • 1997 - No amateurs made the cut
  • 1996 - Randy Leen
  • 1995 - No amateurs made the cut
  • 1994 - No amateurs made the cut
  • 1993 - Justin Leonard
  • 1992 - No amateurs made the cut
  • 1991 - Phil Mickelson
  • 1990 - Phil Mickelson
  • 1989 - No amateurs made the cut
  • 1988 - Billy Mayfair
  • 1987 - No amateurs made the cut
  • 1986 - Samuel Randolph
  • 1985 - Scott Verplank
  • 1984 - Robert Sigel and Richard Fehr
  • 1983 - Brad Faxon
  • 1982 - Nathaniel Crosby
  • 1981 - Joey Rassett
  • 1980 - Gary Hallberg
  • 1979 - Fred Couples
Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.