Who Has The Most US Open Wins?

Four men top the list with four wins apiece - but should one of them be considered to have won a fifth US Open?

Jack Nicklaus after winning the 1980 US Open
Jack Nicklaus won the US Open for the fourth time in 1980
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The US Open has been won multiple times by many players, but only four have won the trophy four times. Those players are Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus. 

Of those, Jones and Nicklaus each finished second four times as well, while the former also lost two playoffs. For Anderson, the wins were his crowning achievement in the game, and should Ben Hogan have been credited with a fifth US Open title? 

Willie Anderson - 1901, 1903, 1904, 1905

Anderson’s score of 331 (after rounds of 84, 83, 83 and 81) in 1901 is the highest by a US Open winner. In fact, it was only partially a winning score as it only took him into a playoff. In those days, the tournaments ended on a Saturday. But the playoff had to be played on the Monday as Sunday was reserved for members only at the host venue, Myopia Hunt Club.

While Anderson's haul of wins in the tournament is matched by three others, he is the only player to win three consecutive US Opens, between 1903 and 1905.

Anderson was a Scot who worked as a caddie and an apprentice clubmaker in his homeland, before travelling to America aged 16 where he took on work as a club pro. He was renowned for his accurate play, a low, flat swing, and an impassive outlook: “You couldn’t tell whether he was winning or losing by looking at him,” said 1908 US Open champion Fred McLeod, who, like Anderson, was from North Berwick.

Anderson died aged 31, from epilepsy, but not before leaving an indelible mark on the game thanks to those four victories.

Bobby Jones - 1923, 1926, 1929, 1930

Bobby Jones with the four Major trophies after his 1939 Grand Slam

In 1930, Bobby Jones won the Grand Slam

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jones was another for whom competitive golf ended early. He retired from that form of the game aged 28 in 1930. By that stage, though, he had played in 31 Majors, winning 13 and coming in the top ten of 27 of them. The year he retired, he also become the only player to win all four Majors in a calendar year - a record that still stands. 

Jones played in eight US Opens and only twice did he finish outside the top five, in his first appearance in 1920, when he tied for 8th, and seven years later when he came 11th.

This last achievement was still enough for Jones to finish as US Open low amateur, something he did every year from 1922 until his retirement.

Jones is one of five amateurs to have won the US Open. However, what sets him apart is that no other amateur has won this title more than once.

Ben Hogan - 1948, 1950, 1951, 1953

Ben Hogan with the trophy after his 1950 victory

Ben Hogan won the 1950 US Open among his four titles

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jones may stand out on his own for his Grand Slam achievement, but Hogan is one of only five other to claim a career Grand Slam (the others are Tiger Woods, Gary Player, Gene Sarazen and Jack Nicklaus). 

However, some historians believe Hogan should be credited with five US Open titles after he won the Hale America National Open in 1942.

The tournament was only held once, and was a replacement for that year’s US Open, which was cancelled when America declared war. It  was also run on the same lines as the US Open with over 1,500 entries, local qualifying and sectional qualifying. Not only that, but all the top players who were not involved in the war effort played, adding credence to the suggestion that Hogan ought to have the US Open winning record to himself.

Jack Nicklaus - 1962, 1967, 1972, 1980

Jack Nicklaus with the trophy after winning the 1972 US Open

Jack Nicklaus won his third US Open title in 1972

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Of the quartet of players with the most number of wins in the US Open, Nicklaus is the odd one out. Whereas the other three won their titles over a short period, Nicklaus’ were spread over 19 tournaments.

The American's first victory in the tournament came in 1962. It was also his maiden tournament win as a professional.

Five years later, Nicklaus won the trophy again, and set a new lowest total at the tournament in doing so, of 275. Nicklaus' third win in the US Open came after another five-year wait, in 1972 before, at the age of 40, he claimed victory again, in 1980. That was his arguably his best performance yet as he beat that lowest total record of 13 years earlier by three. 

Nicklaus won 15 of his 18 Majors in America, but the least productive of the three in the country was the US Open. Despite this, in 2012 the gold medal the winner is awarded was renamed the Jack Nicklaus medal in the Golden Bear's honour.

Roderick Easdale

Contributing Writer Golf courses and travel are Roderick’s particular interests and he was contributing editor for the first few years of the Golf Monthly Travel Supplement. He writes travel articles and general features for the magazine, travel supplement and website. He also compiles the magazine's crossword. He is a member of Trevose Golf & Country Club and has played golf in around two dozen countries. Cricket is his other main sporting love. He is the author of five books, four of which are still in print: The Novel Life of PG Wodehouse; The Don: Beyond Boundaries; Wally Hammond: Gentleman & Player and England’s Greatest Post-War All Rounder.

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