123rd U.S. Open Championship Remembered: City of Angels Return
04 Jun,2024 Credit : Keyur Khamar - Getty Images

By Tim Liotta


123rd U.S. Open Championship Remembered: City of Angels Return

Here we are a year later, bearing down on Pinehurst No. 2 and the 124th U.S. Open Championship, a year removed from a truly memorable U.S. Open week. 

The 123rd U.S. Open marked the first time the championship was played in Los Angeles in 75 years, and the first time the championship was played over the Los Angeles Country Club's North Course, and the championship provided all kinds of unique championship results: 


Wyndham Clark, who had never finished better than 75th in six career major championship starts, and had missed the cut in his previous two U.S. Opens, wins by a shot.

Clark prevails with major champions Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Smith finishing second, third and fourth, respectively. 

The last time a player won the first major championship of his career with previous major winners finishing in the next three spots was in 2015, when Jordan Spieth won the Masters by four shots with Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and McIlroy next.

Wyndham Clark's Major Championship Record

Clark was the 11th different 54-hole leader in a men’s major since 2011 to have never finished in the top 10 at a major ever before. None of the first 10 players went on to shoot 70 or better that Sunday or win the tournament. 

Before Clark, the last player to win after being in that situation was Louis Oosthuizen at the 2010 Open Championship at St. Andrews.


After some 47,000 rounds played in the U.S. Open (from 1895-2022), Rickie Fowler finished with the first 62 the championship's history at 1:17pm PT on Thursday, June 18. Xander Schauffele, playing two groups behind Fowler, matched the score some 20 minutes later. 

Fowler made 10 birdies to tie Justin Thomas’ record for most sub-par holes in a single U.S. Open round. Thomas set the mark in the third round at Erin Hills in 2017.

Schauffele played bogey-free, joining Branden Grace as the only players to shoot bogey-free 62s in men’s major championship history. Grace did it during the third round of the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale Golf Club.


Rickie Fowler’s 18 birdies over the first 36 holes decimated the existing record for most birdies made through two rounds at the U.S. Open, which was 14 set by Gil Morgan at Pebble Beach in 1992.

In 23 of the last 30 U.S. Opens, Fowler’s two-round total of 18 would have lead or been tied for the lead over the 72-hole championship. The 2022 champion Matt Fitzpatrick made 19 birdies-or-better in the championship. 


For the first time in U.S. Open history, the field averaged a score better than 72, averaging 71.76 strokes per round at LACC. In addition to the first two 62s in U.S. Open history, multiple players recorded nine-hole scores of 29 for the first time (Tom Kim on Saturday and Austin Eckroat on Sunday). Ten rounds of 65 or lower were posted, twice as many as any other U.S. Open in history.


On holes 1 through 10 at LACC, the field was a combined 72-over-par for the championship. On holes 11 through 18, the field was 713-over-par.


The first round field scoring average of 71.38 was almost a stroke lower than the previous low first round of 72.29 at Baltusrol Golf Club in 1993. That 6 players posted scores of 65 or better was two more than any other single round in U.S. Open history. Also a first, not a single player posted a score of 80 or higher, which is the first time that has ever happened in first or second rounds at the U.S. Open.


The USGA set up the par-3 15th hole to play at 81 yards for the third round, making it the shortest hole in modern U.S. Open history. The previous shortest hole was the 7th hole at Pebble Beach, which played at 92 yards in the final round of the 2010 Open.


Tommy Fleetwood, who began the round in 38th place, made two eagles and was eight-under through 14 holes before a bogey at the 16th. He missed a five-footer for birdie at the 18th for a 62 and settled for a seven-under 63, becoming the first player in U.S. Open history with two rounds of 63 or better (he also posted a seven-under 63 round at the 2018 U.S. Open).


In the second round, Dustin Johnson, the 2016 U.S. Open champ, made a quadruple-bogey on the second hole On the second hole, the first of his U.S. Open career. Johnson battled back, playing his final 11 holes bogey-free and 4-under-par to become the only player since 1993 at the U.S. Open to make a quad (or worse) in a round and still shoot even par or better.


Sam Bennett became the first reigning U.S. Amateur champion to start a U.S. Open with back-to-back rounds in the 60s, posting scores of 67 and 68 in the first two rounds. He is also the only player who placed in the top 10 through 36 holes at both the Masters and U.S. Open in 2023. 


The layout of the Los Angeles Country Club limited the number of tickets for spectators of this U.S. Open. The USGA allotted 22,000 total tickets for the event, with an estimated 8,000 available to the general public and the remainder going to corporate sponsors and club members. 

The 22,000 tickets per day was below the 2022 total of 30,000 at The Country Club and well below the 50,000 per day at Oakmont Country Club in 2016.


No left-handed player has ever won the U.S. Open, the only one of the four majors to have never seen it happen.