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In case you hadn't heard, the USGA, the governing organization of the game in the United States, likes to make the U.S. Open hard. Very hard.
Some have even gone so far as to say the setup of U.S. Open courses in the past has been unfair.
If you look at the last 20 playings of the U.S. Open, the average winning score is almost 3-under par (2.75, in case you were wondering). By way of comparison, the approximate winning scores at the other majors in the same time frame are:
The Masters: 11-under
Open Championship: 9-under
PGA Championship: 10-under
And if you take Tiger Woods' phenomenal performance in 2000 at Pebble Beach out of the equation, then the average score to par for the U.S. Open winner rises to just a shade more than 2-under par. 2.26 strokes under par, to be exact.
In other words, you have to play really good golf to win a U.S. Open.
The courses are long, the rough is deep, and the greens are usually rock hard and extremely fast. Flaws in your game will be exposed and it will not take long for the course to bring you to your knees.
Before Woods' tour de force in 2000, only one other man had ever reached 10-under par at the U.S. Open. Dr. Gil Morgan accomplished the feat in 1992 when he reached 12-under at one point, but couldn't hold it together and finished the tournament 5-over par, eight back of eventual champion, Tom Kite.
Jim Furyk is the only other man to reach double-digits under par in a U.S. Open. He did it in 2003, but didn't finish under par.
That's it. Three men in 116 years have reached 10-under par at this tournament.
That's how hard the U.S. Open is.