2011 US Open Golf: Where U.S. Open Trophy Ranks Among Biggest Prizes in Sports

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2011 US Open Golf: Where U.S. Open Trophy Ranks Among Biggest Prizes in Sports
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

This is a big time of the year in sports. Within a one-week period, both the NBA and NHL will have crowned their champions. Additionally we will know the winner of the US Open, which is generally the hardest golf tournament in the world.

Tennis' French Open ended on June 5 and barring weather delays, Wimbledon will conclude on July 3. So in less than a one-month period, we will have seen five of sports greatest championships. Mind you, that's not even counting the British Open, which occurs in mid-July.

The US Open may be the most difficult tournament in golf, but where does its trophy rank when compared to trophies given out for other championships?

Well, that's a difficult question to answer. The tournament may be the most rewarding golf tournament to win. It represents the four most grueling days that golf has every year, and for American golfers it's their national championship.

But the trophy itself isn't particularly noteworthy when compared to other trophies. Sure, it represents a lot and it's a beautiful trophy, but it's not particularly identified with the US Open.

The trophy is called the US Open Trophy. So hearing its name would hopefully be a dead giveaway of anyone is wondering what it represents. But looking at it, how many casual sports fans would know what championship it represents?

The goal here is to identify 10 trophies that are more identifiable than the US Open trophy. Before I start, I need to point a few things out.

One: While there will be international trophies mentioned, they will be from tournaments that are a part of North American sports leagues.

This isn't to diminish other countries' sports leagues in any way. I am just not familiar enough with those leagues to rank their championship trophies.

Two: On a similar note, competitions that pit country vs. country are excluded. Sure, just about all of these will have athletes from different countries battling each other, but they aren't one country vs. another. So, the Olympics, World Cup, Ryder Cup, etc. will not be included here.

Again, the reason isn't to diminish them, but national pride means a lot more to some than it does to others.

Three: The trophy has to be specific to a sport or an event. So, for example, championship rings are not included, as they are given to winners of every team sport.

Four: A lot of sports, particularly individual sports, hand out a lot of trophies. In golf, there is a trophy given out every week. In team sports, the winner of each league receives a trophy just for reaching their final, not to mention MVP awards.

So, the last provision is that the trophy either needs to be a championship trophy for a team sport, or a major trophy for an individual sport. This eliminates the Heisman Trophy, which would easily be a top-two trophy under different circumstances.

Individual accomplishments are nearly impossible to measure against championships. The goal here is to focus on championships (team) or majors (individual).

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