Here’s a look at the eight oldest U.S. Open champions:
Hale Irwin Age: 45 years, 15 days old Year: 1990 U.S. Open at Medinah Notes: Hale Irwin became the oldest U.S. Open champion by defeating Mike Donald on the 91st hole, the first in sudden-death, after the two tied in the 18-hole Monday playoff with scores of 2-over 74. It was Irwin's third U.S. Open title overall. It was also the first use of sudden-death in the U.S. Open, something that had been implemented decades earlier. Prior to that, if players remained tied after 18 holes, they proceeded to play another 18-hole playoff. The last time prior to 1990 that there was a tie in a playoff happened at the 1946 U.S. Open where Lloyd Mangrum, a World War II veteran and recipient of two Purple Hearts, defeated Byron Nelson and Vic Ghezzi in 36 playoff holes to win his only major title.
Raymond Floyd Age: 43 years, 9 months, 11 days Year: 1986 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Notes: For about four years, Raymond Floyd was the oldest U.S. Open champion in history when he won the 1986 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills -- the same venue as this year's tournament. Floyd, in his fourth and final major win, finished two strokes ahead of runners-up Chip Beck and Lanny Wadkins.
Ted Ray Age: 43 years, 4 months, 16 days old Year: 1920 U.S. Open at the Inverness Club Notes: Interestingly this was the first U.S. Open for both Ted Ray and Harry Vardon since they both lost in a playoff to Francis Ouimet in 1913. They were the two key figures in this U.S. Open at Inverness. Vardon -- at age 50 -- had a five-stroke lead with five holes to play, but three-putted the next three holes and double-bogeyed the 17th to finish one stroke behind Ray. Jock Hutchison, Leo Diegel and Jack Burke Sr. were also runners up. The victory was Ray's second and final one in a major.
Tom Kite Age: 42 years, 6 months, 12 days Year: 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Notes: In a time when he was regarded as golf's greatest player without a major championship, Tom Kite had his breakthrough in the 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. It was there that Kite finished two strokes ahead of runner-up Jeff Sluman. That would be Kite's lone major win. He was a runner up on four other occasions -- three times in the Masters and once in the British Open.
Payne Stewart Age: 42 years, 4 months, 21 days Year: 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 Notes: One year after narrowly losing the U.S. Open to good buddy Lee Janzen at the Olympic Club, Payne Stewart bounced back to defeat a fresh-faced Phil Mickelson in an epic final-day showdown, defeating Lefty by one stroke thanks to a holed, 15-footer for par on the final green. It was the last of Stewart's three major titles. He would perish in an air accident months later.
Tommy Bolt Age: 42 years, 2 months, 14 days Year: 1958 U.S. Open at Southern Hills Notes: Playing the national championship in his home state, Oklahoman Tommy Bolt claimed his only major title by winning the 1958 U.S. Open at Tulsa's Southern Hills by four strokes over Gary Player. Player was making his U.S. Open debut that year at age 22.
Ben Hogan Age: 40 years, 10 months, 0 days Year: 1953 U.S. Open at Oakmont Notes: Ben Hogan won a record-tying fourth U.S. Open title in 1953 at Oakmont, topping runner-up Sam Snead by a convincing six strokes. It was the second of three major championship wins that season for Hogan and his final major win overall. Hogan did not play in the PGA Championship that year. His feat for winning the three majors he did play in in 1953 are known as golf's "Triple Crown."
Jack Nicklaus Age: 40 years, 4 months, 25 days Year: 1980 U.S. Open at Baltusrol Notes: Jack Nicklaus tied a record with four U.S. Open victories when he finished two strokes ahead of runner-up Isao Aoki in 1980 at Baltusrol in Springfield, N.J. It was the 16th of Nicklaus's record 18 major titles. Nicklaus and Aoki were tied for the lead through 54 holes, but Nicklaus won with a final-round 68.
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