Oldest Winners of the U.S. Open Golf Tournament

Hale Irwin is on the list of oldest US Open winners
Who is the oldest winner in U.S. Open golf tournament history? The answer to that question is: Hale Irwin. Below we take a look at Irwin's late-career triumph, as well as the list of other oldest U.S. Open champions.

There haven't been many golfers over the age of 40 who've won this major championship. (Related: See the list of all major wins over the age of 40.) But those who've managed to do it include Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and other big names.

Record-Holder: Hale Irwin, Age 45

The oldest winner of a U.S. Open is Hale Irwin, who holds the record at age 45 — 45 years and 15 days old, to be exact. That was Irwin's age when he won the 1990 U.S. Open, which he did in a playoff against Mike Donald.

That was Irwin's 18th career win on the PGA Tour, and his third U.S. Open victory. He won the very next week, too, at the Buick Classic, making him one of the scarce golfers who've won a major and then also won the following PGA Tour event.

Irwin, who hadn't won in five years, began the final round in 20th place. But he carded a 67, including a 45-foot birdie putt on his last hole. In the playoff against Donald, Irwin staged another comeback, from two strokes behind with three holes to play.

The List: U.S. Open Oldest Winners

These are the 40-and-over champs in the United States Open Championship:
  • Hale Irwin: 45 years, 15 days old when he won the 1990 U.S. Open
  • Raymond Floyd: 43 years, 9 months and 11 days old when he won the 1986 U.S. Open
  • Ted Ray: 43 years, 4 months and 16 days old when he won the 1920 U.S. Open
  • Julius Boros: 43 years, 3 months old when he won the 1963 U.S. Open
  • Tom Kite: 42 years, 6 months, 12 days old at the time of his 1992 U.S. Open win
  • Payne Stewart: 42 years, 4 months, 21 days old when he won the 1999 U.S. Open
  • Tommy Bolt: 42 years, 2 months and 14 days old at the time of his 1958 U.S. Open win
  • Ben Hogan: 40 years, 10 months old when he won the 1953 U.S. Open
  • Jack Nicklaus: 40 years, 4 months and 25 days old when he won the 1980 U.S. Open
Ted Ray held this record the longest: It took 66 years for Ray Floyd to break it. Fifty-year-old Harry Vardon was the third-round leader in 1920, but Ray overtook him in the final round and Vardon was among the runners-up. (Ray and Vardon had been in the playoff together against eventual champ Francis Ouimet in the 1913 U.S. Open.)

Payne Stewart's win in 1999 was his last pro tournament win. For Hogan and Nicklaus, their wins on this list were their fourth U.S. Open victories, each tying that tournament record. Hogan won three majors in 1953, Nicklaus won two majors in 1980.

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Photo credit: Image of Hale Irwin taken by Ted Van Pelt from Mechanicsburg, PA, USA / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

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