Who Was the First Golfer to Win the U.S. Open 2, 3 and 4 Times?

The U.S. Open tournament record for victories if four, shared by multiple golfers. Who was the first golfer to win the U.S. Open four times? For that matter, who was the first double winner, and the first three-time champ? In all cases, the answer is the same: Willie Anderson.

Anderson won four out of the five U.S. Opens played from 1901 through 1905 (in 1902, the only year in that stretch he failed to win, Anderson tied for fifth place.

Here are Anderson's milestone wins, plus, in each, who was the second golfer to achieve these milestones:

  • First 2-time U.S. Open winner: Anderson won his first at the 1901 U.S. Open, beating Alex Smith by one stroke in an 18-hole playoff. So when he won the 1903 U.S. Open, Anderson became this major's first double winner. He again needed a playoff, and beat David Brown by two strokes over 18 holes. The U.S. Open was first played in 1895, so the first double winner came in the ninth time it was played.

    The second 2-time winner was the same guy Anderson beat in the playoff here: Alex Smith.

  • First 3-time U.S. Open winner: Anderson repeated as champ at the 1904 U.S. Open, making him not just the first triple winner but also the first back-to-back winner. This time he won in 72 holes, no playoff needed, beating runner-up Gilbert Nicholls by five strokes.

    The second 3-time winner was Bobby Jones, whose third victory was in 1929.

  • First 4-time U.S. Open winner: Anderson made it back-to-back-to-back wins at the 1905 U.S. Open, becoming the tournament's first quadruple champion. It was a two-stroke win this time, and once again Alex Smith was the runner-up. (Smith's two wins were in 1906 and 1910.)

    The second 4-time winner was Jones, whose fourth win was in 1930.

So now we know that Willie Anderson was the first four-time U.S. Open champ and Bobby Jones was the second. Two other golfers have since joined that exclusive club: Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus. Hogan's fourth was in 1953, Nicklaus' fourth in 1980.

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