U.S. Open Top Finishes: Most Top 5s, Top 10s, Top 25s in Career

The U.S. Open golf tournament dates to 1895. Looking back over the history of the tournament, which golfers have recorded the most high finishes — the most Top 5s? Most Top 10s? Most Top 25s? That's what the lists below show.

And it's no surprise that many of the same names appear on all three lists. It might be surprising to some readers, however, that all three lists are heavily populated by golfers whose careers started, at the latest, in the early 1960s. Most of the golfers listed go back farther than that.

Most Top 5 Finishes in the U.S. Open

11 — Willie Anderson
11 — Jack Nicklaus
10 — Alex Smith
10 — Walter Hagen
10 — Ben Hogan
10 — Arnold Palmer

Anderson is the only golfer ever to win three consecutive U.S. Opens, which he did in 1903-05, and he was the first to win four total. Nicklaus' first Top 5 was in the 1960 U.S. Open, in which he finished second as the low amateur; and his last was in the 1982 U.S. Open, in which he was runner-up.

Special mention to Bobby Jones, who played in 11 U.S. Opens and finished Top 5 in nine of them. Gene Sarazen and Julius Boros also clock in at nine Top 5 finishes.

Most Top 10 Finishes in the U.S. Open

18 — Jack Nicklaus
16 — Walter Hagen
15 — Ben Hogan
14 — Gene Sarazen
13 — Arnold Palmer
12 — Sam Snead

Nicklaus won the U.S. Open four times, the first of those wins coming in 1963, three years after his first Top 5 (which was also his first Top 10), in 1960. His last win was in the 1980 U.S. Open, and his last Top 10 was in the 1986 U.S. Open.

Hagen was the longtime record-holder for most Top 10s, until Nicklaus passed him in 1982. Hagen's first was in the 1913 U.S. Open and his last in the 1928 U.S. Open.

Most Top 25 Finishes in the U.S. Open

22 — Jack Nicklaus
21 — Sam Snead
20 — Walter Hagen
19 — Gary Player
18 — Arnold Palmer
17 — Julius Boros
17 — Mike Brady
17 — Ben Hogan
17 — Gene Sarazen
17 — Alex Smith

You'll notice that neither Tiger Woods nor Phil Mickelson appears in any of these lists. Mickelson, famously (or is that infamously?) holds the tournament record of six second-place finishes. But he had "only" four other Top 10s (10 Top 10s total, which is very good!).

Woods has three wins in the tournament, and eight Top 10s total (seven of them Top 5s). Woods' numbers are depressed by the injuries he began suffering about halfway through his PGA Tour career, which caused him to miss multiple U.S. Opens over the latter part of his career.

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