Who Was the First American to Win the Open Championship?

Published 01/13/2022, 7:33 AM EST


Looking at the extensive PGA Tour schedule, the four major championships are always under the spotlight. With some of the best golfers playing, these events have been there on the schedule list for years. Some of these majors, like the Open Championship, have been around since the 1860s. While now, there is a wide range of golfers who might take home the title. Earlier contests had a string of Scottish players win. Let’s take a look at when an American player won the tournament for the first time.

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When did an American win at the Open Championship?

The Open Championship, now one of the majors, has been around since 1860. This year will be the 150th edition of the tournament. While many players from various countries have taken home the trophy, that was not always the case. The championship itself has undergone a lot of change, including letting places other than Scotland host it.

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Having said that, the first actual US-born PGA Tour was Walter Hagen (1922). It took 62 years for an American to win the major, which was previously just dominated by the Scottish and the Swiss. Interestingly, Jock Hutchison won in 1921, making him the first US-based golfer to win the Open Championship.

Who was Walter Hagen?

With 11 major titles to his name, Hagen is easily one of the golfing legends out there. Like Tiger Woods or Gary Player, Hagen is said to have helped popularize the game, which is why it has become what it is today. His career was complete with 45 PGA Tour wins, his style always impeccable.

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This Open Championship was Hagen’s fourth major win, and first Open Championship title. He would go on to win three more, along with five PGA Championships and two US Opens. He passed away in 1969 after dealing with throat cancer for years.

First Americans to win other majors

  • PGA Championship: Walter Hagen
  • US Open: John McDermott
  • The Masters Tournament: Horton Smith

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What do you think of Hagen’s career? Let us know.

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Devika

544 articles

Devika Pawar is a Golf and NBA writer at Essentially Sports. A psychology graduate from KJ Somaiya, Devika has an experience with sportswriting at Republic World for around two years now. She loves NBA a little too much, and is a dedicated Golden State Warriors fan.

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