A couple of months later than planned, and without spectators at Winged Foot, Mamaroneck, New York, this year’s US Open gets underway later this month. If you’re looking to bet on the winner, US Open golf odds currently favour American Dustin Johnson, who recently won the FedEx Cup and who last won the US Open in 2016 – his only major title to date. We’ll discuss him a bit later on. But let’s take a look back at the last five winners of the US Open.
2015: Jordan Spieth (Chambers Bay, Washington)
Back in 2015, at the age of 21, Spieth became the youngest player to win the US Open. He added to his Masters win that same year. After the first round, Spieth had it all to do – he was three strokes behind the leaders, Johnson and Henrik Stenson, scoring 68. But he pulled it back after a second-round score of 67, which took him into a joint lead with compatriot Patrick Reed. A score of 71 in the third round kept him in contention, despite it being one of the highest scores of the round and with four players tied for the lead going into the final round, a score of 69 was enough to see him add to his major titles. He won by a single stroke over Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen.
Spieth’s only other major victory came in the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. It was his most recent win on the PGA Tour.
2016: Dustin Johnson (Oakmont, Pennsylvania)
Johnson broke his duck in 2016, when he won his first major title, having finished T2 at the previous year’s US Open. After heavy rain had delayed the first round, with play suspended three times, only nine players completed their first rounds. DJ was T2 along with Lee Westwood with a surprise early leader, Andrew Landry (who was ranked 624th in the world). Again, rain brought a halt to proceedings in the second round, but Johnson eventually overtook Landry with a score of 69, to his fellow American’s 71. There was a new leader after the third round, Shane Lowry, and despite being penalised in the final round for an infringement on the fifth green, which was overturned, Johnson went on to win, three strokes ahead of his rivals.
It’s a case of always the bridesmaid, but never the bride for DJ who has finished T2 at both the Masters and the PGA Championship. Since that US Open victory, he’s gone on to secure 13 more PGA Tour titles, most recently, the Tour Championship.
2017: Brooks Koepka (Erin Hills, Wisconsin)
A new champion and another to win their maiden major title, Koepka’s final score of 16 under par matched the record set by Rory McIlroy in 2011. It was an up-and-down tournament for Koepka, who was two shots behind after the first round and found himself T4 with two other players. One of those was Tommy Fleetwood, and the two shared the lead after the second round, having both scored 70, along with Brian Harman. An overnight spell of rain lowered the scores after the third round, but Koepka was one stroke ahead of the leader going into the final round, where he matched his opening score of 67 to secure a memorable victory – four strokes ahead of Harman and Hideki Matsuyama. And he wasn’t done yet…
2018: Brooks Koepka (Shinnecock Hills, New York)
The following year, Koepka became the first player since Curtis Strange in 1989 to secure back-to-back US Open titles. His margin of victory was much closer this time around, with just a solitary stroke separating him from Tommy Fleetwood. And he had an absolute stinker in the first round, with high winds disrupting proceedings – with only four player breaking par. With a score of 76, Koepka was some way down the pecking order. But after round two, he clawed his way back – with a score of 66 (the best of the round) seeing him charge up to T4. While conditions got worse during the third round, Koepka was one of four players that held the lead, and while he finished one over par overall, it was enough to win his second US Open title.
Koepka went on to win the PGA Championship that same year and replicated the feat of back-to-back titles, by also winning his fourth major in 2019. Injuries have curtailed his season, and he recently withdrew from the Tour Championship. His last win on the PGA Tour came at last year’s St. Jude Invitational and won’t be playing at Winged Foot as this year’s US Open.
2019: Gary Woodland (Pebble Beach, California)
There was a surprise winner at Pebble Beach last year. Woodland was ranked 25th in the PGA standings and had never finished in the top 20 at the US Open. He had also never won a major title – and prevented Koepka becoming the first player since 1905 to bag a hat-trick. From finishing T8 after the first round, Woodland putted a 50-foot birdie to finish round two, nine under par and with a two-shot advantage over Justin Rose. His advantaged was halved at the end of the third round, but not only did he hold on, he extended his lead – with Rose landing a final round score of 74 to finish T3. Woodland finished three shots of the reigning champion, Koepka.
Last year’s US Open was not only Woodland’s most recent major win, but his last win on the PGA Tour. He finished T58 at this year’s PGA Championship.