Geneva, June 2024 – The U.S. Open is a major championship for all – experienced players and amateurs, legends of the game and newcomers alike. It is one of the four annual men’s majors and the flagship championship of the United States Golf Association (USGA). The USGA has conducted the U.S. Open since 1895, and Rolex has been Official Timekeeper at the championship since 1980 as part of its long-term commitment to the sport dating back almost 60 years.
History has shown that the U.S. Open has produced many of golf’s signature moments at some of the country’s most treasured venues, including Oakmont Country Club, Shinnecock Hills and Winged Foot Golf Club. This year the 124th edition will be staged at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s famous No. 2 course from 13–16 June. Having previously hosted the tournament in 1999, 2005 and 2014, the championship’s return to Pinehurst will mark the first time in more than a century that the USGA has awarded four U.S. Opens to a single site in a span of 25 years.

As the penultimate men’s major of the season, this esteemed event has been the scene of memorable triumphs for an elite band of Rolex Testimonees, most notably legend of the game Jack Nicklaus, who shares the record for the most victories, having lifted the U.S. Open Trophy on four occasions (1962, 1967, 1972, 1980). The American competed in 44 consecutive U.S. Open Championships, starting as a 17-year-old amateur in 1957, and finishing as a 60-year-old in 2000.

Fellow Testimonee Tiger Woods is a three-time U.S. Open champion (2000, 2002, 2008) and holds the record for the largest margin of victory, that being 15 strokes at Pebble Beach in 2000. This remains the all-time record for all major championships. Woods is also the only man to have won the U.S. Junior Amateur (1991, 1992, 1993), the U.S. Amateur (1994, 1995, 1996) and the U.S. Open on three occasions.

The American will be awarded the prestigious Bob Jones Award at a special ceremony on Wednesday, 12 June prior to the start of the tournament. The award is the USGA’s highest honour, recognizing distinguished sporting conduct and respect for golf’s long-standing traditions. Other members of the Rolex family to receive the award include Player (1966), Palmer (1971), Nicklaus (1975), Lorena Ochoa (2011) and Annika Sörenstam (2012).

Now home to the USGA’s headquarters, Pinehurst last staged the U.S. Open in 2014 and saw Rolex Testimonee Martin Kaymer triumph, having led wire-to-wire to claim his second major title. In doing so, the German became the first player from continental Europe to win the U.S. Open.

Other Testimonees to have won the U.S. Open include Arnold Palmer (1960), Gary Player (1965), Tom Watson (1982), Curtis Strange (1988, 1989), Retief Goosen (2001, 2004), Jordan Spieth (2015), Brooks Koepka (2017, 2018), Bryson DeChambeau (2020), Jon Rahm (2021) and Matt Fitzpatrick (2022).

Commenting on the challenge of the U.S. Open, Curtis Strange said: “I really believe that you learn how to play in the U.S. Open as you go. You first, mentally, have to realize that it’s not a birdie fest out there, and you are not going to make 15 or 20 birdies. You have to be more patient in that regard, and then, when you do miss, you can’t ever give up on the hole. Frustration will play a part but you can’t allow it to take over because if you still have two shots to make par, you still have a real chance to make par. The U.S. Open is like a marathon; it’s hard. I spoke to Arnold Palmer about it once and he said ‘it’s simple – just play your game; that’s all you can do’.”

Dating back to 1895, the inaugural championship was played at Newport Country Club, in Rhode Island, and the field features the game’s best amateurs and professionals, vying for the coveted U.S. Open Trophy. Any amateur with an up-to-date men’s USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4 can attempt to qualify for the national championship. Qualifying consists of two stages, local and final. Local qualifying is played over 18 holes at more than 100 courses around the United States. Roughly 530 places are available to move on to the final qualifying round, known as “golf’s longest day”. Final qualifying is played over 36 holes at several sites in the United States, as well as one each in Japan and Europe. Those who qualify after this stage earn a spot in the U.S. Open’s field of 156 players.

The USGA accepted a record 10,187 entries for the 2023 U.S. Open, held for the first time at The Los Angeles Country Club. This marked only the second time entries exceeded 10,000 and eclipsed the total of 10,127 accepted for the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

A gold medal has been awarded to the tournament winner since 1895, but in 2012, it was officially named the Jack Nicklaus Medal. Those who triumph also receive an exemption into the next 10 U.S. Open Championships, as well as a guaranteed place at the next five editions of the Masters Tournament, the PGA Championship and The Open. Outside of the major championships, winners also receive a five-year exemption into THE PLAYERS Championship and secure their PGA TOUR® card for the same period.

Standing at approximately 46 cm (18 inches) tall, 15 cm (six inches) wide and weighing 3.9 kg (8.5 pounds), the U.S. Open Trophy is made of sterling silver. It permanently resides at the USGA Museum in New Jersey, with winners receiving a full-size replica in a post-championship ceremony that they keep for the duration of their reign before returning it the following year and receiving a smaller replica that is theirs to keep permanently. The trophy, which has a winged female figure representing victory on its lid, is revered by golfers and has served as a point of inspiration for generations.

Rolex is committed to the permanent quest for excellence in all its endeavours and has been a long-term supporter of golf in its pursuit of the same. The brand’s enduring relationship with the sport began almost 60 years ago, in 1967, when Arnold Palmer, joined by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, became the brand’s first golfing Testimonees. Known together as The Big Three, these legendary players changed the face of golf forever, and their partnership with Rolex marked the beginning of a relationship based on the shared commitment to continuous improvement and unwavering precision. Since then, the affiliation has grown and flourished, permeating every level of the game worldwide. From elite players and golf legends to all the game’s Major championships, where success represents the pinnacle of achievement in the sport, as well as the foremost professional tours and worldwide amateur championships, Rolex is ever-present.
Rolex is deeply committed to the amateur game, and is a partner of important amateur tournaments across the globe, including the ground-breaking Augusta National Women’s Amateur launched in 2019, The British Amateur Championship, U.S. Amateur Championship, European Amateur Championship, Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, Latin America Amateur Championship and Women’s Amateur Latin America Championship. Rolex also supports the leading amateur team competitions, the Arnold Palmer Cup, Walker Cup, Curtis Cup, Junior Ryder Cup and World Amateur Team Championships. The Swiss manufacturer’s support for the game is built on a strong sense of integrity and respect for tradition that promote the continuity of expertise and transfer of knowledge, and an understanding of the importance of investing in the sport’s development for future generations.
An unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise Rolex is an integrated and independent Swiss watch manufacture. Headquartered in Geneva, the brand is recognized the world over for its expertise and the quality of its products – symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. The movements of its Oyster Perpetual and Perpetual watches are certified by COSC, then tested in-house for their precision, performance and reliability. The Superlative Chronometer certification, symbolized by the green seal, confirms that each watch has successfully undergone tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria. These are periodically validated by an independent external organization.
The word ‘Perpetual’ is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster watch. But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the company’s vision and values. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of the company, instilled a notion of perpetual excellence that would drive the company forward. This led Rolex to pioneer the development of the wristwatch and numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism, invented in 1931. In the course of its history, Rolex has registered over 600 patents. At its four sites in Switzerland, the brand designs, develops and produces the majority of its watch components, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Furthermore, the brand is actively involved in supporting the arts and culture, sport and exploration, as well as those who are devising solutions to preserve the planet.