(Reuters) - The U.S. Open golf tournament will celebrate its 116th edition from June 16-19 when it is held for a record ninth time at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania.
* The second of the year's four major championships, the U.S. Open is staged in mid-June with the final round, weather-permitting, played on the third Sunday of the month - on Father's Day.
* The U.S. Open is widely regarded as the toughest of the four majors with its traditional course set-up of narrow fairways, thick rough and firm, fast conditions combining to produce a severe mental challenge.
* It was played for the first time as a 36-hole competition in a single day on October 4, 1895 at Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island. Horace Rawlins, a 21-year-old Englishman, claimed the inaugural title.
* The tournament was dominated by British players in the early years until John McDermott, in 1911, became the first winner who was born in the United States.
* Two years later, Francis Ouimet at the age of 20 beat British golfing heavyweights Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in a playoff over 18 holes to win the 1913 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, a victory that electrified the nation and set the tone for a pipeline of American winners.
* By the end of World War One, the U.S. Open had become an important world championship and gained a significant surge in popularity when Georgia amateur Bobby Jones dominated the event with four victories between 1923 and 1930.
* Spectator tickets were sold for the first time in 1922 and, following a boom in entries, the United States Golf Association -- the tournament's organising body -- introduced sectional qualifying in 1924.
* Jones, widely regarded as the greatest amateur of all time, won the last of his four Open titles at Interlachen in 1930 when he holed a 40-foot putt on the 18th green to clinch victory by two strokes from Macdonald Smith.
* In 1950, just 16 months after breaking his pelvis, a shoulder, a rib and an ankle in a car accident that almost killed him, Ben Hogan played through extreme pain and nausea to win his second U.S. Open in an 18-hole playoff with George Fazio and Lloyd Mangrum at Merion.
*Arnold Palmer drove the green on the par-four opening hole in the final round of the 1960 Open at Cherry Hills, setting the tone for a brilliant closing 65 and one of the greatest last-day victory charges ever in a major championship as he came from seven strokes behind to triumph by two.
* Aged 40, Jack Nicklaus improved his own U.S. Open scoring record by three strokes when he won the 1980 championship for a record-equalling fourth time with a 72-hole aggregate of 272 at Baltusrol Golf Club.
* Hale Irwin, aged 45, became the oldest U.S. Open winner when he clinched the title for a third time after a playoff with journeyman Mike Donald at Medinah in 1990.
* Tiger Woods, firmly established as the world number one, was in a class of his own as he romped to his first U.S. Open victory at Pebble Beach in 2000 by a tournament record 15 strokes, a closing four-under 67 putting him level with the Nicklaus benchmark of 12-under 272.
* Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, aged 22, confirmed his rich promise as a potential golfing great with a commanding eight-stroke victory in the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional where he posted a tournament low of 16-under 268 for 72 holes.
* American Jordan Spieth, aged just 21, became the youngest U.S. Open champion since Jones in 1923 with a thrilling one-shot victory at Chambers Bay last year that also made him the youngest player to win two major titles since Gene Sarazen in 1922.
(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Larry Fine)
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