The U.S. Open has had 11 different champions over the past 11 years. Some big names, some obscure, each now tied together forever as they can call themselves U.S. Open winners. Let’s rank them, shall we?
Michael Owen – The King of Cool himself, Michael ‘White Noise’ Owen was the previous record holder before Woodburn’s goal against Leeds. Owen’s first came on his debut against Wimbledon in 1997 and he went on to such career highlights as his World Cup wonder goal against Argentina, playing for Real Madrid in the Galácticos era and bullying that teenage goalkeeper on Michael Owen’s Soccer Skills, eliciting the timeless "Well done, he's 13" from Neville Southall in the process. Image Source: Twitter
"I'm sat in the chair and she's gone round me and she's started placing her hands all over my head, all over my arms, all over my shoulders and she said I had two demons inside me, which was not bad because Gazza had five – I was happy with that.” This is a quote from Robbie Fowler about going to see infamous mystic, Eileen Drewery. Like Gazza, Fowler was never far away from controversy during his career, but had immense talent to match.
Perhaps an unexpected addition to the list, Carragher went on to score only three goals in 508 games for the club. He may have had an illustrious career with the Reds, but to find him in a goalscoring list wedged between such legendary names as Robbie Fowler and Florent Sinama-Pongolle is surprising. Image Source: Twitter
Here he is: A man who brings a wry, nostalgic smile to Premier League fans and takes them back to halcyon days before Anthony Le Tallec became the new Zinedine Zidane. Sinama-Pongolle scored just four days after his 19th birthday to help Liverpool beat, funnily enough, Leeds. He then took the typical route up the footballing ladder, enjoying spells at Atlético Madrid and Sporting CP before securing a dream move to Dundee United and later Chainat Hornbill FC. Image Source: Twitter
It’s hard not to live in the shade of your father when he is both famous and as shady as ‘Arry, but Jamie Redknapp managed to make a name for himself. He was regarded as Liverpool’s – and England’s – next big thing when he got a winner against Chelsea in September 1992. Injury curtailed his impact on English football, but did he win an FA Cup, make millions, marry Louise and then secure a cushty punditry role at Sky; it’s not all bad, is it? Image Source: This is Anfield
Probably the biggest hero the Kop has ever had, which takes some doing when you think of all the greats to have played on Merseyside. His recent retirement means all the superlatives have already been recently used, but this is probably the player Woodburn grew up hoping to emulate. Perhaps Gerrard will even be tutoring the youngster if, as rumoured, he returns to the club in a coaching capacity. Image Source: Twitter
Through a quirk of David N'Gog being the oldest teenager to have scored his first goal for Liverpool, we’ve managed to save you the best until last. They say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, so I’ll stop there rather than tell some long, imagined success story about Ngog’s career. Things didn’t really take off. Image Source: The Anfield Wrap
Staying too long at one club is the curse of many footballers. But Casillas should be remembered for his glory days at Real Madrid. Image Source: Twitter
Rumour has it, that the Brazilian could bend the ball perfectly around the Earth's orbit. Image Source: Twitter
The Dons of all Dons. Image Source: Twitter
The bloke hangs out with Kevin Spacey. Nuff said. Image Source: Twitter
11. Graeme McDowell- The 2010 U.S. Open champion comes in at number 11 on this list. That was a rather forgettable Open, and the second place finisher was some guy named Gregory Havret.
10. Michael Campbell- The 2005 champion comes in at number 10. With the exception of a soon to appear Lucas Glover, he is the weakest name on this list, although he did beat second place finisher Tiger Woods by two strokes, back when Woods was actually, you know, good.
9. Lucas Glover- Speaking of Lucas Glover, there he is now. Glover won the 2009 Open at Bethpage Black with a score of -4 to par. The three second place finishers were Phil Mickelson, Ricky Barnes, and David Duval. That list would be more impressive back in 2000, when Duval and Mickelson were in their primes.
8. Geoff Ogilvy- The 2006 champion comes in at number eight here. There was a three-way tie for second, and yes, another list that would have been very impressive say five years earlier- Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, and Colin Montgomery.
7. Angel Cabrera- The 2007 champion won what turned out to be a very tough and at times, ugly, U.S. Open. His score of +5 is tied for the worst score to par for an Open champion with 2006 champion Geoff Ogilvy since Hale Irwin won with a +7 in 1974. Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk finished tied for second one shot back.
6. Webb Simpson- Webb Simpson won what turned out to be a very average 2012 U.S. Open with a score of 281, +1 to par. The two second place finishers were Michael Thompson and Graeme McDowell one shot back. This was during the period of time in which people were waiting for Tiger Woods to come back and “save golf” which didn’t happen, and doesn’t need to anymore.
5. Dustin Johnson– The biggest and baddest dude currently rocking the tour comes in at number five. Johnson is the reigning champion with a score of 276, -4, three strokes ahead of Jim Furyk and two random individuals named Shane Lowry and Scott Piercy.
4. Martin Kaymer- The lone German champion in U.S. Open history drops in on this list at number four. Kaymer won at Pinehurst with a score of -9, a rather impressive feat if you look at previous U.S. Opens at Pinehurst. He won by 8 shots as well. The problem? One of the two men who finished second was some guy named Erik Compton.
3. Jordan Spieth- The 2015 champion won Chambers Bay with a score of 275, -5 to par. There was a two-way tie for second, one shot back, Dustin Johnson, and Louis Oosthuizen. Unlike many of the previous names on this list, Spieth is not a one hit wonder, and I believe he’s not done winning U.S. Opens, or major championships for that matter. Not even close.
2. Rory McIlroy– The 2011 champion played one of the most impressive tournaments by one individual ever. McIlroy finished -16 under, breaking Tiger Woods record for the lowest score to par in Open history. He finished a whopping eight shots ahead of second place finisher Jason Day.
1. Tiger Woods- I’ll bet there are people screaming right now reading this, wondering how in the world can I justify placing Woods at number one, and McIlroy at number two? Well, it’s very simple, you try playing golf on one leg, much less the U.S. Open, for five straight days including an 18-hole playoff, and we will see how far you get.
Well that’s my list. What’s yours?