Phil Mickelson will attempt to full a profession Grand Slam on his hometown course whereas long-driving Bryson DeChambeau defends his first main title in subsequent week’s US Open.
The 121st US Open begins Thursday at Torrey Pines on the coastal cliffs of the Pacific Ocean, the identical golf course the place Tiger Woods outlasted Rocco Mediate in an epic playoff to win the 2008 US Open on a damaged leg.
“How much pain he went through, how much struggle and strife and agony he went through, all that pain, and to come out on top is something that is unfathomable,” DeChambeau mentioned. “It has inspired me to work even harder.”
Woods, an eight-time winner at Torrey Pines, will not be competing after struggling extreme leg accidents in a February automobile crash, however there’ll nonetheless be drama on the structure the place the US PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open is staged yearly.
Mickelson, a left-hander from close by San Diego, shocked the golf world final month by profitable his sixth main title on the PGA Championship on Kiawah Island, turning into the oldest main champion in historical past at age 50.
Ageless surprise Mickelson, 3 times a PGA occasion winner at Torrey Pines, turns 51 on Wednesday and has individuals questioning if destiny has handed him one final probability at profitable a US Open after a document six runner-up efforts.
“I do believe that if I stay sharp mentally I can play well at Torrey Pines,” Mickelson mentioned. “I’m going to put everything I have into it.”
That has meant two weeks of labor making ready his sport, mentally and bodily, at Torrey Pines.
“I’ll spend time on the greens and really try to be sharp,” Mickelson mentioned. “Because I know that I’m playing well and this could very well be my last really good opportunity to win a US Open.”
Mickelson may develop into the sixth golfer to seize the 4 main titles, becoming a member of a profession Grand Slam group that features Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen.
Fifth-ranked DeChambeau captured final September’s US Open at Winged Foot with a ball-blasting type that cared little about touchdown areas, relying on shorter distance to make approaches simpler and putts shorter.
The technique paid off in a significant win however fears DeChambeau would possibly overwhelm golf programs have confirmed unfounded. While he gained once more at Bay Hill in March and has drawn wild cheers with some spectacular drives, DeChambeau solely shared thirty fourth and forty sixth on the previous two Masters and thirty eighth at May’s PGA.
The US Open is understood for formidable tough, the kind that would drive the American to alter his most distance techniques.
“We go and practice that week to see if it’s feasible to hit 7-irons out, pitching wedge out of it, hit 4-iron out of it even,” DeChambeau mentioned.
“If it’s not, then we literally have to change our dynamics and our course thought, depending on where long rough is, where I can essentially hit it.”
Spain’s third-ranked Jon Rahm, the 2017 Farmers winner, examined constructive for Covid-19 final weekend on the Memorial and was pressured into isolation till the eve of the US Open, dimming his hopes even when in a position to play.
Ninth-ranked American Patrick Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, gained the latest PGA Tour title at Torrey Pines in January and takes confidence from that.
“I definitely take good vibes from it,” Reed mentioned. “It’s Torrey Pines. You have to hit the fairway, you have to hit greens, you got to make putts.
“Any time you are enjoying a US Open you understand how penalizing the tough’s going to be, so you bought to have full management over your golf ball. You need to go and hit fairways and assault the golf course.”
– Recipe for high scores –
World number 10 Rory McIlroy, whose first major title came a decade ago, snapped an 18-month win drought last month at Quail Hollow but hasn’t won a major since the 2014 PGA. He shared 16th at the Farmers in January.
“I do not suppose they are going to set the golf course up tremendous otherwise when it comes to fairway widths or something like that,” McIlroy said.
“But the tough goes to be somewhat thicker. The entire course might be simply going to be somewhat firmer. They would possibly transfer round tees and stuff… so it is a good recipe for a high-scoring occasion.”
Eighth-ranked Brooks Koepka, like McIlroy a four-time major winner, feels back on form after knee surgery in March.
“I really feel comfy,” he said. “The knee’s probably not a problem anymore.”