Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southhampton, New York, 7,440 yards, Par 70.
Defending champion: Brooks Koepka, Erin Hills, -16.
The last time the Open was held at Shinnecock in 2004, Retief Goosen putted lights out at a controversial Open, where, on Sunday, the 7th hole putted like a bathtub and caused much player consternation. But Retief was the best putter that day and captured his second Open with his first coming at Southern Hills in Tulsa, OK. in 2001.
This will be the 5th time the Open has been played at Shinnecock.
Key tee times, all times Central
6:40 AM- Bubba Watson, Jason Day, Brooks Koepka. Day and Koepka with good chances. Bubba possibly.
6:51 AM-Zach Johnson, Charl Schwartzel, Patrick Reed. Reed won the Masters and handles pressure well. Johnson and Schwartzel are also Masters champions, Johnson in 2007 and Schwartzel in 2011.
7:02 AM-Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson. Spieth with 3 majors, the 2015 Masters, the 2015 U.S, Open (Chambers Bay) and the 2017 Open Championship, at Royal Birkdale. McIlroy looking for his 5th major, after winning the 2011 U.S, at Congressional Country Club, the 2012 PGA at Kiawah Island, S.C., the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool and the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla. But he hasn't captured a major since 2014. Phil has 5 majors, the 2004, 2006 and 2010 Masters', the 2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol, and the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield. He has 6 runner-up finishes at the U.S., the most ever, and clearly wants to put this on his resume before he retires from the PGA Tour, whenever that will be. May be a while. He's still playing at a high level. Phil turns 48 on Saturday.
7:13 AM: Bryson DeChambeau, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Matt Kuchar- DeChambeau is trending well after capturing the Memorial 2 weeks ago. Not sure if Fitzpatrick will be in the hunt, but possibly, and Kuchar is close a lot. He really would like a major on his resume'.
7:13 AM: No. 10-Hideki Matsuyama, Mark Leishman, Rickie Fowler. Rickie on the cusp of winning a major, but it's time for him to win one. He needs to fairly soon or the pressure might build a little more. HIdeki hasn't done a lot this year, but finished 2nd last year to Koepka and is highly capable. Leishman is a good player. Not sure he can win, but he can contend.
12:14 PM-Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm, Rafa Cabrera Bello. Rahm and Sergio are possibilities. I see Rahm winning a major soon, quite possibly this year. This could be the one. Sergio plays with a lot more confidence now after winning at Augusta National in 2017, so if he's in contention, he can close it out.
12:25 PM- Lucas Glover, Webb Simpson, Graeme McDowell- All 3 are past Open winners, Glover at Bethpage Black in 2009, McDowell in 2010 at Pebble Beach, and Simpson in 2012 at Olympic.
12:36 PM- No.10, Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk. Ernie is a 2 time U.S. Open winner in 1994 and '97, and a 4 time major winner having captured the Open Championship in 2002, and 2012. Stricker's a great putter, but has fallen short in majors. Furyk is the 2003 U.S. Open winner at Olympia Fields. All 3 are elder statesmen, Els at 48, Furyk is 48 and Stricker is 51.
12:47 PM-Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods. Thomas and Johnson have very good shots. Woods is a possibility. Not convinced he's there yet, at least as far as winning majors goes. 14 major victories, but the last one came in 2008 at Torrey Pines, so a long drought for Eldrick. No doubt, JT and DJ will be right there. DJ coming off a classic, victorious performance at Memphis last week, in which he sank his second shot on 18, a 171 yard shot from the fairway. It was a masterpiece, no doubt. Justin is always one of the favorites in majors now.
12:47, No.10- Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Martin Kaymer. All 3 are major winners, Henrik at the 2016 Open Championship with a historic final round 63 at Royal Troon which tied Johnny Miller for the lowest Sunday round in major championship history. He's certainly capable at 42. Scott is still competitive and he was a Masters winner in 2013. Kaymer hasn't been heard from much lately, but does have 2 majors to his credit, the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in a controversial finish in which DJ was penalized 2 strokes on the 18th hole for grounding his club in what was considered a sand trap, but was impossible to tell as the crowd had trampled through it. Johnson ultimately lost by a shot, and Kaymer defeated Bubba in a playoff. Kaymer also was victorious at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
Weather, fantastic. Thursday, 77 Sunny, wind 14 MPH out of the west. Friday, Partly sunny, 69, wind, NW 11. Saturday, Sunny, 74, wind W 10. Sunday, partly sunny, 73, wind SW 10. Very minimal chances for rain. The wind does play a factor at Shinnecock though, so it will greatly challenge players' club selections.
TV: All times CT:
Thursday, 8:30 AM-3 PM Fox Sports 1, 3-6:30 PM FOX.
Friday, 9 AM-3 PM, Fox Sports 1, 3-6:30 PM, FOX.
Saturday, 10 AM-6:30 PM, FOX.
Sunday, 9 AM-6:30 PM FOX.
Should be a spectacular Father's Day Sunday like it usually is with the U.S, Open's drama filled finishes.
No. 16, 616 yards, par 5
The hole has been lengthened 74 yards since 2004 with a prevailing wind into the player and from his right. Likely to be a 3 shot hole. Many of the competitors will play their second shots short of the bunker on the right. Players who attempt to go for it, or are left with a long approach after finding trouble, will be tested by the narrow, well protected green that is surrounded by 4 bunkers towards the front and 4 more of those a little bit further up the fairway. Quite a challenge for the bombers who want to take their chances. There is so much run off on these greens, that a good putt can be penalized by rolling off the green if the player gets too aggressive. And shots short or long make for troublesome up and downs.
No.17, 175 yards, par 3
A precise shot is required on this large green, which there are a lot of at Shinnecock, 2 bunkers on the left and a huge one on the right. This hole will really test a players' mettle.
No.18, 485 yards, par 4
The hole features a new tee that adds 35 yards and creates more of a blind tee shot. The prevailing breeze is from right to left off the tee, with more of a helping wind on the second shot. The preferred tee shot is to the right side of the fairway, for a better look at the green and a better angle of approach, although a player is likely only able to see part of the flagstick. The green slopes from back to front with 2 bunkers on the left and 1 on the right. Pretty classic finishing hole for what hopefully will be a real test this year on a serious Open course after last year's not too swift Erin Hills course and the 2015 disaster at Chambers Bay, though that finish was stellar with Spieth defeating DJ by a shot.
After some questionable venues for the Open in recent years, the next several years the Open will be played at the classics. This year at Shinnecock, 2019 at Pebble Beach, 2020 at Winged Foot, 2021 at Torrey Pines, 2022 the Country Club in Brookline, Mass. site of the "Battle of Brookline" in which the United States finally won the Ryder Cup back from the Europeans, will host. Justin Leonard's memorable 45 foot birdie conversion was memorable and secured the match 14 1/2-13 1/2, after the U.S. had been down 10-6 going into the final day. The 2023 Open will be at the Los Angeles Country Club, the 2024 edition will be at Torrey Pines, the 2025 Open will be at Oakmont Country Club, in 2026 the Open is back at Shinnecock, and in 2027 Pebble Beach will once again host.
Going with the 25 year old from Louisville, Kentucky by way of the University of Alabama. He lost his world No.1 ranking last week to Dustin, and took it well, when he told the media yesterday, "somebody wrote on social media, that the last time I was No.1 in the world, Ovechkin was a Stanley Cup champion and Rickie got engaged." Those things happened last week, so he's still, outside of DJ, the best player in the world. This young guy captures his second major in a year after winning the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.
Sleeper: Graeme McDowell