Players aim to stay fresh ahead of US Open grind

Lynette Rowe
June 13, 2017

I've had to scrap around. As such, he could be hitting a groove, which is what you want in a tournament such as this.

The world number two finished seventh, fourth and seventh in his first three strokeplay events on his return, but a recurrence of the problem during the Players Championship saw him withdraw from the BMW PGA Championship and Memorial Tournament.

Originally Mickelson said he was going to withdraw from the US Open because Amanda is giving the commencement speech at the school ceremony. He won the BMW Charity Pro-Am on the secondary tour in 2012 but slipped off the golfing radar after struggling with thumb and back injuries in the past five years. To discuss it all, make some picks, and ponder the meaning of life (not really), Joel Beall joined me from Erin Hills for our weekly chat.

"I've been hitting the ball great", he said. Some of it is wispy and playable, as Spieth showed on No. 8 Monday, hitting out of the brown hay to about 15 feet from the hole on an elevated green.

The 36-year-old could have doubled his major tally at the Masters in April but lost out in a play-off to Ryder Cup team-mate Sergio Garcia. I have always believed he had the game for a U.S. Open title, and he's coming off a strong result in Memphis where only a poor third round kept him from possibly winning. "I think they'll execute well". Now, one alternate per section can play the golf course in the afternoon. "We do have a pretty full calendar for the next eight or nine years".

"I know nothing about it". To see how I've accomplished my goals on such a fast pace ... of course, I wanted to be top 10 in the world someday.

"The big situation forces me to stay a little bit more patient because I know how important it is".

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Making a prediction even more fraught with danger is that most of the favourites have at least a question mark hovering over them, while other players have claimed most of the recent victories on the PGA Tour.

Having arrived in Wisconsin on Friday, when he chose to only walk the course, McIlroy played Saturday, Sunday and again Monday. If Mickelson withdraws, Diaz is in the field at Erin Hills in Wisconsin. This is the first year the USGA has allowed alternates to play practice rounds. But what other golfer has won three consecutive golf tournaments this year?

What does the USGA find so attractive about Erin Hills? New Zealander Michael Campbell was a surprise, if deserving victor in 2005, and Martin Kaymer romped to an eight-stroke victory in 2014, but the 1999 U.S. Open lingers longer with most, thanks to a Hall-of-Fame leaderboard and to Payne Stewart's 20-foot slam-dunk par putt on the 72nd hole to edge father-to-be Phil Mickelson by one.

The USGA will hope the Open goes off smoothly after two years of controversy.

Compared to some of the excellent performances Knox has produced on the PGA Tour over the past couple of years, notably two wins on the United States circuit, including, of course, a World Golf Championship, that may not look anything to get excited about. Everyone plays the same course, and players who understand that and take things in stride (like Dustin Johnson, the king of taking things in stride) are more likely to succeed than those players who see a 500-yard par 4 and can't get over it.

Next up for Lowry is the sizeable challenge of Erin Hills, a course that has sparked plenty of headlines for its deep rough that can make just finding wayward shots hard.

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