5 issues to know for Thursday’s first spherical at LACC

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Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka on the 2023 U.S. Open.

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The most important season is quick and livid, with the third leg already upon us. The U.S. Open is right here, and from what we will inform, it seems to be like it is going to be an absolute barn burner.

The professional golf world is at present within the midst of unprecedented uncertainty and chaos, however proper now, there is just one factor on execs’ minds: Profitable the U.S. Open.

Listed here are 5 issues to know for Thursday’s opening spherical in Los Angeles.

The favorites

The early days of a serious week are all about hypothesis. Who’s the more than likely participant to return our on high on Sunday?

Scottie Scheffler is the clear favourite by a strong margin (+600), adopted by Jon Rahm (+1000), Brooks Koepka (+1100) and Rory McIlroy (+1200).

Main winners all, with Koepka and Rahm as the latest champions, prevailing on the PGA and Masters, respectively.

What’s at stake?

At a serious championship, there’s loads of motivation: winners etch their identify within the annals of golf lore without end, and get to pocket an enormous examine, too.

However as of late, given the us-versus-them mentality that has developed between the PGA Tour and LIV for the reason that Saudi-backed league debuted final yr, gamers appear to be taking their finishes a bit extra significantly. A LIV participant’s success is shared by the league as an entire, and the identical goes for the PGA Tour. With that in thoughts, and given final week’s information of the partnership between the PGA Tour and the Saudi PIF, it provides much more intrigue to how issues will finally play out this week.


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Phil’s grand slam hopes

Phil Mickelson is amongst a small contingent of present gamers who want just one extra main to finish the profession grand slam. After a document six runner-up finishes on the U.S. Open, Mickelson’s annual probability to expunge that monkey from his again is that this week.

Although any yr can be an excellent one for Mickelson to win a U.S. Open, one can’t assist however really feel that the timing of this one can be significantly poignant: a U.S. Open in Mickelson’s house state, gained at a document age, by the participant who arguably has carried essentially the most affect of anybody within the PGA Tour-LIV battle.

Wow isn’t a robust sufficient phrase. Mickelson proved he can nonetheless grasp with the world’s finest at Augusta this yr. Can he do it once more right here on the U.S. Open? We will’t wait to look at.

Can Matt Fitzpatrick defend?

Defending a U.S. Open is so tough, it’s solely been finished by seven gamers ever, and two since Ben Hogan in 1951: Curtis Unusual and Brooks Koepka.

With a U.S. Beginner victory and a win at The Nation Membership final yr, Fitzpatrick’s recreation is clearly suited to a USGA setup, although. Will he add his identify to that quick listing?

The course

Los Angeles Nation Membership has been receiving rave critiques since Gil Hanse’s restoration was unveiled, however this week will mark its truest check. What’s going to the gamers must say after the opening spherical? Will or not it’s exceedingly robust? The “half-par holes” provide so many potentialities, it’s potential for the gamers to compete on a really completely different course every day by way of setup.

To summarize: Let’s goooooo! We will’t wait to look at.

Golf.com Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of feminine varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everybody on the masthead. She will be able to out-hustle them within the workplace, too, the place she’s primarily accountable for producing each print and on-line options, and overseeing main particular tasks, resembling GOLF’s inaugural Model Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview sequence, “A Spherical With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in each within the journal and in video type on GOLF.com.

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