Woods and Koepka ready for classic US Open test READ MORE

Ruben Hill
Июня 13, 2019

He could just find the test Pebble Beach provides, flawless to lift his fourth major. Whilst he's still young in golfing terms, he's seriously talented and with a raft of home support behind him, he's in with a great chance of winning his maiden Major. This comes only three weeks following the PG Championship.

He vies for favouritism with Johnson and 2011 victor Rory McIlroy at around 9/1 this week, and strong cases can be made for all three. I mean, everybody has got to play the same golf course.

McIlroy admits it would be "liberating and satisfying" to end his major drought and follow in the footsteps of fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell, who lifted the trophy at Pebble Beach in 2010.

Attention has rightly been placed upon two-time defending Brooks Koepka, who is seeking history, former victor Dustin Johnson, the great Tiger Woods, returning to the site of his most dominant triumph, and the in-form Rory McIlroy.

Can Dustin Johnson win 2nd US Open Title?

Tiger Woods wants to play in another 40 major tournaments, he told press ahead of the US Open Pebble Beach on Thursday.

This year's U.S. Open returns to Pebble Beach for a sixth time, bringing American's national championship to the most visually spectacular of venues.

That sense of relief should allowed the Florida-based McDowell to be able to relax on the course and that is always a plus point for any golfer. Has he crumbled under a little pressure this season in big moments? Yes?

"I hit a tree and it went left and we couldn't find it". He just took a win at the RBC Canadian Open.

"I had a chat with Johnny Miller at the champions dinner and he said if you look at the history of major championships, that first round is so important", said McIlroy, who started the 2011 US Open, 2012 US PGA, 2014 Open and 2014 US PGA with rounds of 65, 67, 66 and 66 respectively.

Yes, he gets tipped for pretty much every Major tournament he plays in.

It has been wonderful stuff from him this season though.

Previous year we had greens at Shinnecock Hills that wouldn't hold quality approach shots, while in 2016 Dustin Johnson won despite having a rules infringement hanging over his head for most of the final round.

For all that, elite players have emerged on top, from Jordan Spieth in 2015, to DJ a year later, and Brooks Koepka at Erin Hills and then Shinnecock 12 months ago. He did back in February by three shots, although players also play one round each at two other courses in that event. Like Rory, his big hitting won't necessarily be his biggest weapon at Pebble Beach, but Koepka's ability to tear courses apart seemingly at will have him amongst the favourites.

Can Tiger Woods rediscover US Open 2000 form?

Changeable as it is, Pebble is a pedigree, and past performances suggest precedents to watch. It was when he set his record-breaking 15-stroke win at the US Open.

Woods has already won the Masters this year and is back in contention for Major triumphs. He has had three straight top ten finishes in current form heading to the tournament and because of that isn't a bad price at 20/1 each way. The great asset that they each have is their strength in pulling things together. "Come the weekend they might let them get close to the limit, but because of what has transpired in the past, I don't foresee them pushing them to the edge at the very beginning".

On Wednesday at MGM sportsbooks, Woods was listed as the favorite to win the U.S. Open.

Renato Paratore will also be debuting at the championship while Koepka will be vying for a top spot. "We've listened to it, we've taken some of that feedback and incorporated some of it, candidly".

Patrick Cantlay is another of the strong American challengers.

Last week he placed a disappointing 50th, ending a run of three tournaments with a top-four finish.

However, the biggest story this week would be if Phil Mickelson (+4000) wins the U.S. Open for the first time to complete the career Grand Slam. There's Tiger Woods hoping to relive some past glories at the Major.

But he noted that in five prior US Opens, Pebble Beach - a scenic beauty hugging the Pacific coast, has produced notable champions. "Then we get down on a mat and do a very active, dynamic stretch for another 10 minutes".

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