US Open Preview

Written by Square in the Air

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The second golf Major of the season arrives on Thursday as the US Open tees off from Chambers Bay, a relatively new course in the Pacific Northwest state of Washington.

As usual, all eyes will be on Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. The world No.1 and No.2 will be strong favourites for the trophy. While it’s a big ask to hit his double Major-winning heights of 2014, McIlroy has still been generally imperious this year, claiming both the World Match Play and Wells Fargo Championship in May. His 12 under par final score at this year’s first Major, The Masters, would have earned him at least a playoff for the Green Jacket in 15 of the last 20 years, but in 2015 he had to be content with fourth. However, he can enter the US Open knowing that in four of the last five years the champion has come from Europe and, with this years’ links-style location lending itself to a player from his side of the Atlantic, McIlroy could be in prime position.

The US favourite – who followed up his domination at The Masters with a T-2 and T-3 at the Crowne Plaza Invitational and Memorial Tournament respectively – has an ace over his Northern Irish rival. On a course that is relatively unknown to many of the major contenders, Spieth can count on the experience of his caddie, Michael Greller, who worked at the Washington State 18-holer previously and knows the course well. Plus, Spieth goes off on Day One in a dream group that includes two-time US Open runner-up Jason Day and 2013 champion Justin Rose. With those three playing up against each other, expect golf of the highest calibre.

Chambers Bay’s only previous tournament of note was the 2010 US Amateur championship, when it became the longest course in United States Golf Association (USGA) history at 7,742 yards. This time around it could play at anything between 7,200-7,700 yards, depending on the tee positions, which could still lend itself to the big hitters. Challengers such as Day and Bubba Watson will relish the huge par fours littering the middle of the course. The 11th, 13th and 14th are the three longest in US Open history and all measure more than 530 yards.

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