The U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2: Excitement in the Golf Industry
Jun 6, 2014
Storylines are never in short supply when it comes to the United States Open Championship, and this year’s second major golf championship of the year is no different. One of the game’s most popular players Phil Mickelson is under federal investigation for possible insider trading, as he pursues his first U.S. Open Championship. Often anointed as the next superstar, Rory McIlroy recently split from longtime girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki and his play has been either really bad or really good in the past few rounds. Lastly, Tiger Woods will remain stuck on 14 major victories due to his recovery from back surgery. And those are just the off-the-course headlines!
On the course, Pinehurst No. 2 to be specific, golfers will need all of their skills to be in top form to tame the Donald J. Ross course. Ever strategic in nature, this Ross design provides players with decisions, but they need to be committed to each choice and each shot. The heavily undulating greens will undoubtedly produce three putts galore, especially if the temperatures rise and the greens dry out. Considering the tradition and style of U.S. Open golf, who are the favorites heading into the week?
The Master: Bubba Watson is fresh off his second Masters victory in April. If he’s able to drive the ball as straight as he did at Augusta and mitigate the length of Pinehurst No. 2, he is certainly a leading candidate to win another major.
The Next Big Thing: Jordan Spieth, at only 20 years old, has already shown he has what it takes to compete on the weekend in big tournaments. If he can get a couple breaks and make momentum shots down the stretch on Sunday, he will have the opportunity to win his first major.
Rising Star: Hideki Matsuyama should be coming into the U.S. Open on a hot streak. He just won the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, and Jack Nicklaus had some high acclaim for the young Japanese star. If he can get off to a solid start, he could put a lot of pressure on the leaders on the weekend.
The Elusive Victory: Phil Mickelson has desperately wanted to win a U.S. Open Championship. He puts a lot of pressure on himself when he plays in this tournament. Now he has the outside pressure of a federal investigation. If he can put the distractions aside, he could put that focus in the right direction and win his elusive major.
The Unknown: Seemingly with every major championship, we see some relatively unknown names pop up on the leaderboard. Most of the time, they fade away as quickly as they rise, but who could be the one to burst onto the golf scene this year?
Whether it’s one of the predicted favorites or a newcomer, there will undoubtedly be endless drama and excitement at the U.S. Open. It’s a timeless tournament that will be played on a timeless golf course this year. Don’t miss a thrilling birdie or heartbreaking double bogey.