On Thursday, the second major of the shortened golf season will see the US Open contested in New York. The tournament will be held at the delightfully named Winged Foot Golf Course.
The US Open used to follow the US Masters as the second major of the year, but last year was third of the four staged. Having lost the Open Championship from the rota, the US Open is the second of three majors.
US Open back at Winged Foot after 14 years
This years US Open will be the 120th edition and returns to the venue last used in 2006.
The course is a par 70 and will be the sixth time the US Open has been staged there. With flat narrow fairways, thick rough, raised greens and plenty of bunkers the course is an absolute brute.
Could there be another surprise winner this time around
Last year’s US Open produced a surprise when American Gary Woodland won with a score of 13 under. It is very doubtful anybody will get that close this week, but in golf you never know.
As always, this week the course will be a real test for all golfers competing. To win a US Open you need to find plenty of greens and avoid the dreaded big bunkers.
No Koepka this year, but plenty of talent on show
Brooks Koepka is out injured this year, but he has finished first and second in the past three US Opens. The 2003 champion Jim Furyk was runner up four years ago and that was his seventh top five finish.
Australian Jason Day has finished inside the top ten in five of his nine US Open appearances. Brandt Snedeker also likes this event after finishing inside the top 11 six times.
Not forgetting Ernie Els who has finished first, second, third, fourth and fifth twice. And how can we not forget Phil Mickelson who has finished second no less than six times.
Can anyone stop Dustin Johnson
Firm favourite for this weeks event has to be Dustin Johnson. DJ is in immaculate form having finished 1st and 2nd twice in recent events. Johnson has also won the event back in 2016 by three strokes from the field. The World Number One is without question the man to beat
It is surely only a matter of time before Spaniard Jon Rahm bags a major. He arrives at Winged Foot in fine fettle having won two of his last six starts.
Justin Thomas is a massive talent, but his form has been patchy of late. However, he has finished in the top three in three of his last seven starts. He won the FedEx St Jude last month and must be fancied to go well.
New dad McIlroy needs to be more consistent
New father Rory McIlroy needs to put four consistent rounds of golf behind him to be in with a chance of winning.
Xander Schauffele is another player who could go well around Winged Foot this week. He has never finished lower than sixth in three previous US Opens.
Whoever gets to hold the coveted trophy come Sunday will know they would have had to have played well for four days. This is a course that is never friendly to anybody at the best of times.