SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — The season’s second major opens Thursday at Shinnecock Hills, with all the big names seemingly primed to make something happen. Can Dustin Johnson win two weeks in a row and continue the American dominance in majors? Can Phil Mickelson make one more U.S. Open run and grab the major that has eluded him all these years? Is it Rickie Fowler‘s time? Will Rory McIlroy‘s two-week golf trip on Long Island — he’s played seemingly every big-name course in and around the area during his extended stay — result in a second U.S. Open? Oh, and what about Tiger Woods? Is the major that now seems the toughest for him to win — the demanding, one-big-mistake-will-do-you-in major — be the one where he breaks through?
American have been atop the leaderboard at each of the past four majors. Will that trend continue at this U.S. Open? Andrew Redington/Getty Images
All the majors in the same place
A quick peek at the Official World Golf Rankings shows the sport is in diverse hands. Seven different countries are represented in the top 20. So you’d think the titles would be distributed throughout the world, right? Actually, no. Right now, the U.S. has its hands on all four major titles as this U.S. Open kicks off. Brooks Koepka is the defending champion here. Patrick Reed won the Masters in April. Justin Thomas closed the 2017 major season by winning the PGA Championship and Jordan Spieth claimed The Open last year with a wild Sunday finish at Carnoustie.
The all-U.S. major run marks the first time since 2003-’04 that Americans have had all four — Jim Furyk (U.S. Open), Ben Curtis (The Open), Shaun Micheel (PGA Championship), Phil Mickelson (Masters) — at the same time. Before that, Americans held all four majors in 2000-’01 when Woods held all four after completing the Tiger Slam.
Don’t bet on the favorite
Looking at the odds and trying to figure out who has the best shot to take home the trophy? Well, don’t look at the favorite.
The last time the betting favorite took home the title was 2008, when Tiger Woods limped around Torrey Pines on a broken leg and held off Rocco Mediate in a Monday playoff for what was Woods’ last major title. According to ESPN Stats & Information, in the 39 majors since …read more