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J.Ross: Golf’s Second Major Will Be Must Watch TV

(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

The second major of the year is about to start from Shinnecock Hills in New York.  The 118th US Open will test a very talented field from Thursday through Sunday.  This year there are so many story lines that will make this event a must see.  Here are a few things to keep your eye on when the event tees off on Thursday.

The Course:

In the history of the US Open the course usually ends up being the star.  The conditions are almost always extremely difficult.  Thick rough, fast greens, and narrow fairways make for the professionals to be on their game over all 72 holes.  Sometimes the course can make the skilled look like novices and the scores near par find themselves in contention.  Last time the major was at Shinnecock in 2004 only 2 golfers finished under par, Phil Mickelson and the eventual winner Retief Goosen.

The Feel Good Choices:

Speaking of Phil Mickelson he has come so close so many times at the US Open but has never prevailed.  Lefty may be running out of time and his game may not quite be as sharp as the favorites.  The crowd would support Phil if he made a run but at this point it doesn’t seem likely.  Tiger Woods is always on everybody’s radar.  Tiger has had a good year but hasn’t played in the US Open in a few years.  He has to be sharp all the way through his 4 days.  Tiger has not shown that ability so far but does appear close.  Imagine the drama if Tiger was in the hunt on Sunday. One more feel good choice is Rickie Fowler.  Fowler has flirted with winning at several majors but has yet to break through.  His game is there he just needs that break.  If any of these three had a shot on Sunday the event would be epic.

The Favorites:

Dustin Johnson is the world number one and just won last week.  He hits long and straight.  His iron game is sharp and his putting has been solid.  He has all the tools to win this major and many more.  Rory McIlroy seems to be a bit of the forgotten man to me.  He is so complete and has the skill set to win any tournament.  Justin Rose is also a bit under appreciated.  He is now the number three ranked golfer in the world and has the mental approach that you need to tackle a US OPEN.  Jason Day and Jordan Speith should always be considered and could be huge threats this weekend.

No matter how the 4 day event goes it will be fun to watch the best in the world battle the course and their own game.  The beauty of this sport and this tournament is that it can be any of the names that I mentioned above or a first time major winner.  Jon Rahm, Branden Grace, Tommy Fleetwood or someone completely off the radar.  All I hope is that Sunday gives us a leaderboard filled with a variety of things to root for.  I hope we see a feel good choice, a favorite, a first timer and an underdog.  No matter what it will be must see tv.