The U.S. Open begins Thursday at Chamber’s Bay in University Place, Washington, and Tiger Woods, who tees off at 5:28 p.m. ET, continues to garner a great deal of attention.
More attention than Rory McIlroy and more attention than Jordan Spieth.
Amy Lawrence doesn’t know why.
“Yeah, the 195th ranked golfer in the world should not be the top storyline, probably,” CBSSports.com golf writer Kyle Porter said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I think it’s interesting because . . . if Jordan Spieth or Rory McIlroy wins this tournament – the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the world – they will currently hold all four majors. Rory has currently the British Open and the PGA Championship. Jordan has the Masters, so it would be really interesting if the top two players in the world held all four majors.
“But there’s a ton of storylines,” Porter continued. “Phil Mickelson going for the career grand slam, seeing if a guy like Bubba Watson – who has struggled outside of Augusta National – can contend for kind of a different, kind of a unique, major like the U.S. Open. It’s going to be a really fascinating event. And this course, the way it’s set up with how many variables there are, it’s going to be really interesting to see who ends up on top this weekend.”
Spieth, who tees off at 5:17 p.m., will play in his first major since winning the Masters in April.
“He’s played very well (since then),” Porter said. “He almost won at Colonial and Fort Worth. He almost won at Memorial at Jack Nicklaus’ event. He shot a 65 on Sunday and nearly came from like eight strokes down to win that tournament. So it’s not like he won the Masters and then kind of fell off. He’s played very well, finished top five a couple times. I think he’s still leading the tour in top-10 finishes on the season. He’s had a very good run. I don’t think anybody would be surprised if he ended up winning Chambers Bay this weekend.”
McIlroy, meanwhile, remains the top-ranked golfer in the world, but he’s been a little up and down lately. Still, he’s more than capable of winning his fifth major.
And winning it all McIlroy cares about.
He recently said that he’d rather have three wins and three missed cuts in a six-week stretch than six top-10 finishes.
“I get that,” Porter said. “It’s all about wins. He’s missed his last two cuts. He missed a cut at the Irish Open and the BMW PGA championship – both European Tour events. But before that, he won the Match Play Championship and then won at the Wells Fargo Championship. Shot a 61 there and really won going away. He’s kind of all or nothing . . . (but) somebody could run away with this, and he’s definitely one of those handful of guys that could do it.”