The waves are crashing, the rough is up, the greens are small, and the players are ornery… must be time for the U.S. Open! Brooks Koepka looks to win his third straight national title as the 119th U.S. Open Championship gets underway at Pebble Beach.
Life’s a beach
The U.S. Open heads back to Pebble Beach for the first time since 2010. It will be the sixth U.S. Open held on the property. Tiger Woods and Graeme McDowell are the last two to win the event at Pebble, and both are in the field this week. Tee Times
As mentioned in the intro, Brooks Koepka heads to Pebble with his sights set on three U.S. Open titles in a row. He won in 2017 at Erin Hills and defended his title at Shinnecock last year. Although Brooks ended up the champion, the lasting memories from the event will forever be the golf course drama. From high scores to Zach Johnson interviews to Phil Mickelson hitting a moving ball, the 2018 U.S. Open was one for the record books.
Brooks was here – All major championship storylines will involve Brooks Koepka for the foreseeable future. Koepka has won each of the last two U.S. Opens, the last two PGA Championships, and is among the betting favorites this week. He did not have his best showing last week in Canada, but there is no doubt that Brooks could win this week.
USGA – As with every U.S. Open, the setup is expected to create drama. This year is under even more scrutiny after the recent Golf Digest article in which players and coaches bludgeoned the USGA. All eyes will be on the USGA and all ears will be on the players as fans and media await an action-packed weekend.
Tiger – The Big Cat returns to the site of the most dominant win of his career, a 15-shot triumph at the 2000 U.S. Open. Tiger has only played in two events since his Masters victory but showed some solid form at the Memorial two weeks ago.
Demons – Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson have been discussed as potential winners this week, but both will have to overcome some mental hurdles if they are to hit the jackpot. DJ famously shot a final-round 82 at the 2010 championship, an event he led by three through 54 holes. Phil notoriously has six runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open but has won five times at Pebble Beach.
New Faces – There are plenty of new names for the casual golf fan, as 15 amateurs and some newly turned professionals will take on Pebble. A few to pay close attention to are Collin Morikawa, Victor Hovland, Chun An (Kevin) Yu, and Austin Eckroat. Hovland won the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach last summer, and Morikawa is coming off his first week as a pro, in which he finished T-14 at the Canadian Open.
Course – The most iconic U.S. Open venue is in primo shape for this year’s event. The weather is absolutely perfect in Monterey and a wet spring has yielded thick healthy rough and wonderful fairway and green conditions. Given the forecast and the shape of the course as of now, it’s tough to imagine the course being part of any drama this weekend.
Speaking of the course – On the website, Garrett Morrison investigates how Pebble Beach continues to challenge the world’s best golfers even after 100 years of existence. What it comes down to, he thinks, is sloping fairways and well-designed green complexes. Read Garrett’s article here.
The U.S. Open heads to a familiar course but Paulie doesn’t put that much stock in AT&T performance for this year’s U.S. Open. Check out his picks here.
Live from the Bixby House: Pebble’s prepped, Brooksy’s mad, and Bryson’s friction values
It’s U.S. Open eve and we are live again from the Bixby House for a full week of daily pods. This Wednesday episode focuses on the course conditioning after walking Pebble the last couple days and the test that it will present for the best in the world. Can the USGA screw this course up and if so, how? The test, however it goes, may not sit well with one player, who is concerned setups have become a “physics issue” and that the “friction values” on the greens are just not what they need to be. Then we get into another tour de force Brooks Koepka press conference on FOX slights, whiny players, and how no one in the field can beat him. We have some intel about the FOX promo he’s so mad about and how it all may be a made up motivational tactic. We also address Tiger’s chances this week, Brandel getting aboard Andy’s hot take train on Phil Mickelson, and if Jason Day might drive up to the Bay Area to offer Kevin Durant a balloon to heal his injury. Listen on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher.
Episode 142: Pebble Beach with Garrett Morrison
The Fried Egg’s Managing Editor Garrett Morrison joins the podcast to talk about his new role with The Fried Egg and this week’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Garrett and Andy discuss what makes Pebble Beach a great golf course and a championship test that has endured 100 years. Listen on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher.
With a major week, Andy Johnson opened up the mailbag to answer your burning questions from U.S. Open setup to sleeper picks. Read the full mailbag here.
The Web.com Tour gets started in Springfield, IL, for the Lincoln Land Championship. Tee Times
The ladies head up to Michigan for the Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids. Tee Times