Off The Tee: 2017 U.S. Open Preview
It may be the 117th U.S. Open, but it will have a very 'new' feel to it as golf's second major this year heads into uncharted territory for the first U.S. Open ever contested in the state of Wisconsin.
The venue for this year's open is Erin Hills, in Hartford (35 miles northwest of Milwaukee). The course opened in 2006 and, like all U.S. Open host courses, is a public course. But with green fees of $280 per round, it's likely most of the general public will never play here.
It's got some length to it (7,800 yards), with each of the four par-fives measuring more than 600 yards.
But the two things that have people talking are the wind and the rough.
The wind could really come into play on this wide open course and greatly change the makeup of things if it dries out the already treacherous greens.
Meanwhile, players don't tee off until Thursday (June 15), but some are already angry about the long rough, which has been described as 'knee high fescue'.
As for who's going to win at Erin Hills, the betting odds are with Dustin Johnson (6-to-1) and Rory McIlroy (9-to-1). Although McIlroy is coming off a rib injury and will be playing with a new putter.
Jordan Spieth is a 10-to-1 pick. Jon Rahm is 16-to-1. Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Rose are 20-to-1.
Phil Mickelson made headlines late last month when he said he was skipping the U.S. Open to attend his daughter's high school graduation in San Diego. Now, Phil says he might play, but would need a schedule change from the school or a major rain delay to pull off that miracle.
That comes on the heels of Phil seriously contending at last weekend's St. Jude Classic, before finishing three-over par on the final two holes in round three Saturday.
Joel and I also discuss:
- Daniel Berger's second straight FedEx St. Jude Classic win, despite a less than stellar start to his final round.
- A recent Golf Digest article quotes an anonymous PGA Tour professional about a current player on tour who just happens to be a 'notorious cheater'. I asked Joel if this 'revelation' was surprising.
Here is our complete conversation: