'We all want to kick each other's butts': Hadwin excited for all-Canadian U.S. Open group
After being postponed in June due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Open is finally teeing off from Winged Foot Golf Club in New York City Thursday, marking the first time the historic tournament has been held outside of June since 1931.
The 120th U.S. Open also kicks off the majors schedule for the 2020-21 PGA Tour season, as it is the first of six majors scheduled for the season.
TSN.ca takes a look at some pertinent numbers ahead of Thursday’s start to the tournament.
The tournament returns to Winged Foot for the sixth time and first time since Phil Mickelson blew a one-shot lead on the final hole with a double bogey to lose to Geoff Ogilvy in 2006.
Sticking with Mickelson, the 50-year-old is looking for a little redemption at Winged Foot to claim his first ever U.S. Open. A win would make him the older major winner of all time and give him the career Grand Slam after having finished runner-up at the event six times.
Tiger Woods, meanwhile, continues his chase of Jack Nicklaus’ 18 career major victories this weekend. While a U.S. Open win for Woods wouldn’t catch Nicklaus – Woods sits at 15 career majors – he would pass Sam Snead for most PGA Tour titles of all time. Woods and Snead are tied for most career PGA Tour victories at 82.
A win would also be Tiger’s fourth U.S. Open crown, which would tie him for most with Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, and Willie Anderson.
Winged Foot will be a tough challenge for all 144 golfers in the field this weekend. The last time the U.S. Open was held at the Mamaroneck, NY golf club, only 12 rounds were recorded under par through all four rounds. Ogilvy’s winning score of 5-over was the highest score by a champion since 1974, when Hale Irwin won at 7-over, also at Winged Foot.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is entering the U.S. Open playing some of the best golf of his career. Johnson has finished first or second in each of his last four starts, including his win at the Tour Championship.
The only previous No. 1 ranked golfer to win the U.S. Open is Woods, who did so on three separate occasions (2000, 2002, and 2008).
Johnson is looking for his second U.S. Open title and second career major, having previously won the tournament in 2016. The 36-year-old has the fifth most PGA Tour wins (23) by a golfer with one-or-fewer major victories. He’s finished runner-up in majors five times in his career, behind only Mickelson for most by any golfer in the past 15 years.
World No. 2 Jon Rahm will also enter the tournament playing well. Rahm, who has already won twice since the PGA Tour’s spring hiatus, has 11 wins on the PGA and European Tour since turning pro in January 2017, tied with Justin Thomas and behind only Johnson’s 12 wins in that span.
Rahm is looking to become the fourth Spanish player to win a major but first to win the U.S. Open. Spanish players to have won majors include Sergio Garcia (2017 Masters), Jose Maria Olazabal (1994, 1999 Masters), and Seve Ballesteros (1980, 1983 Masters; 1979, 1984, 1988 Open Championship).
And finally, Thomas, the World No. 3, is entering the tournament on a hot streak as well. Thomas is tied with Johnson for most wins on the PGA Tour over the last five seasons with 13.
His performances at majors haven’t been as strong however. While Thomas has a major title to his name (2017 PGA Championship), he only has one Top 10 finish in his last eight major starts, and only one Top 20 finish at five career appearances at the U.S. Open.