Six weeks ago, after playing 27 holes at Oakmont Country Club, Jordan Spieth said he would sign for even par right then and take his chances at defending his U.S. Open title. After a gusty practice round on Sunday and again on Monday (the first day fans were allowed on the course) Spieth thinks scores most likely will be higher and was talking 2 over par as a possible winning score or more. He has said both Tuesday and again on Wednesday that the course would not yield any scores in the red going into the final Sunday round on Father’s Day. With weather conditions expected to be a challenge on Thursday and Friday, Jordan may well be right with rain and wind moving in overnight.
Phil Mickelson on Wednesday talked about only hitting 4-5 drivers on this course which is far less than he would like to. Driver will bring too much trouble into play on too many holes. For most of these holes, the penalty far outweighs the reward. Mickelson is looking to keep the ball in play and take his chances with his excellent short game. While Phil tops the “Heartache List” with 6 runner up finishes at the Open, two more than any player in history. Some of his near misses are the most memorable moments in golf history from Pinehurst to Winged Foot. In 2007 Phil missed the cut with a wrist injury that happened a few weeks before the event practicing in the heavy rough. 2007 at Oakmont and 1992 at Pebble Beach were Phil’s only missed cuts in the U.S. Open in 25 appearances. Phil turns 46 on Tomorrow as the first day begins he would be the oldest U.S. Open winner in history.
There is a lot of chatter about the 17th hole which will play from 277 yards top 300 yards. Once again a short hole may play a pivotal part in winning or losing this years event. The temptation to go for the green may bait players into a scenario that could end up producing more bogies and double bogies on another short U.S. Open hole. Ben Hogan drove the 17th in 1953 and won, so did Palmer and Nicklaus in 1962 making eagle, Nicklaus again in 1973. In 2007 Jim Furyk tried to drive 17, made a bogey and lost to Angel Cabrera.
Jason Day made it clear that he would be hitting an iron on 17 and as well on 1,2, 3, 5, 10, 11, 14, 15, that 9 of 18 holes at Oakmont. One thing is for sure Oakmont is ready like it always is for the PGA Tour and for the 6th straight decade a U.S. Open will be played at Oakmont Country Club. Today while the Pittsburgh Penguins ( Better Known as The Pens to Locals) celebrated the Stanley Cup Championship for 2016 with their fans with a parade attended by more the 350,000 fans PGA Tour Players got their last look at the course before the starting tee time tomorrow.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?