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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 15: Phil Mickelson of the United States plays his shot from the second tee during a practice round prior to the start of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course on June 15, 2021 in San Diego, California. (Photo : Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
We’re just one day away from the year’s second golfing major, and excitement is building for the toughest test in golf. A total of 156 players will participate in the 121st edition of the US Open Golf Championship that will be staged at the historic Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, California.
Some $12.5 million will be at stake for the 156-man field who will have to navigate the tough 7,600 yards, par-71 South course.
Can Lefty finally win the US Open?
All eyes will be on Phil Mickelson as he looks to finally claim his maiden US Open title and achieve a career Grand Slam. He has come so close to recording that feat, finishing runner-up a whopping six times in this event, a US Open record. There’s no better time for Mickelson to break his duck than now, as he is playing some of the best golf of his career at the moment.
Mickelson made history in the recently concluded PGA Championship, becoming the oldest major championship winner after recording a stunning victory at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.
Lefty turned back the hands of time last month, grabbing a two-stroke win over Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen and becoming a major champion at the grand old age of 50.
Mickelson, who will turn 51 on Wednesday, will look to break that record with a victory this week at Torrey Pines, which is only minutes away from his San Diego home.
He has won three times here before but has not tasted victory since the golf course underwent a major renovation in 2001. No doubt Mickelson will be the crowd favorite when the tournament tees off this coming Thursday.
Rahm and DeChambeau primed for US Open glory
Another guy who’s primed to take home his first US Open title this week is Jon Rahm. He’s no doubt the best player in the field this week who has yet to win a major.
The 26-year-old Spaniard has been playing some excellent golf at the moment, finishing in the top-10 in six of his last nine PGA Tour appearances, including top-10s at the Players Championship, the Masters, and the PGA Championship.
He should have won in his last start in the Memorial Tournament, but a positive COVID test denied Rahm a famous victory. He had a six-shot lead going into Sunday’s final round but was forced to withdraw after the third round because of COVID-19.
He will look to make amends this week and grab his first major win. Rahm has finished in the top 10 in three of the last five major championships, including a tie for third at the US Open two years ago.
Another player who will be in the mix this week is defending champion Bryson DeChambeau. He destroyed the field in last year’s US Open, winning by six strokes at Winged Foot.
He will look to replicate that performance this week and erase the poor showings he has produced thus far in the year’s first two majors. DeChambeau finished tied for 46th at the Masters and landed just inside the top 40 at the PGA Championship this year.
He will not be paired, though, with archrival Brooks Koepka after the USGA decided to keep them apart in the opening two rounds of this week’s US Open.
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