The US Open could be the best tournament of the PGA Tour season (is that a hot take?). The Masters flaunts Augusta National, The Open visits the birthplace of the sport and showcases superb links golf courses, and the PGA Championship is, well….The PGA Championship is the PGA Championship.
The US Open is golf’s version of Game of Thrones’ Red Wedding. Carnage for anyone and everyone and it doesn’t matter what your name is. Punishing rough, greens like glass, and it’s mesmerizing to watch. The Phil Mickelson double on 18 at Winged Foot was equally as painful and shocking as watching Walder Frey exact revenge on House Stark by pumping Robb full of arrows.
Now if you haven’t seen the show or that episode by now then what are you doing with your life? No apologies coming from me for spoilers or if you don’t get the reference. It’s the greatest show on earth (not a hot take).
Brought to you by Phil Mickelson because his storyline is always the biggest going into this thing.
- Shinnecock Hills will play host this week. A favourite course of many golf fanatics, it recently hosted in 2004 where Retief Goosen edged out (you guessed it) Phil Mickelson for the Championship.
- This is the 118th instalment of America’s Championship. Phil has finished runner-up in a record 6 of them.
- Phil will celebrate his 48th birthday this coming Saturday. I can think of a good way to celebrate such an occasion…
We could also easily make a drinking game over the week based on how many different times Phil’s name will come up on the broadcast:
- Drink if the “record 6 runner-up finishes” are mentioned.
- Drink if any of the 6 runner up finishes get mentioned.
- 1999 at Pinehurst, 2002 at Bethpage, 2004 at Shinnecock, 2006 at Winged Foot, 2009 at Bethpage, 2013 at Merion.
- Drink if someone mentions “completing the career grand slam”.
- Drink if the interview of Phil at Winged Foot is shown. (Phil you’re not an idiot to me!)
Reading this article alone we are already at a couple drinks. But as a Phil fan and fellow left handed player it hurts yet, we’ll be rooting for him to complete the Career Grand Slam anyway. Drink!
Looking to Claim the Iron Throne
Justin Rose – World #3
As the kids say, he had a FIRE start to the season during the fall events which prompted most to think he was set up for huge year on Tour. A win at The Fort Worth Invitational has me thinking #TeamRose will definitely be in the mix.
Jordan Spieth – World #4
I think we all have learned don’t count this guy out of a Major Championship.
Dustin Johnson – (New) World #1
I refuse to write anything that might suggest that this man will win another major championship but I know he’ll be a popular pick after his St. Jude Classic win and reclaiming his World Number 1 spot. UGGGGHHHHHGGHGH I pray he doesn’t win.
So who makes it out alive at Shinnecock?
I’m going with Hideki Matsuyama. The guy is just too good to not have a Major Championship under his belt. An injury to begin his season definitely got him off to a slow start but recently the Japanese phenom has shown some decent form.
The guy is a straight up mystery though. A faceless man if you will. Did he hit a good or bad shot? His reaction never truly indicates. What does he think about when he pauses at the top of his golf swing? What is going on behind those ridiculous sunglasses? Regardless, #neilerknows Hideki has the game to take home some hardware this weekend.
I had a lot of fun nerding out and throwing some Game of Thrones references in this week’s article. Any Throne’s fans out there? Who do you have overcoming the test of a US Open, triumphant at Shinnecock and leaving a Major Champion on Sunday? Let me know by interacting with @GolfLifeAB and @10Neiler on Twitter.