First impressions of Pebble Beach setup for U.S. Open Lush
Geoff Shackelford Golfweek
13 June, 2019, 18:55
But the build up to the 119th US Open at cherished Pebble Beach Golf Links has included rumbles of discontent over recent miscues stretching back to the shocking condition of the greens at Chambers Bay in 2015 and including the 2016 rules debacle at Oakmont, which saw eventual victor Dustin Johnson play the last seven holes without being certain of his score.
Not that the 29-year-old appears to be particularly concerned about writing his name in the history books. I'm on the golf course sometimes and I'm thinking negative things.
"I think, as most of you know, we do provide different looks to players, different angles, different tees", Rodenhamer said. "It's hard to win the same event three times in a row".
McIlroy inadvertently returned the compliment by handing Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum his putter at the ceremony as the four-time major victor played up to the crowd, donning the jersey and shouting "Raptors in five", in relation to the seven-game series.
But it was past year at Shinnecock Hills where player rage peaked when Phil Mickelson deliberately hit a moving ball on the 13th green to protest at what he deemed an unfair hole location.
Mickelson can join the company with which golf fans are more familiar - Woods, Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen are the only players to win all four of the modern majors.
Certainly, the USGA knows what challenges await with the U.S. Open being staged on the iconic layout for a sixth time.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland holds his press conference at the 2019 U.S. Open golf tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links. All eyes are on Brooks Koepka, who is looking to win his third straight U.S. Open and fifth major - all since 2017. Getting here early and playing the course on Sunday was a good idea, too.
"If you look at the length of this golf course, and it's obviously not one of the longest golf courses that we play all year, but there's so many approach shots, if you do drive it well, between sort of 130 and 150 yards, obviously there's some approach shots that are much longer than that as well, but I just wanted to give myself every possible option in terms of yardages and shots that I could play".
Tiger Woods would like to: He could write another chapter in an incredible comeback that culminated with a win at the Masters this year. "I expect Tiger to be in the hunt on the weekend". "I got out of the Tiger-doubting business in April", he explained.
"I'll be obviously an interested onlooker this week [of the finals, which Raptors now lead 3-2 heading into Game 6] and it's a nice distraction from what we're doing, " said McIlroy.
Johnson looks for atonement from his U.S. Open meltdown at Pebble Beach.
McIlroy's victory in Canada made him one of the favourites for the title alongside defending champion Brooks Koepka, two-time AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am victor Dustin Johnson and Masters champion Tiger Woods. Many will be placing traditional 2019 U.S. Open bets on who comes out on top at week's end, but with 156 players vying for the title, there are plenty of other ways to cash in.
The win at the Canadian Open was McIlroy's second of the year, but his last major success came in 2014. While the Floridian might not have got the same recognition of some his peers, Murray believes he remains the favorite.
"But how could you not like this place and get good vibes, especially the last couple of days with the weather we've had".
But the national skipper missed Tuesday night's qualifier against Belgium - a tie Scotland lost 3-0 - due to a hamstring injury. In contrast to his club form, the former Toffee has scored seven goals in his last six appearances for Belgium .
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