The US Open returns to Maryland
The 111th version of the US Open takes place at the Congressional Country Club in Maryland on June 16th week and the famous tournament is generally regarded as the toughest golf major of them all. To win the US Open, it’s going to take a lot of skill combined with mental toughness, a great short game, a cool temperament, and quite a bit of patience.
The course has only hosted the US Open twice before in its history with Ken Venturi winning it in 1964 and Ernie Els being victorious back in 1997. However, things are a little bit different this time around as the course has changed over the past 14 years.
The par-71 Congressional course has undergone some changes and it will measure a total of 7564 yards from the back tees. Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, the defending US Open champion played a practice round there recently and said that nobody will be able to break par because the course is pretty difficult to master.
As usual, it’s going to be pretty hard to predict a winner. But there’s a good chance it’s going to be somebody who’s claiming his first Major victory. The four current Major champions are all first-time winners and six out of the past eight US Open winners were first timers. Only Retief Goosen in 2004 and Tiger Woods in 2008 had won the US Open trophy before.
Once again we’re finding great odds at Oddsmaker for the 2011 U.S. Open.
However, Woods won’t be playing this weekend and many experts are picking Lee Westwood to hoist the trophy when all is said and done. He should get some tough competition from Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlory, Matt Kuchar and Luke Donald. It’s the first time Woods, who’s currently ranked number 15 in the world, will miss the US Open in 14 years.
The 38-year-old Westwood of England is ranked number two and has been in excellent form lately. He came in second at Wentworth and claimed a European Tour win in May at the Ballantines Championship. He also took the Indonesian Masters a week before that by three strokes. He placed third at the US Open in 2008 and was tied for fifth back in 2000.
Donald, also of England, is currently ranked number one after winning the PGA Tour event at Wentworth. The 41-year-old Mickelson is ranked third and he’s no stranger to winning Majors as he’s taken a US PGA tournament and three Masters so far in his career. He’s never won the US Open, but has finished runner up a record five times.
Twenty-two-year-old Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland was leading the Masters until collapsing on the final day and there’s a chance he could make up for it here at the Congressional.
McDowell has been on the downswing since winning last year’s US Open and hasn’t won a Euro Tour or PGA in the past year. He also missed the cut for the Masters.
Martin Kaymer and current Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel could also be in the running for the 2011 US Open if they play to their potentials.
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