The atmosphere at the Open is fantastic; you always get really big crowds and it’s on a tough course. Everybody is always so excited to be there. It has a different feel, even during the practice rounds. And I love that the towns that host the Open come out and show their spirit. It’s a point of pride for them.
As for how you approach this week, I think you still try to keep it pretty normal. Maybe try to get a little more rest. It’s a long week, and the first couple of rounds, especially, can take a very long time. You’ve got to keep mentally sharp.
The course looks fantastic. I played the front nine Monday and the back nine today, mostly spending a lot of time putting and chipping. That’s a big difference in the Open vs. a regular event: The practice time is very valuable.
If you’re at a tournament where you know the course well and have played it a lot, you just go out and play your game. At an Open, a lot of people haven’t seen the course or have only played it once or twice. So you have to do as much as you can to familiarize yourself with the course that week before the tournament starts.
Here, you don’t have to hit too many tee balls or iron shots to get ready; it’s more about the putting. There are going to be a lot of weird little putts here.
Of course, my brother Luke is my caddie. He’s great. He’s helping me get better with everything, taking all kinds of notes on the course.
My family is here with me, including my fiancé, and we are lucky; the house where we are staying is amazing. It’s like five minutes from the golf course, and it’s a very comfortable home. My fiancé and parents are great support for me, because they are just so positive.
The U.S. Open is by far my favorite tournament we play -- it’s not even close. We have a lot of great events, but I love the USGA and the Open.