The U.S. Open begins Thursday, with golfers facing an unusual test: the Merion Golf Club East Course, which has not hosted the tournament since 1981, and whose 6,996 yards make for the first sub-7,000 Open since 2004. Adding another twist is the weather; heavy rains suspended practice earlier in the week, and the course is expected to be especially soft when players tee off. Tiger Woods will look to resume his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' all-time majors record at this U.S. Open, but whether he rises above the muck or gets bogged down in it remains to be seen.
Win for Woods?
He's without a major victory since the 2008 U.S. Open, but Tiger Woods already has four wins in 2013. The streak must end sometime ... right?
Phil Mickelson reportedly will attend his daughter's eighth-grade graduation Wednesday in San Diego, then fly back overnight to make his tee time early on Thursday morning.
Tiger Woods and caddie Steve Williams -- yeah, they've got history, both good and bad. And they're paired together, so to speak, as Williams' new employer (Masters champ Adam Scott) will play at least two days with Woods.
Memorial champion Matt Kuchar enters the week ranked fourth in the world -- but he's never won a major. Same for Justin Rose (fifth), Luke Donald (sixth), Brandt Snedeker (seventh) and the long-suffering Sergio Garcia (15th).
First came his feud with Tiger Woods at The Players Championship, then an inflammatory comment about Woods shortly after. Will Sergio Garcia be able to put the controversy behind him?
More than five inches of rain has fallen on Merion recently, softening the course and making it ripe for low numbers.