California’s Monterey Peninsula this week provides the stunning backdrop for Golf’s third major of the year, as The US Open returns to perhaps its most iconic venue, Pebble Beach. Regarded by many as the most beautiful golf course in the world, it provides the perfect test for the game’s elite, many of whom have discovered a rich vein of form in recent times.
For Brooks Koepka victory would mean a remarkable three consecutive US Opens, and wins ln five of the last eight major championships. That’s a level of dominance we’ve not witnessed since Tiger Woods was at the peak of his powers. Koepka seems to have recreated the aura that surrounded Tiger in his pomp. A quiet arrogance that doesn’t seem to be affected by pressure, and has the rest of the field wondering whether it’s possible to beat him. If Koepka lifts the trophy on Sunday, it will cement his position as the very best of the new generation.
Tiger Woods himself is returning to the scene of his greatest masterpiece. At Pebble in 2000 he led the field in every statistical category, somehow reaching twelve under par, and blowing away the field by fifteen shots. It left players and pundits alike astonished, and signalled the start of an unprecedented period of success in the men’s game. If Tiger can somehow recreate anywhere near that type of form, then everybody else is almost certainly playing for second place.
Who else can be talked about?
We are beginning to see Jordan Spieth return to the sort of form that had many, perhaps prematurely, anoint him as the heir to Tiger’s throne.
Rory Mcilroy is back in the winners circle after a stunning final round 61 gave him last weeks Canadian Open Title.
Lastly Phil Mickelson goes in search of the only Major to allude him on a course he has already won at this season.
All the ingredients are in place for what should provide superb entertainment at prime-time on the West Coast of the US. Whoever comes out on top will leave their mark in golf’s history, as a major winner at one of its most famous venues.