SOUTHAMPTON, New York – Professional golfers from 26 countries worldwide will compete from Thursday in the US Open – the second biggest competition of the season – at the historic Shinnecock Hills golf course in New York state against 87 US golfers who come to defend the title.
The US Open trophy has stayed at home with the Americans for the last three seasons, thanks to the victories of Brooks Koepka in 2017, Dustin Johnson in 2016 and Jordan Spieth in 2015. Another victory in 2018 will mean a lot to the American team, who will also defend another title in the Ryder Cup against the European team at the end of September in Paris.
The US, first seeded in the world ranking, has a long list of golf legends in its team such as Phil Mickelson, who has won all the big tournaments except the US Open, and Tiger Woods, who has won 14 majors, three of them US Open.
“He’s playing good enough golf to win a tournament at any point in time,” Spieth said of Tiger Woods, who achieved his last US Open victory a decade ago, after a historic tiebreaker in Torrey Pines, California.
In response to the praise from his compatriots, Woods said of Mickelson “that short game of his is off the charts. A US Open is about wedging. He can spray it a little bit here and there, but you have to be able to get it up and down from 100 yards,” adding “he’s been one of the best of all-time at doing that.”
Although Mickelson, 47, has got close to achieve a title in recent years, he won his last major five years ago.
No one over 45 years of age has yet won the US Open. Besides the Americans, several young golf players leading in the world ranking such as England’s Justin Rose (3), Spain’s Jon Rahm (5), and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (6) also have a good chance to win the 2018 US Open title.