The United States Golf Association brands the U.S. Open as “golf’s toughest test,” and more often than not, it proves to be true.
In 2011, however, Rory McIlroy laughed right in the face of that moniker en route to one of the most dominating Open victories in history.
The Northern Irishman obliterated the field by eight shots, setting or tying 12 Open records along the way. But it wasn’t just McIlroy, as 20 players finished under par, the second-most in tournament history. Read More
With rapidly evolving equipment, professional golfers are driving the ball farther than what was humanly possible 14 years ago when the Olympic Club last hosted the U.S. Open. But when Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy tee off at the Lake Course on Thursday, they’ll confront a course that could be more challenging than it was in 1998.
USGA officials may have added only 357 yards since then, but changes throughout the course will ensure that it’s the most rigorous golf tournament this year. Read More
There’s always someone emphasizing the negative, someone reluctant to acknowledge success, someone who looks at what Rory McIlroy did in last year’s U.S. Open, lapping the field as it were, and suggests the course wasn’t that difficult or the other golfers went about things improperly.
Who cares? Maybe Congressional Country Club outside Washington, D.C., was too wet and too wide to provide a perfect Open test. Maybe the rest of the pros didn’t bring their games. McIlroy, then a 22-year-old, brought a game both remarkable and record-setting. Read More
Stephen Ames and Joe Durant were among nine players who booked their places at next week’s U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco in a weather-delayed sectional qualifier in Memphis on Tuesday.
A heavy thunderstorm on Monday had forced the 36-hole qualifier into a second day before Ames and Durant finally emerged among the fortunate nine, posting matching totals of 8-under-par 134.
PGA Tour rookie Tommy Biershenk led the way at 9-under-par. Read More
James Hahn didn’t even want to sleep Sunday night, or Monday morning, more accurately.
He feared shut-eye might make him lose his mojo.
After winning his first Nationwide Tour event at the Rex Hospital Open in Raleigh, N.C., on Sunday, Hahn boarded a 7:45 p.m. flight and made a stop in Atlanta before pulling into San Francisco International Airport at 12:30 a.m. Monday. Read More
As if the U.S. Open needed any additional story lines, it may have received its best one yet Monday.
Casey Martin, the former Stanford golfer and current Oregon golf coach, qualified for the Open at the Olympic Club on June 14-17 by winning the sectional qualifier in Creswell, Ore., by one shot.
Martin’s only other appearance in a major came in 1998, when Olympic last hosted the event. Martin created a firestorm when he successfully sued the PGA Tour to use a cart in competition due to a birth defect that makes it hard for him to walk. He wound up finishing 23rd in ’98. Read More
Tiger Woods overhauled a fading Spencer Levin and a charging Rory Sabbatini with a few moments of magic to win his 73rd PGA Tour title by two shots at the Memorial Tournament on Sunday.
He began the final day four strokes behind the pacesetting Levin and made a fast start before taking control with a spectacular finish that included a chip-in for birdie at the 16th that was lavishly praised by tournament host Jack Nicklaus. Read More
It was 1985 when Chris Stein last got his crack at a chance to play in the U.S. Open.
He was 22 then, and in the Southern California city of Temecula for the Open sectional qualifier. Stein needed to shoot 3-under-par in his last nine holes to advance.
“Didn’t quite do it,” Stein said. “But here I am back now.” Read More
After Monday’s grueling sectional qualifier at Lake Merced Golf Club and TPC Harding Park, it will be quite a short road to this year’s U.S. Open.
About three miles, to be exact.
About 130 golfers, including dozens of local competitors, will tee it up and putt their way through two 18-hole rounds Monday in hopes of qualifying for the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club on June 14-17. Read More
Tiger Woods is quite familiar with the Olympic Club from his college days at Stanford and having played the 1998 U.S. Open at the venue. But even that prior experience couldn’t prepare him for everything during a practice round at the Lake Course on Tuesday in San Francisco.
“I kinda had forgotten how cold it can get here,” said Woods, noting it was 49 degrees in The City when he teed off, a stark contrast to when he’s practicing in “shorts and shirtless” in his backyard in Florida. Read More