Published: Thu, June 13, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Tiger Woods at the 2019 U.S. Open

Tiger Woods at the 2019 U.S. Open

The 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach tees off on Thursday and Jordan Spieth enters the major playing some of his best golf of the season.

Jon Rahm of Spain plays the second hole during a practice round for the US Open at Pebble Beach.

So the USGA has spent extra time leading up to this year's tournament talking to dozens of players about how best to lay out the course so it can still achieve the goal of being the "toughest test" in golf, while not crossing the line and being unfair to the players.

His 15th major title came 11 years after his 14th - in the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines - and after multiple back surgeries capped by spinal fusion threatened to end his career.

Scotland's Willie Anderson was the first and so far only golfer to achieve the feat back in 1905 and Koepka is a 15/2 favorite to emulate him.

"I haven't talked to anybody about going three in a row", Koepka told reporters on Wednesday, as per ESPN. "I know the odds are stacked up probably even more against me now".

The American is one of the favourites to win the third Major of the season.

"Yeah, it's not the same body that I had back in 2000", Woods said.

The beauty of Pebble Beach's coastal views can distract from the challenge it presents, especially with the pinched fairways and deep rough of a US Open. We got to Chambers Bay and watched the ball dance down fairways like a pinball machine and bounce on greens like a Plinko board.

"These greens are so small, you can nearly put it in the center of every green and have 20 feet, no matter where the flag stick is". It really didn't seem real until we set foot on the grounds here and you realize what's going on.

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Canadian Open victor Rory McIlroy and Woods are next at 10-1, followed by Spieth and Memorial victor Patrick Cantlay at 16-1.

Nevertheless, Woods said his approach to playing the scenic course nestled along the California coast hasn't changed all that much.

Pebble Beach features the smallest greens on the PGA Tour and will suit McIlroy's sharp iron play.

"Now, we've got five weeks here (including next month's Open Championship) and then the majors are over for another nine months, so you've kind of got to (make it) happen if you want something special to happen".

Early starters include Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, and Phil Mickelson.

Could he be on pace for his first majors win since 2017?

In addition to a victory at the Players Championship, he arrived at Pebble Beach off a runaway win in the Canadian Open, where he fired a final-round 61 on Sunday for a 22-under total and a seven-shot victory.

Johnson, who was leading at Pebble in 2010 when he ballooned to a final-round 82, tees it up alongside that year's victor McDowell and Mickelson - a five-time major victor still seeking to complete the career grand slam with a first US Open title.

"What's not to like". We got to Erin Hills and saw a wonderful golf course that can apparently play hard when the wind blows, which we never found out.

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