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Mickelson withdraws from US Open

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Sports WebXtra: US Open preview

The U.S. Open hasn't had a repeat victor since Curtis Strange in 1988 and 1989. "Some of that fescue is so deep, it's not going to hop an inch".

The veteran, four-time Major victor has bagged two USA open titles, in '94 and '97, but he has made just four cuts in America this year, possibly his last full season on tour.

The USGA told the Golf Channel that cutting the rough was part of a "prescribed plan based on weather" and not down to criticism from players.

Nevertheless, play got underway as scheduled on Thursday and the pundits are tipping Northern Ireland's McIlroy to prosper.

"Dana and I were considered B-level architects, even though our clients never thought that and people who played our courses never thought that", said Hurdzan, a retired colonel in the U.S. Army Special Forces who has designed more than 400 courses over more than 50 years.

Two-time major victor Jordan Spieth could also have an edge, having competed at Erin Hills at the 2011 U.S. Amateur Championship, when he reached the quarter-finals.

The big-hitting American ended Australian Jason Day's 47-week tenure at the top during a hot run earlier this year with back-to-back World Golf Championship titles among three victories. It went to Olympia Fields in 2003 and found Chicago politics involving the support staff to be tougher to manage than U.S. Open rough.

"Some of it has to do with being on the course for the first time". This will be played in Erin Hills, WI for the first time ever, and take place from June 15 to June 18. He's also written five books on the subject and has been involved in the design of six other courses.

"He's not going to make it", Koepka said, without elaborating. While some might think that is a distraction for Johnson, I believe that he will use it as motivation to have a strong showing at Erin Hills. "It always plays very hard". It actually pitches from the middle of the green to the back. "Just with their length and how their games have been", Sherman said. "I've lost so many jobs because I'm not a 'name.' This makes you not a no-name".

"I feel like if you prepare 100 per cent the right way, mentally that puts you in a great frame of mind to go out there and attack the golf course". "It's big greens, big slopes, you have to be able to lag putt". One person was transported to a local hospital via helicopter following the crahs.

Despite being only 11-years-old, the first-time host venue has already been tested under tournament conditions at the 2011 US Amateur, where Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Russell Henley all featured and got to the matchplay stages. He's got the game and the temperament, it's just about putting it all together over four days.

Unlike Oakmont, neither player had stepped foot on the supersized course until they arrived this week. Any rain that moves through during the later rounds could lead to a softer course, which allows the players to pick a more targeted landing zone for their shots.

And the USGA doesn't want to start this tournament with another controversy.

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