Television coverage of the 2012 US Open begins today at noon eastern time on ESPN. My DVR is set, and although I’m set to play 18 after work with a group of colleagues, I plan to watch the entire thing upon my return.
There are a lot of potential story lines that make this US Open particularly interesting. Although there’s no clear favorite in this competition, Olympic’s reputation for upsets may yield a surprise. The course also has a reputation of rewarding shot makers. Shot making, not bombing, is what interests me in golf.
- The initial grouping of Mickelson, Woods and Watson is brilliant and must-see tv. Mickelson has gotten the better of Tiger the last few times they’ve been grouped. What will happen this year?
- Will this be the year that Mickelson—a California boy through-and-through—finally wins a US Open (after five! seconds)? Or does he blow up in the face of all those expectations? His smile in press meetings the last several days makes it seem as though he knows something the rest of us don’t.
- Is Tiger ready to win a Major again? He’s a lot further along than I thought he’d be at this point.
- Can Bubba win his second? He’s certainly the ultimate shot maker these days.
- Is there a possibility of a Rory repeat? History is against him, but he rewrote history with his Congressional performance last year.
- Dustin Johnson has had a number of close calls in Majors and has played well in California. His play in the two weeks since returning from a back injury make a win look possible.
- Jason Dufner also has had a couple of close calls and is arguably the hottest player in pro golf these days.
- And what of Lee Westwood, Luke Donaldand Steve Stricker? All three have games that would seem fitted to what we know of Olympic.
- Euros and Internationals vs US
- Colt Knost, who has at times played well this year, returns to the site of his 2007 US Amateur victory. If there’s a case that familiarity with a course helps, it might be for Knost.
- Casey Martin makes a return to competitive golf. This time, there’s no controversy over his use of a power cart. Martin, if you’ve not been paying attention, has a circulation issue in his legs that make it impossible for him to walk a course. Fifteen years ago, he made headlines with his lawsuit to allow him to play on Tour with a cart.
- How will 14-year-old Andy Zhang do?
- Will even par win? Or even one- or two-over? Some wags suggest this might be one of the toughest US Opens ever.
- Finally, there’s Olympic itself. Unlike Pebble and Congressional, Olympic is a course that we do not often see on television. Try as I might, I can’t recall anything about the course from the last time the US Open was played there. Its been fun this week watching the coverge and trying to learn about the holes.