The 2023 US Open takes place at a venue hosting a Major for the first time. Los Angeles Country Club is one of the most prestigious venues in the US and, after 126 years, it finally has a tournament to match that status.
As ever, the field for the US Open includes both amateurs and professionals, all hoping to write their name into the history books with victory.
In 2022, Matt Fitzpatrick closed out a memorable win, which included an incredible bunker shot on the 72nd hole, that helped him edge out Will Zalatoris to leave the Englishman celebrating with his family. He will be back this year hoping to replicate that success.
Both Majors in 2023 to date have produced stories of underdogs defying the odds to succeed. The most recent, the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, saw club pro Michael Block finish tied for 15th. While he is not in the field here, amateur Sam Bennett qualifies courtesy of his status as US Amateur champion. He’ll be hoping to repeat the heroics that saw him finish tied for 16th in The Masters.
Could the scene be set for another lesser-known player to emerge as a fan favourite at the US Open? Time will tell, but until then, familiar faces will be the most fancied. Jon Rahm claimed his second Major win in The Masters, and few would bet against him claiming a third. After all, his other Major came in this tournament in 2021 at Torrey Pines.
LIV Golf player Brooks Koepka finished tied for second with Phil Mickelson at Augusta National and both players will have designs on victory here. Koepka put that near miss behind him to win the PGA Championship and he will surely be one of the favourites to claim his sixth Major title, particularly as a two-time US Open winner.
As for Mickelson, he has finished runner-up in the US Open on no fewer than six occasions. A win this week would complete a career Grand Slam, an achievement Lefty has previously claimed would see him retire from the game.
There is intrigue elsewhere too. For example, former teen star Ryo Ishikawa went through qualifying to get here, and fans will be eager to see if he can recreate his heroics of 2010, when he was tied for second after Friday’s round before eventually finishing tied for 33rd.
On the subject of qualifiers, Sergio Garcia had to get here the hard way, too, but he duly
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